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3rd June 2015


Jonathan Neame and Richard Ashworth

Richard Ashworth MEP for South East England has played guest brewer for the day; brewing the beer that will be used to toast the inaugural Beer Day Britain.

Brewing took place as part of a tour of Britain’s oldest brewer, Shepherd Neame in Faversham, Kent. The brewery is busy preparing for Beer Day Britain, a celebration of the UK’s favourite alcoholic drink. The national ‘cheers to beer’ is taking place on Monday, June 15, which is also Magna Carta Day, marking the 800th anniversary of the rule of law. Celebrations are planned in breweries and pubs across the country, with a simultaneous toast taking place at 12.15pm.

Richard Ashworth MEP brewed in the UK’s last remaining solid wooden mash tuns during his visit on Friday, May 29. He also had the opportunity to see significant investments made recently to Shepherd Neame’s historic site. This included a £3.5 million water recovery plant, which has reduced water usage by 40%.

Speaking after the visit, chief executive Jonathan Neame said: “We very much welcomed the opportunity to show Mr Ashworth the investments we’ve been making in the brewery in recent years, plus a glimpse of our rich history. The impact of EU regulation is keenly felt in our industry, so it’s extremely valuable for us to offer members first-hand experience of what it’s like in our sector.”

Richard Ashworth MEP added: “Brewing beer is only half the story, the success of this sector impacts on agriculture, manufacturing and retailing. There are more than 150 breweries in my constituency which directly employ 100,000 people and provide a further 140,000 jobs in the supply chain. It’s been great to get a sense of the role this historic brewery plays in the thriving industry behind our national drink.”*



Notes for editors

*Figures from Oxford Economics: The impact of beer and pubs in the South East, available at


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