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30th October 2023

Trio of Honours for Britain’s Oldest Brewer

Three of independent family brewer and pub company Shepherd Neame’s beers have been recognised at the Great British Food Awards.

The Faversham-based brewery has won a Gold award for Spitfire Amber Ale (4.2% ABV), a Silver award for Whitstable Bay Blonde Lager (4.5% ABV), and a Bronze award for Bishops Finger (5.2% ABV).

It is the ninth year of the awards, launched to celebrate the very best of British artisanal produce in the food and drink industry.

The judging panel comprises some of the most acclaimed chefs, food critics and influencers in the country, with the Beer and Lager category judged by Australian professional rugby league footballer Jacob Liddle.

Explaining his decision to award Spitfire Amber Ale a Gold Medal, Jacob said: “Probably the most “British” of the contenders in terms of packaging and potentially style, it is a classic old-style amber ale well executed. Refreshing, and ultimately very enjoyable.”

It is the latest in a series of honours for Shepherd Neame’s beers, with other recent wins including Bishops Finger scooping Gold at the British Bottlers’ Institute Awards, International Beer Challenge and Taste of Kent Awards; India Pale Ale and Double Stout receiving Silver at the International Beer Challenge; and Singha, which has been brewed under license at Shepherd Neame for the UK market since 2022, awarded a Diploma of Excellence by the British Bottlers’ Institute.

First brewed in 1990 to commemorate the Battle of Britain which was fought in the skies above Kent 50 years earlier, Spitfire Amber Ale is a classic premium Kentish Ale, which carries a Royal Warrant.

Jacob added: “The name and imagery are quintessentially British and a nod to the past. The beer is brewed with Kentish hops and the reference “The Bottle of Britain” is entertaining and adds to the British embodiment of the beer.”

Shepherd Neame’s Director of Brewing Mike Unsworth said: “We are delighted that three of our brands have received national acclaim in the Great British Food Awards, with glowing praise for our Great British classic Spitfire Amber Ale. We have a fantastic team of brewers at Shepherd Neame and this is well-deserved recognition for their passion, knowledge and skill.”

Shepherd Neame’s award-winning beers are available from its online shop ( and brewery shop in Faversham. For more information visit:


About Shepherd Neame

Shepherd Neame has been based in the market town of Faversham, Kent for over 300 years. Perhaps best known for great British classic ales such as Spitfire Amber, which carries the Royal Warrant, its diverse portfolio includes Five Grain Lager, Bear Island East Coast Pale Ale and Bear Island Triple Hopped Lager, and the Whitstable Bay Collection. It also brews international lagers under licence including Samuel Adams Boston Lager and premium Thai lager Singha. The independent family business boasts an award-winning visitor centre and more than 300 pubs and hotels throughout London and the South East, from the historic heart of the City to the Kent coastline.

About the Great British Food Awards 2023
Launched in 2014 to celebrate the very best artisanal produce in the UK’s food and drink industry – and to give a promotional platform to its passionate brands and makers – the Great British Food Awards are proud to have an array of food industry icons on its judging roster. From food critics such as William Sitwell to renowned chefs such as Michelin-starred Raymond Blanc and Michel Roux Jr, Great British Food Award-winners can be confident that their winning items truly are among the very best the country has to offer. From cheese to spirits, confectionery to snacks, ice cream to beer and baked goods (and everything in between), The Great British Food Awards honours and supports the entirety of the UK’s food industry.

Shepherd Neame is not responsible for the content on third party websites.

For further information please contact Brands Marketing Manager Rose Davis on 01795 542192 or email or visit

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