View Full Version : Shut up about Barclay Perkins - Messrs. Shepherd Neame, Limited

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12-11-2017, 08:15
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https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-8_dShogt7kY/WgcTP5jJJLI/AAAAAAAAdY8/J_OO2pwhzdkL1Ky0lRBa2o6YX2imw8ttACLcBGAs/s400/Shepherd_Neame_Brown_Ale_1937.JPG (https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-8_dShogt7kY/WgcTP5jJJLI/AAAAAAAAdY8/J_OO2pwhzdkL1Ky0lRBa2o6YX2imw8ttACLcBGAs/s1600/Shepherd_Neame_Brown_Ale_1937.JPG)I was searching the British Newspaper Archive for stuff Bout Shepherd Neame. I was hopimg to find an advert listing their beers as I was having trouble working out what some of them were.

I could only find ads with the sort of information I was looking for that were pre-WW I. Too early for me. But I didfind quite a long article in the local paper about the company.

A History Which Spans Four Centuries
Mr. Harry S. Neame’s Fifty Years’ Connection with the Company For nearly 250 years the Brewing Company of Messrs. Shepherd Neame, Limited, has brought trade and employment to Faversham, and throughout these years the prosperity of the town has naturally been linked very closely with the progress of the Company and the industry in which it is engaged.

Established in 1698.
The achievements of the Company are something of which not only those connected with it, but the townspeople as a whole, are justly proud, for its history spans four centuries, and records show that there was a brewery on the same site for many years previously. It is interesting to note that 18, Court Street, which now forms part of the Company’s offices, was once the residence of Richard Colwell, brewer, who died in 1524.

It was in 1698 — the Bank of England was then only four years old, and William and Mary were on the throne — that the present brewery was established on land adjoining what was known as the Common Conduit. The stream now flows underground, but its name is preserved in Conduit Street.

The wine and spirit vaults and stores are in Mill Place, where it is believed there was formerly a water mill driven by the Conduit. The land on which garages have been built was known as Hog Island, and from descriptions from old deeds it was doubtless formerly surrounded by water"
Faversham Times and Mercury and North-East Kent Journal - Saturday 04 February 1939, page 4. When I visited the brewery to snalp their records, I was told that the brewery is a good bit older than 1698. They keep finding new documents that move the date back. I think they said they'd evidence of its existence from the late 16th century.
https://4.bp.blogspot.com/--SjwwiuN3Og/WgcTPl5MGRI/AAAAAAAAdY0/M8pmX_Q0PEE1hWB50F3muOEESaq6FhS0gCLcBGAs/s400/Shepherd_Neame_Light_Dinner_Ale.JPG (https://4.bp.blogspot.com/--SjwwiuN3Og/WgcTPl5MGRI/AAAAAAAAdY0/M8pmX_Q0PEE1hWB50F3muOEESaq6FhS0gCLcBGAs/s1600/Shepherd_Neame_Light_Dinner_Ale.JPG)

"Pure Hops and Malt Only.
With the passing of the years and the growth of the business, many changes had to be made, particularly in regard to the buildings, which have been added to and reconstructed from time to time. But the quality of the firm’s products has never varied, and the Company is famous for its Pale Ales, brewed from the best hops and malt only.

The Company makes its own malt at the maltings in Faversham, and a large proportion of barley grown in the immediate neighbourhood is used; while all the hops used are grown in East and Mid-Kent. These facts alone show the extent to which the Company assists farmers and hop-growers in this part of the County.

It is believed that beer was originally brewed in Faversham because of the quality of the water from the springs which abound in the neighbourhood, and the characteristic flavour of Messrs. Shepherd Neame’s beers is maintained by the use of water of exceptional purity pumped from an artesian well 200 feet deep, situated in the middle of the brewery premises."
Faversham Times and Mercury and North-East Kent Journal - Saturday 04 February 1939, page 4. Pure malt and hops only. Sort of true. Their Pale Ales were. But not their other beers. They all contained sugar. And even the Pales Ales weren't 100% grain, as they contained a small amount of malt extract.

It's difficult to be sure where the hops came from. Only the grower or dealer's name is given. But, as they're in the middle of hop country, it would be odd not to use Kent hops.

"Old Methods-—Modern Plant.
Although the method of production is old, the plant has been renewed from time to time and brought right up to date. For instance, the Brewery was re-built in 1896 under the supervision of an eminent brewery architect, Mr. William Bradford, and the old machinery was replaced by modern equipment. The beer bottling stores in Conduit Street were built in 1899 and the growth of this branch of the Company’s business has continually demanded additions and improvements to the buildings and plant.

A number of old buildings which, owing to their shape and structure, were known as Noah’s Ark, were demolished about 1921 and an exchange of land was made for the improvement of North Lane. When these alterations were made the Directors had in mind that future developments would require increased accommodation, and this has now matured in the large building which has been erected during the past few months over Conduit Street. A new bottling unit of the very latest type is now being placed in this building"
Faversham Times and Mercury and North-East Kent Journal - Saturday 04 February 1939, page 4. They were probably later grateful for those investments, especially in bottling. Once the war had started, it was more than ten years before brewers were able to invest in plant and equipment.
https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-QXuchgd9OG8/WgcTP8CXawI/AAAAAAAAdY4/_Kpnr1rkMTQWGLICgiV1m8Mv-YmjMgpnACLcBGAs/s400/Shepherd_Neame_Stout_2.JPG (https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-QXuchgd9OG8/WgcTP8CXawI/AAAAAAAAdY4/_Kpnr1rkMTQWGLICgiV1m8Mv-YmjMgpnACLcBGAs/s1600/Shepherd_Neame_Stout_2.JPG)
Like most breweries of the time, Shepherd Neame owned an estate of tied houses.

"Management of Houses.
The Company owns a large number of licensed houses which spread over East Kent and into Sussex. Much has been done in recent years by the brewing trade to improve the accommodation of licensed houses, and customers at Messrs. Shepherd Neame’s houses will admit that the Company has done its share in carrying out structural alterations and rebuilding on modern lines. The erection of the Duke of Kent on the Coastal Road is a striking example"
Faversham Times and Mercury and North-East Kent Journal - Saturday 04 February 1939, page 4. Their estate now stretches further. They've several pubs in London, for example.

Now some boring stuff about the board which I've included for the sake of completeness.

"The Chairman and Managing Director of Messrs. Shepherd Neame, Limited, is Mr. Harry S. Neame. The Vice-Chairman is Mr. Jasper B. Neame, and the other Directors are Mr. L. H. Finn, Mr. K. A. W. Johnston and Mr. Laurence B. Neame.

The Chairman and Managing Director.
The Chairman has been associated with the brewery for a period of over fifty years and last year, on the occasion of his jubilee, the past and present members of the staff and employees at the brewery and various stores were entertained to dinner. His late father, Mr. Percy B. Neame, joined the partnership of Messrs. Shepherd Neame and Co. in 1866. Mr. Harry Neame, who became an operative brewer and maltster, succeeded his father in the management of the brewery, and has been Chairman and Managing Director of the present private Company since its formation in 1914, a period of about 25 years. The greatest development and progress in the history of the brewery has been made during the time that Mr. Harry S. Neame has been its head.

Mr. Neame, on behalf of his Company, has always taken a personal and active interest in the proceedings of the Brewers' Society, the Kent Brewers’ Union and kindred retail associations. He is one of the elected delegates from the Kent Brewers’ Union to the Brewers’ Society, and has always adopted the policy of promoting a proper understanding between the wholesale and retail trades, the interests of which are so closely allied, and to bring the brewer in personal contact with his tenants.

https://2.bp.blogspot.com/-gDnFGlEP744/WgcTd0oenHI/AAAAAAAAdZA/Q4SxKhBAkiU2_DGLkmE3yZh0FEFM0LHiACLcBGAs/s400/Shepherd_Neame_Borough_Brown_2.JPG (https://2.bp.blogspot.com/-gDnFGlEP744/WgcTd0oenHI/AAAAAAAAdZA/Q4SxKhBAkiU2_DGLkmE3yZh0FEFM0LHiACLcBGAs/s1600/Shepherd_Neame_Borough_Brown_2.JPG)Mr. Neame’s elder son, Mr. Jasper B. Neame, who joined the Company in 1925, is Vice-Chairman and Head Brewer. Mr. Laurence B. Neame, his younger son, is also on the Board of Directors and is responsible for the management of the Beer Bottling Department. Mr. K. A. W. Johnston is head of the Wine and Spirit Department"
Faversham Times and Mercury and North-East Kent Journal - Saturday 04 February 1939, page 4. Followed by some boring stuff about people:

"Staff Doubled in Present Century.
During the last forty years the number of employes in all departments has been more than doubled. As mentioned above, No. 18, Court Street, which was formerly the residence of the late Mr. Charles Graham, the brewer, is now used as offices.

The Secretary of the Company is Mr. E. M. Edwards, who joined the firm in 1896, and has thus been associated with the Brewery for a period of 42 years. He has held the office of Secretary since 1919. The staff and employes have a remarkable record of long service with the Company, there being at present a large number who have been employed for 25 years and upwards.

May the firm of Messrs. Shepherd. Neame Ltd., which is one of the oldest. Brewing Companies in the country, enjoy increased prosperity in the years that lie ahead."
Faversham Times and Mercury and North-East Kent Journal - Saturday 04 February 1939, page 4. Breweries are probably one of the few industries where people work for 30 or 40 years. What sane person would give up a job in a brewery?

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