Visit Kent hosted a Welcome to Kent celebration last night to mark The Open being held in Sandwich, Kent.
The party was held at the famous Shepherd Neame brewery in Faversham. The family owned brewery was founded in 1698 and produces a range of fine cask ales and filtered beers, around 230,000 barrels a year. Shepherd Neame also own around 360 pubs, predominantly in Kent, London and southeastern England.
The night began with speeches from Barry McGuigan, world featherweight champion who introduced the Chief Executive of Shepherd Neame Brewery; Jonathan Neame.
He spoke to us about the history of the brewery and their plans for the future. Amanda Cottrell OBE, the Chairman of Visit Kent spoke about her excitement for the Open golf to be coming back to Kent. The MP Hugh Robertson, minister for Sport and the Olympics spoke about the next couple of years as a very exciting time for England and Kent.
The brewery was full of local produce and obviously lots of Shepherd Neame beer. We tried and tested all the beers and our favourite was the Whistable Bay organic beer, a clean and refreshing beer crafted from organic ingredients, including Target hops and barley. They teamed this beer with oysters from Whistable which beautiful and really complimented the organic beer.
There were tours of the brewery, live music from the Ian Shawcross Jazz band, a golf swing simulator where guests could compete against each other to see who could hit the golf ball the farthest and a hog roast which was delicious!