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  • Writer's picturePaul Andrews

Three Great British Food Awards For Nation'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.”

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