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Environment Secretary Owen Paterson opens 3.5 million water recovery plant at Shepherd Neame Brewery, Faversham


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A brand new £3.5 million water recovery plant has been opened by a minister at Shepherd Neame Brewery today.

The Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Owen Paterson joined the brewery’s chief executive Jonathan Neame to open the new water recycling system, labelled the “cathedral of water purity”.

The plant will enable the recovery and re-use of Shepherd Neame’s waste water and will reduce the water-to-beer ratio to an industry-leading 3:1.

Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Owen Paterson opens the new water recycling system at Shepherd Neame Brewery
Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Owen Paterson opens the new water recycling system at Shepherd Neame Brewery

This means a significant reduction of the water extracted from the artesian well that has been there since the 1600s.

Jonathan Neame said: “This is somewhat of a cathedral of water purity. It is a great benefit to the brewers but will also be great for the environment.”

“Sheps are something of leaders and at the moment, there’s a real passion for real beer coming back.

“We still use the same source we have for 100s of years and the quality and consistency of the water is very high, with 70 million pints of beer brewed every year.”

“We are Britain’s oldest brewery but we also have the most sustainable and quality way of thinking.”

Former Shepherd Neame production and distribution director Tom Falcon
Former Shepherd Neame production and distribution director Tom Falcon

Owen Paterson has been involved in the project for the last six months and agreed to officially open the water recovery plant.

After a speech, he unveiled a plaque for the plant and shared a pint of Spitfire with Mr Neame.

He said: “I’ve always wanted to come here but I didn’t realise that in the first half an hour, I would be trying a pint of Spitfire.

“I am absolutely delighted to be opening this plant. This project just presses all the buttons and Shepherd Neame are at the forefront of the industry.

They are the most efficient brewery in the entire country and this is an achievement to be admired.”

The water recovery plant is located in the old Tesco building in North Lane.

It has been running for the last couple of weeks but today marked the official opening.

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