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Special Benny the Beluga beer brought in to Ship and Lobster pub in Gravesend

A pub has introduced a new beer to their range in honour of the town's newest Arctic friend.

Benny the Beluga, a regular by the Ship and Lobster, in Mark Lane, Gravesend, has made such an impression that the pub has brought in a special beer named after him.

Landlady Elizabeth Brown, 39, says their newest ale 'Benny's Beer' has been a hit with customers.

Lizzie Brown, Landlady of the Ship and Lobster pub in Marks Lane, Gravesend and a pint of Benny'sBeer. Picture: Chris Davey. (5378424)
Lizzie Brown, Landlady of the Ship and Lobster pub in Marks Lane, Gravesend and a pint of Benny'sBeer. Picture: Chris Davey. (5378424)

She said: "I thought it would be a great idea if we could have a beer for the whale so I spoke to the lovely lads from Iron Pier and they came up with it.

"We've had a couple of people come down just to try it, but it's early doors and not been around for long.

"We're planning to have it for a while."

Benny surfaces near Shorne Marshes. Picture: Fraser Gray (4909813)
Benny surfaces near Shorne Marshes. Picture: Fraser Gray (4909813)

Barry Lear, who visits the pub nearly every day, is skipper of one of the refuelling barge's in the Thames and thinks the beer will help bring in even more business.

He said: "It looks really good and the beer and Benny in particular has done them a massive favour.

"I saw him yesterday swimming about by the Gravesend promenade on the south side of the river - he looked well and healthy."

The 71-year-old joked that the creature may have been popping his head out to watch the Dame Vera Lynn ferry near Woolwich ahead of Armistice Day.

He said: "We were just coming back from refuelling the Gravesend ferry.

"I've seen it a few times as I'm always on the water rather than land. It must be doing well and eating well to still be here."

The creature was first reported to be seen in the River Thames back in September but is thought to have been spotted in the river Medway as far back as July.

Since then, Benny has had national media and members of the public flock to the Shorne riversides, as well as cause a stir after Gravesham council postponed their annual fireworks.

Despite all this, marine experts believe the whale could be here for the long haul as it seems to be feeding well.


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