Cheers! Sheps gets the vote

FAVERSHAM brewer Shepherd Neame has been named Britain's Regional Brewer of the Year. Managing director Jonathan Neame collected the trophy in front of an audience of 1,800 industry colleagues at The Publican Awards held at Grosvenor House, Park Lane, London.

The judges' said that the company "had excelled in balancing all parts of its business, building leading beer brands while also paying attention to detail within its pub estate". They were particularly impressed with the brewer's attitude to customer service and social responsibility, the emphasis the company places on training, and its "desire to lead rather than follow".

The Awards, organised by The Publican newspaper, attracts hundreds of entries from pub and brewing companies across the UK, and is officially described as "bigger than the BAFTAs". After receiving the award from Awards host and TV star Frank Skinner, Jonathan Neame said: "This is a tribute to everyone in Shepherd Neame, from our people working at the Faversham brewery to the licensees and bar staff who run our pubs."

The Award came on the eve of the company posting its interim results, which showed record turnover and profits for the first six months of the financial year.

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