A wide selection of regular and seasonal Sheperd Neame Kentish real ales are on draught from the four hand pumps often augmented by Sheperd Neame’s “Beer Festival” real ales from around the country.
The Guinness is always excellent and there is a choice of three continental lagers: Oranjeboom, Hürlimann Sternbräu and a Guest Lager.
Strongbow is on draught with a variety of bottled ciders/perry to enjoy over ice or as you like.
A selection of white, red, rose and sparkling wines are available by the glass or bottle.
The Regular Real Ales
Master Brew (ABV: Cask: 3.7%, Bottle: 4.0%)
Delicate and devilishly drinkable, this quintessentially Kentish ale lays the county’s hallowed, herbaceous hops on a firm, biscuity bed of pale and crystal malt. Endowed with an inviting auburn-amber hue and a tantalising toffee-ish aroma, it’s an enlivening English ale that, given its unassuming ABV, pleasures the palate with a remarkable fullness of flavour.
Spitfire (ABV: Cask: 4.2%, Bottle: 4.5%)
An infusion of three Kentish hops adorns this beautifully balanced, blood-orange tinted British bitter with an acutely aromatic allure. Hints of marmalade, red grapes and pepper are thrust from a springboard of warm, mellow malts. The floating fruity finish signs off with a smidgen of spice and raspberry.
Bishops Finger (ABV: Cask: 5.0%, Bottle: 5.4%)
Fashioned on a firm, fruity foundation of Crystal malt, this rich, ruby-coloured Kent classic belies its burly appearance with a complexity of flavour. Mouth-filling fruit, prunes, plums and dried apricot, spiked with palate-prickling pepper, cinnamon and a soft bitter blood-orange finish.
Kent’s Best (ABV: Cask: 4.1%)
An ambient bitter, which successfully merges the biscuity sweetness of English malt with the fruity, floral bitterness of locally grown hops from the Kent countryside, to give a clean, satisfying and moreish drink ( to quaff, effortlessly, among friends).
The Seasonal Real Ales
The Seasonal Real Ales
Whitstable Bay Premium Ale (ABV: Cask 4.1%)
This dainty, well-defined dark-blonde drop melds citrusy hops with the nutty, wholemeal character of crystal and pale malt. With ripe fruit, a hint of banana, mango and a tangy, fresh finish, it’s perfect with a Ploughman’s.
Canterbury Jack (ABV: Cask 3.5%, Bottle: 4.0%)
Rare is a beer more invigorating, uplifting or aromatic than this fresh New World pale ale brewed using Cascade and East Kent Goldings hops and ripe with summer fruit on a bed of bready malt. Privileged palates should prepare for lime marmalade on toast, lychees, lemongrass and a bitter-sweetness akin to brown sugar-dusted grapefruit. A sensational partner to Caesar salad, grilled fish and seafood.
Early Bird Spring Hop Ale (ABV: Cask 4.3%, Bottle: 4.5%)
A fabulously refreshing, bracing beer that hails early maturing Goldings hops in style. Alive and open with a golden glint in its eye, it stirs up spring sensations of blossom, honey, freshly cut grass and plenty of pine on the nose. The gentle bitterness, soothed by an undercurrent of light biscuit malt, delivers a dry finish. Superb with salads and whitebait.
Late Red Autumn Ale (ABV: Cask 4.5%, Bottle 4.5%)
Plum, prunes, raisins, a touch of toffee and tropical fruit are just of the flavour flourishing beneath the crimson-copper coloured cloak of this eminently easy-drinking ale. A peppery, resinous hop finish – courtesy of Kent-grown Cascade hops – adds a spice to the nutty sweetness. Rather remarkable with a roast.
Amber Ale (ABV: Cask: 4.5%)
A golden-brown ale with a fruity aroma and a full, malty palate, Amber Ale derives its unique signature from the special marriage of fruity, fragrant hops with Pale, Crystal and Brown malts, making it a classic beer to savour and enjoy.
Christmas Ale (ABV: Cask 5.0%, Bottle: 7.0%)
There’s a spicy signature to this incredibly complex cockle-warming winter ale. The nose is reminiscent of raisins, dates and molasses while the palate is vinous with tannin-like notes of leather, vanilla, apricots and a hint of rustic Armagnac on the finish. An awesome after-dinner drop.
Oranjeboom (ABV: Keg: 3.9%)
A delicious, easy-drinking Dutch drop with a hay-like hue and a herbaceous, grassy and fruity fragrance. Citrus notes on the palate speak softly of orange, kiwi and lemongrass buttressed with a hint of caramel sweetness and a gentle, drifting finish.
Hürlimann Sternbräu (ABV: Keg: 4.8%, Bottle: 4.8%)
Hailed as the first lager to be brewed in Kent, this bracing, brusque Swiss beer had its revered recipe enhanced and improved in 2009. Better balanced and more rounded, lime, rose and pears nestle in the nose while on the palate there’s taut graininess, tart grapefruit and a full floral flourish.
(Tasting notes by beer writer Ben McFarland and courtesy of Sheperd Neame)