By Brian Pain
We start with the beer probably most closely associated with the town, Master Brew from Faversham brewers Shepherd Neame.
A tasting team of four people were chosen for their knowledge of beers and widely varying preferences.
To ensure uniformity, all the beers were tasted on the same evening over a single four-hour period. As all the supplies must have come from the same brewing batch and delivered at roughly on the same date, the widely varying product served is a significant indicator of the care taken of the beer by the different establishments.
The marks for each pub were out of a maximum of 120 points.
This is their report:
FINDINGS OF THE FAVERSHAM RESEARCH GROUP’S ENQUIRY INTO THE QUALITY OF MASTERBREW BITTER IN FAVERSHAM.
Armed with a substantial research grant, carefully honed thirsts, and observing moderation in all things, the Research Group embarked upon a tour of the Shepherd Neame pubs of Faversham, with the aim of finding the ultimate pint of Master Brew bitter, a title long accorded to the Mechanic’s Arms: now, sadly, the pub is no more.
Starting at the Anchor, the FRG progressed to the Three Mariners, Oare , and thence to The Market Inn, the Bear, the Limes, the Railway, the Three Tuns, the Bull, the Albion and the Sun, before revisiting the Bear to tidy up a few details.
Beer quality was on the whole good, occasionally excellent, and, as mentioned, the FRG also visited The Limes.
Due allowance was made for the state of emptiness of the barrel, and marks were awarded for presentation, condition, colour and value.
Pubs, Prices and Scores:
1. The Railway Hotel
2. The Bear Inn
3. The Three Tuns
4. The Anchor
5. The Sun Inn
6. The Market Inn
7. The Three Mariners
8. The Bull Inn
9. The Albion Taverna
10. The Limes
Master Brew: Shepherd Neame’s own tasting notes
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.
We originally unfortunately omitted the Brents Tavern on the Upper Brents. So in the interests of fairness we recently sent one of our tasters who deemed the bitter to be of good quality although a little lifeless, but at £1.90 represented exceptional value. Next year, our full tasting team will include the pub when we repeat the survey. (07/09/2019)