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Jul 2018

Bishops Finger, Shepherd Neame

Added: Sunday, July 1st 2018

Style Strong Pale Ale ABV 5.4%

Shepherd Neame Bishops Finger, 5.4%

Shepherd Neame in Faversham is Britain’s oldest brewery, dating from 1698, and there’s some history wrapped up in its strong ale, which has been re-launched with a new design on draught and in bottle.

The beer takes its name from wayside signposts pointing pilgrims in the direction of Thomas Becket’s tomb in Canterbury Cathedral. It also enjoys a bawdy local nickname of Nun’s Delight but don’t mention that in the hallowed halls of the Faversham brewery.

The beer was first brewed in the 1950s when war-time restrictions on beer strength were lifted. It has been available mainly in bottled form but due to its popularity it’s also on sale in Shep’s pubs in cask form. The new bottles and pump clips hasve a "retro design" from the 1950s. The beer enjoys Protected Status [PGI] from the European Union.

It’s brewed with pale and crystal malts and hopped with Challenger and Goldings varieties. The cask version is late hopped with First Gold and Goldings.

The beer has a rich aroma of raisin and sultana fruit with biscuit malt and tangy hop resins. Vinous fruit, biscuit malt and peppery hops are full on the palate while the long finish interweaves between dried fruit, rich malt and satisfying hop bitterness.

£15 for 8 bottles from On draught in selected Shep’s pubs. £1.30 Waitrose, £1.25 Tesco.

Bishops Finger, Shepherd Neame