A fascination for beer labels was celebrated at Shepherd Neame brewery when members of the Labologists Society marked its 65th anniversary.
Dozens of society members travelled to Faversham from all across the UK. Shepherd Neame is among the organisation’s corporate members.
Brewery chief executive Jonathan Neame welcomed the group, who marked the occasion by presenting him with a £2,000 cheque for Shepherd Neame’s current charity of the year partner, FareShare. A further £140 was raised for the charity on the day, thanks to member donations and sales.
Members held their annual meeting, had lunch in the brewery’s beamed Visitor Centre, and enjoyed a tour of the historic site.
“It seemed fitting that we should have our 65th anniversary at the home of Britain’s oldest brewer,” said Labologists Society secretary Eric Doré, who has been collecting labels since 1981.
Members of the Labologists Society are welcomed by Shepherd Neame chief executive Jonathan Neame
“It was very interesting for us to hear Jonathan Neame’s welcome talk, bringing us up to date on some of the latest developments for Shepherd Neame, as well as some early brewery history.”
The group had a chance to see collections brought along by fellow members, as well as a range of labels collected by the society, which are sold in aid of charity each year. There was also a display of some historic Shepherd Neame labels.
They were also able to swap some labels, before the winners of the society’s label of the year contest were announced, and a label auction held. Label of the year went jointly to George Shaw Brewery and Hook Norton Brewery, with third place going to Davenports Brewery.
Although there is no specific judging criteria for the honour, treasurer Nick Drew said: “A good beer label should make you want to drink the beer!”
Auctioneer Pete Dickinson
The auction, led by auctioneer Peter Dickinson — a highlight of the day for many — produced some tense bidding, with particular interest centering on a full bottle of 2023 Coronation beer brewed by small Cheshire-based brewery Bridge Beers, which went for £50.
The society was founded in 1958, when three label collectors got together, originally with financial support from Guinness Exports Ltd, Liverpool. The aim was ro unite collectors worldwide. Today the society is interested in developments in the world of beer labels, as well as in historical examples and rare ones, with pre-war labels generating considerable interest.
“We were delighted to welcome the Labologists Society to our brewery for this special anniversary event,” said Jonathan Neame.
“The society is a great champion of our industry and we are proud to be corporate supporters. I would like to also thank the members for their generous contribution to our charity of the year.”
Although only a relatively small number of members were able to attend the event, the society has many more keen collectors who participate virtually. To find out more about the society, and inquire about joining, email Eric at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.labology.org.uk.