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An interesting thing about pub signs

Can’t help being struck by the new design scheme used on Shepherd Neame pubs.  I’ve been roaming around Kent and Sussex quite a lot recently and they definitely make an impression.
The branding of pub chains is a thorny issue – should you make them all look like part of chain, or should you allow pubs to retain their individuality?  This scheme does both.  The red and gold makes them look premium, and the black and white pic evokes tradition.  You can tell its a Shep’s pub a mile off, yet each pub still feels like its own master.
The first wag who leaves a comment along the lines of “Yes, but why would you want to drink in one of their pubs – their beers are boring” wins a prize of – well – nothing whatsoever.  The old saying “Never judge a book by its cover” doesn’t stop thousands of people doing just that when faced with an overwhelming choice.  And I’ll bet this signage is attracting a greater proportion of passing casual trade than the pub ever did before it was introduced.




Yes, but why would you want to . . . oh crap . . .

I think the signs look fine – did you try the beer? What did you think?

When I lived in Kent (mid-90s), the locals seemed to have little choice but Shep's & little love for it, including several offensive rhyming-slang terms for the brewery & beer (though I did like the bawdy "Nun's Delight" nickname for Bishop's Finger)

While they were fairly ubiquitous, I drank a fair bit of the, & especially enjoyed the annual liquoricey Porter, but even Masterbrew, etc were fine drinkable beers.


I like the B/W lino cut look of the signs it’s nicely modern and yet retro whats the word “Nowtro”….


Sheps beer is OK. I’m never too put out if I have to drink it (as I often do at one of my favourite haunts, The Betsey Trotwood).

The pub signs are OK but Sheps do brand their pubs a little too much. If I had one of their leases or tenancies I’d be particuarly annoyed about it. I know my pals at The Betsey don’t like having a load of guff about “Britain’s Oldest Brewer” scrawled across the side of their pub, which is far more famous for its gigs than the beer it sells at the bar…

Peter Brissenden

I live in Faversham and can often smell Sheps brewing from my house, so I suppose I have slightly rose tinted spectacles about it all.

I do like Sheps beer, Master brew being my session beer of choice most of the time. However both their Early Bird and Whitstable Bay Organic beers are both pretty good.

The only criticism I have of Sheps is that I do get a bit bored drinking their beer and only their beer. The three pubs in Faversham that aren’t Sheps are dives!


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