Raising a Glass to Pilgrimage in Dover

Breakwater beer 3

(Thom Hall brews the new pilgrim ales at the Breakwater Brewery in Dover)

New ales mark the start of Kent Pilgrims' Festival

Pilgrims and walkers will be raising a glass on Wednesday (21 September) with two new ales to mark the beginning of the Kent Pilgrims’ Festival.

The festival runs from 21 – 25 September, to celebrate Kent’s rich pilgrim heritage and beautiful landscapes and nature. There are walks, performances and events happening across Dover, Canterbury and the surrounding villages.

Hospitality was a key feature of pilgrimage. The Maison Dieu in Dover was originally a medieval hospital, providing poor pilgrims with bed and board on their way to the shrine of Thomas Becket at Canterbury Cathedral and had its own brewhouse.

To honour this tradition, the Breakwater Brewery in Dover, working in partnership with the Reawakening the Maison Dieu project and White Cliffs Country, has created two new beers. The names of the beers were voted on in a public poll.

The first - a continental-style lager called Sigeric - takes its unusual name from a 10th century Archbishop of Canterbury, who walked from Canterbury to Rome, passing through Dover, to receive his pallium or seal of office from the Pope. This is now the route of the 2,000km Via Francigena, completed by thousands of pilgrims each year.

The second - an English golden ale called Maison Brew - celebrates the Maison Dieu’s origins as a place for pilgrims to rest.

Thom Hall, brewer at the Breakwater Brewery, said: “We’re delighted to support the Kent Pilgrims’ Festival with the creation of these two special beers. Do come along to our launch on Wednesday evening, to taste our ales and raise a glass to all pilgrims, past and present!”

The Pilgrim Ales, Music and Tales event will run at the Breakwater Brewery in Dover from 7pm – 10pm on Wednesday 21st September.

For more information about this and all other festival events, please see https://kentdowns.org.uk/kent-pilgrims-festival/

Posted on 20 September 2022

For media enquiries, Email: pr@dover.gov.uk