HRH The Earl of Wessex visited Palmers Brewery in Bridport on Thursday morning [28 October 2010] and started a brew of Palmers Dorset Gold before unveiling a plaque to commemorate his visit.
This was the first Royal visit since the brewery’s foundation in 1794. In 2008 The Earl wrote a foreword for Palmers: The Story of a Dorset Brewer, a book about Palmers’ history. Thursday’s visit was a chance for him to tour the brewery and see for himself how real ale is made.
The highlight of his visit was donning a brewer’s coat and starting a brew of Dorset Gold.
After unveiling a plaque next to the mash tun, The Earl of Wessex was given a tour of the Old Brewery by chairman and MD John Palmer, sales and marketing director Cleeves Palmer, and Darren Batten. He met staff, including Palmers’ longest serving employee Andrew Samways (32 years) and took a keen interest in the brewing process. He then moved on to Palmers Wine Store, where he signed the visitors’ book after a short tour.
Dignitaries presented to The Earl by The Lord Lieutenant of Dorset, Mrs Anthony Pitt-Rivers, included The Hon. Timothy Palmer, High Sheriff of Dorset, John Wilson, Chairman of Dorset County Council, Cllr. Ronald Coatsworth, Chairman of West Dorset District Council, David Clarke, Chief Executive of West Dorset District Council, Cllr Geoffrey Ackerman, Mayor of Bridport and Gillian Summers, Mayoress of Bridport.