ARKELL’S has added another trophy to its growing collection after collecting the top award in the honey beer class from this year’s National Honey Show.

Arkell’s Bee’s Organic Ale was judged best in class. It is the second award this year for the premium ale, which has picked up accolades regularly since it was launched in 2001.

The ale uses organically-grown malted barley, hops and honey, and its continued success has encouraged two members of the Arkell family to get up close and personal with the producers of its key ingredient.

Nick Arkell, Arkell’s Brewery sales director, has been keeping bees since 2010 and head brewer Alex Arkell was so keen to learn more about the vital ingredient of his award-winning ale he went to visit Nick’s beehives.

The British Beekeepers Association says there are some commercial beekeepers but beekeeping in Britain is still largely a hobby.

Nick said: “Our hives produced lots of honey this year, thanks in part to the warmer summer weather.

“I would love to supply all the honey needed for our beer, but sadly it’s not organic and we couldn’t guarantee a consistent supply.”

Alex said: “To satisfy the thousands of people who buy Bee’s Organic regularly we’d need a consistent source of supply so at the moment we buy from a trusted commercial supplier, but I loved seeing Nick’s beehives and it’s definitely given me a taste for honey – I’m going to learn more about beekeeping.

“What I really love about honey is that, along with the other ingredients of our beers such as malt, hops, barley and yeast, it’s a completely natural ingredient and it’s been used in all sorts of ways for centuries.”

The ancient Greeks believed that consuming honey could help people live longer.

Alex said: “I’ll drink to its health-giving benefits – and to the health of the judges at the National Honey Show.”