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6th April 2022


Independent family brewer Shepherd Neame is hoping discerning drinkers will swarm to its pubs to enjoy the newest Cask Club nectar on offer: May Bee (ABV 4.3%).

A golden-amber honey ale, May Bee offers delicate malt and sweet honey flavours, balanced with peppery spice and fruit notes. Crystal malt gives this ale a deep golden hue, with oats used to create smooth mouth feel. UK Cascade hops combine with Target and Challenger to give floral and citrus aromas, balancing out the sweet honey.

The honey was sourced locally from Paynes Bee Farm, a family-run business nestled in the village of Hassocks, Sussex, just 90 minutes from the brewery. Started in 1922, Paynes is famed for its polyhives, a modern alternative to traditional wooden hives, and celebrates its centenary this year.

Shepherd Neame’s Technical Brewer Danielle Whelan said: “With spring in the air, May Bee is the perfect pint as the weather brightens up, offering drinkers a well-rounded yet complex beer.

“The team and I had a lot of fun brewing May Bee, carefully pouring the honey into the coppers by hand to ensure the sweet flavour and aromas were imparted into the brew as late in the process as possible. We are confident our newest beer will create quite a buzz with drinkers!”

Roger Paynes, third generation beefarmer from Paynes Bee Farm said: “Paynes is now celebrating its 100th year, retaining its traditional beekeeping methods and family values at the heart of the business. We believe this is what has made Paynes so successful over the years and there is nothing we love more than seeing our honey being used in collaboration with other independent companies, like Shepherd Neame, that share the same core values.

“These key partnerships help produce and enhance local, unique products that are appreciated by everyone in their local communities. We are thrilled to be working with Shepherd Neame, and excited to see our honey being used in this way.”

May Bee will be available in selected Shepherd Neame pubs from Wednesday (April 6), throughout April and May.

The Faversham-based brewery launched Cask Club in 2019, introducing a series of limited edition beers ranging from new recipes with modern styles and flavours to classic seasonal favourites. The initiative highlights Shepherd Neame’s continued passion for innovation and seasonality, offering loyal fans different tastes, while also attracting new cask ale drinkers.

Along with inventive tastes, the look and feel of the Cask Club brands take a fresh approach, with dynamic design and bright colours for ultimate stand-out on the bar.

To be the first to hear about new Cask Club beers, sign up to Shepherd Neame’s mailing list: For updates on May Bee, follow @shepherdneame on social media.

To find out more about Paynes Bee Farm, visit:


About Shepherd Neame

Shepherd Neame has been based in the market town of Faversham, Kent for over 300 years. Perhaps best known for great British classic ales such as Spitfire Amber, which carries the Royal Warrant, its diverse portfolio includes Five Grain Lager, Bear Island East Coast Pale Ale and Bear Island Triple Hopped Lager, and the Whitstable Bay Collection. It also brews international lagers under licence including Samuel Adams Boston Lager and premium Thai lager Singha. The independent family business boasts an award-winning visitor centre and more than 300 pubs and hotels throughout London and the South East, from the historic heart of the City to the Kent coastline.

About Paynes Bee Farm

Paynes is a family run business in the heart of the Sussex countryside, setup by Fred Payne in 1922. Still, to this day, housing many colonies of bees in the Southdown national park, Ashdown forest and across into Surrey and Kent. Harvesting pure, raw honey direct from the hives, Paynes use traditional beekeeping methods that minimise damage to the honey to maintain the goodness and sweetness of nature’s golden wonder. Stocked in 100s of independent shops, village stores, health shops and tourist sites, Paynes also supply direct to customers.

Press release from Shepherd Neame

For further information please contact Senior Communications and Marketing Executive Rose Davis on 01795 542192 or email or visit