Christmas is right around the corner, and this holiday ale by Fat Head Brewery is made with local Ohio honey, sweet malt, ginger, nutmeg and cinnamon spice. This rosy red ale is made from German ale yeast and hops from Mt. Hood.
Fat Head’s Saloon was founded in 1992 in Pittsburgh, Penn. and in 2009, the original Fat Head teamed up with award winning brewer Matt Cole to create Fat Head’s Brewery & Saloon in North Olmstead, Ohio. That location produced more than 5,000 barrels in its first three years. The company expanded to a full-scale production brewery in 2012.
Thousands of beer geeks and brewers gathered in Denver, Colorado at the beginning of October to compare beers from 700 breweries in the United States.
Each year, the Great American Beer Festival represents the largest collection of beer served in the United States for a public tasting event, plus a private competition. The festival showcases the diverse beers that make craft brewing one of the fastest-growing segments in the beer, wine and spirits industry.
The GABF isn’t just about sampling various types of beer, but also is a beer competition. Breweries enter their beers to be judged by the festival’s Professional Judge Panel.
One category gaining buzz during the festival is the Specialty Honey Beer category. Honey beers are judged by the use of honey in the beer, as well as the evident aroma, flavor and overall balance with the other components of the beer. Brewers may disclose what type of honey they used and even the process for how they brewed their beer.
So who was top dog in the Honey Specialty Beer category? That’d be Wicked Weed Brewing Funkatorium’s Mampara. Mampara is 9% ABV and is an experimental style inspired by Tej Honey Wine with orange blossom honey and wildflower honey, along with gesho root and black cardamom.
Coming in second place and awarded the silver medal was Indeed Brewing Company’s Mexican Honey. Mexican Honey is an Imperial Lager with 7.2% ABV that uses Mexican orange blossom honey and Amarillo hops that offers citrus and floral note.
Coming in third place with a bronze medal was Blue Moon Honey Grand Cru by Blue Moon Brewing Company. Honey Grand Cru is a 9.8% Strong Wheat Ale brewed with clover honey from the Rocky Mountains of Colorado. Blue Moon Brewing Company is no stranger to using honey in their products. In 2006 and 2010 Blue Moon’s Honey Wheat won a gold medal in the Specialty Honey Lager or Ale Category.
As craft beer and microbreweries grow in popularity, it’s safe to say brewers will continue to find new and unique ways to incorporate honey into their beers.
Orange Blossom Cream Ale from Buffalo Bill’s Brewery is a refreshing, light, seasonal ale with hints of fresh orange.
It is brewed with honey, sweet orange peel and orange blossom extract.
In 1983 Buffalo Bill’s Brewery pioneered a new direction in American brewing. Today it’s one of the nation’s oldest brewpubs, and it offers a selection of craft beer, including year-round favorites and seasonal specialties. The brewpub is located in Hayward, Calif. and currently owned by Geoff Harries, who was originally a homebrewer.
Hey Honey! was founded by AnnaMaria Riedinger and her daughter with a goal of making lemonade pure and simple for all to enjoy regardless the season.
Crafted in Santa Cruz County, California, with wildflower honey, organic juices and herb extracts, the company offers three unique flavors: Honey Lemon, Strawberry Basil and Lemon Lime Mint.
We sat down AnnaMaria, Hey Honey! Artisanals founder and chief executive officer to talk about her lemonades and the importance of using honey.
How did you get into the lemonade business?
As a mother and daughter team our first Hey Honey! lemonade was created for a local organic farm festival. Sharing a love for local and wholesome foods, it became our intent to craft a delicious lemonade 100% sweetened with wildflower honey and using the best organic ingredients we could find.
When you started creating the formula for Hey Honey!, what made you turn to honey as a sweetener?
We chose wildflower honey as our sweetener because of taste, and it is important to us to offer a lemonade people could feel good about drinking!
What does honey give your products that other sweeteners could not?
The flavor of wildflower honey gives Hey Honey! a smooth balanced finish and a sensory mouthfeel that no other sweeteners provide.
How has your product been received so far?
Response has been fantastic, because our Hey Honey! lemonades remain as honest as our intentions, we have captured the hearts of health-conscious consumers that appreciate our quality lemonades!
What’s next for your company?
As a small family business our goal is to grow into a sustainable company, while educating consumers on the benefits of honey and the importance of bee health.
Our intentions are to continue to add new unique flavors to our line of Hey Honey! Artisanal lemonades. We look forward to growth, creating a larger community through awareness, in hopes to reach all consumers who share our same values!
Country Pumpkin is medium-bodied harvest ale brewed with a medley of honey, flavorful malt, pumpkin puree, Magnum hops and seasonal spices such as nutmeg, cinnamon, ginger and allspice.
Blended together, this creates a rich, malty ale by Ithaca Beer Co. for the autumn season.
Based in Ithaca, N.Y., Ithaca Beer Co.’s drink menu changes weekly with five new barrel beers, a special Thursday night cask, a seasonal and various year rounds. Business practices are driven by a commitment to customer happiness, environmental stewardship, employee fulfillment and leadership in the craft brewing industry.