Honey and Beer have a long history together, back to the times of Ancient Egyptian.
Mead, a beer-type drink made with honey, has strong British roots too. Why not? Honey is fermentable and we like to drive booze. It’s also very tasty.
You don’t get much in the way of mead nowadays, but that doesn’t mean that the wonderful marriage of honey and beer has ceased. Far from it, as Hiver Beers are keen to demonstrate.
Hiver sources raw honey from independent British beekeepers. Beekeepers say that good quality honey should not be pasteurised, the same way that brewers talk about good quality beer. The fact that bees forage in a three mile radius to the hive, means that the three honeys Hiver sources are as varied and unique as the malted barley and hops that were picked during the recipe development stage.
Hiver have a beer and a brown ale made with different honey which is intended to compliment the malt.
This beer is very much about the malt and the honey. Hiver beers are sweet with minimal hops to offset the honey. These are not hoppy, but rather vehicles to showcase the different honeys within.
And honey is what you get! From the aroma, through to the mouth feel, the taste and the aftertaste. The sweet honey is up front and bold.
The beers are well made and presented beautifully. The brown ale tasted slightly spiced but still well rounded.
Hiver also provide The Hiver Experience for visitors to their brewery. In their words:
The session starts with a short introduction to Bees and Beekeeping in the city, the equipment and tools commonly used by Beekeepers as well as a first glimpse inside the hive. We’ll then get suited and booted ready for a Hive inspection and the chance to help Hiver’s Beekeeper, Barnaby Shaw in handling the frames and checking the health of the Hive. After the fun of getting up close and personal with the ‘Ladies’, we’ll relax over a tutored beer and food matching session before leaving you to explore the rest of Bee Urban and answer any questions.
I admire so much about Hiver. They put a lot of work into the materials that they source, and in making all of their ingredients come from the UK. They are passionate about their product and obviously have a lot of love for their little honey-making bee buddies. Plus, at the end of it all, beer!