Hiver Beers is a little bit special. The whole brewery is based on bees’ talent and the reintroduction of traditional English style honey beer. Made from honey from both urban and rural bees, The Honey Beer (5%) is long matured, unpasteurised and made with an organic speciality malt.
“Honey and beer, what’s not to love?”
Hiver’s bottle style is very clean with the logo and text printed directly onto the glass (and I’m a little convinced the logo looks fairly similar to a Quidditch Snitch – or is it just me?). I’m bewitched already and have started to question why I’m sitting here teasing myself with a capped bottle. Psh. The pour is soft and I am trying to pour with gusto to equip the beer with a head, however it really permits me not.
The liquid is gloriously clear, fair blonde in tint and bellies minimal lacing – it is like sunshine in a glass which, in my beliefs, fits suitably. When I think of bee hives I think of open, sunny, grassy fields (this could be inaccurate and most of my thoughts are full of sunshine and fields). It smells lightly hoppy that morphs into a natural honey smell – one of those cloudy honeys with a bit of crunch though, not the overly sweet high-end manufactured clear honeys. The smell is nasally visible yet it’s not an overpowering heavy smell.
It’s as light in density as its colour and tastes, well, of honey. It really does. The Honey Beer is the most accurately named beer that I have ever come across, ever. Subtly hoppy and citrusy to balance, it’s a very delicate taste. The liquid greets your tongue with a pleasant tingle and there is no thick coating to follow. I was actually a little concerned it would be far too sweet but I have been delightedly surprised as it certainly is not. The taste lingers at the back of your tongue throughout the entire Honey Beer experience.
The flavours develop further down the pint giving the taste a slight nudge of strength. And each time I sip I still get that fantastic tingle on my tongue; I may as well have butterflies in my stomach. The last two gulps, however, were mouthfuls of sweet nectar; a dessert to a main course (or in my case Tangfastics to a scallop dinner, keeping it classy). Was I supposed to shake the bottle first? The Honey Beer is a light, fresh beer, which I would recommend. I’d say it would be well paired with a meal as it doesn’t necessarily have as much strength as other beers to stand by itself (and I would never stomach food whilst drinking a stout). It refreshes you and it doesn’t hostage your senses. I like it and I think you may do too.
We made an interview with Hannah, founder of Hiver Beers, about the brewery, the concept, saving the bees (hooray) and what she’s up to. Make sure to visit the Shoreditch Urban Food Fest this Saturday to pick up The Honey Beer!