Pop down to Kennington Park in London and you will find Bee Urban, a social enterprise promoting bee keeping and playing an educational role in the community about all things bee related. We're delighted that this now encompasses beer as well, as you will find bee hives there from Hiver Beer. It's heaven for bees with cosy homes, as well as a well stocked garden; a gastronomic treat for bees!
So the simple but fascinating idea of the visit is about how honey is made, it's qualities, it's diversity and how it reflects it's surroundings with different flavours produced from different pollens. Then this is followed by a Hiver beer tasting with food, to see 'the finished product' and learn a little about the beer making process.
So who hasn't fancied donning a bee keepers hive inspection suit? Much zipping and velcro-ing done, means you're ready to go and spend some time with the ladies of the hive - yes the ladies do all the work in bee world, the boys are just for...well being boys.
Getting up close and personal with these incredible creatures is fascinating, and you can really understand the inner workings of the hive.
Having satisfied ourselves with the health and well being of the Hiver hive, we reluctantly put them back to doing what they do best - making honey, and returned to our beer tasting.
Hannah Rhodes started Hiver beers after learning her craft at Meantime brewery. But what sets Hiver apart is that the honey used in the beer is a key ingredient, and not an addition for extra flavour. This means the result is not a sweet beer, but one which is highly flavourful carrying honey notes.
There are now two styles, the original honey beer and a darker beer, the latter being made from a very distinctive heather honey, the original from lime honey with a much more citrus flavour. Not surprisingly, the darker beer was much more able to carry stronger and more salty flavoured foods, the original was heaven with cheese!
The beer has achieved much acclaim and a favourite amongst foodie heroes such as Tom Kerridge, it has a Great Taste Award and Hannah herself has been acknowledged as a great example of a small craft brewer reaching mainstream audiences.
Hiver Honey beer is now also available on keg, so get a buzz, get a Hiver beer now!