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Now I am usually not bothered by Honey beer. All too often I find the flavour of honey in beer to be overly dominant; allowing no space in your senses for any appreciation of other flavours. Quite simply; Honey beers lack balance for me. Hiver’s beers claim to be different by the fact that they use honey as an ‘ingredient’ and not as an ‘additive’. ‘This means that much of the sugar is fermented out so only the aroma and flavour remain.’. This short review of both of their beers will assess this claim.
Hiver produce craft beer using honey from urban London beekeepers alongside sourcing honey from rural areas. They appear to be active in the London food/Farmers Market scene and keen to promote honey through their beers. No bad thing with the current threats to Bees through possible future legislation on pesticides. Their website is thoroughly well organised and easy to use. Hannah Rhodes is the brain behind Hiver beers and it is obvious that she or someone has put considerable investment into Hiver. The beers are brewed by Hepworth and Co in Sussex.
Beer 1: The Honey Beer
This blonde ale was all about Honey. Aroma and taste was dominated by it. It was fairly thin in the body and the honey even left a slightly sticky finish! There’s no doubt that this is an easy drinker that many will enjoy but it just lacked any other quality other than being liquid honey for me.
Beer 2: The Honey Ale
This Brown Ale was better than the former. It was unsurprisingly sweet like many brown ales yet I could detect maltiness alongside the honey. Once again, it felt sticky in the finish. Nonetheless, it did have a bit more body to it which aided the sweetness.
In short, Hiver beers didn’t really make me think any differently about Honey beers. These beers will have their fans due to their sweetness and I am sure Hiver’s presence will increase with its sophisticated advertising. Would I try them again? Probably not; although I would like to see what other beer styles they attempt in the future.