Pink Boots Society Chapters Capture Honey Beer Spirit

DC Astro Lab 2

Pink Boots Washington D.C.

Once again, the National Honey Board partnered with Pink Boots Chapters from across the United States to celebrate National Honey Month, the female worker bees who make honey, and the female brewers who brew honey beers. Here are the stories from our collaborations in 2022.

Bee de Garde, Cincinnati Pink Boots
Mad Tree Brewing — Cincinnati, Ohio
Interview with Brittany Frey

“I have worked with Bee Haven apiary with a few honey beers and we (Mad Tree Brewing) actually have one of their beehives on our property. The yeast we wanted to use is a wild yeast strain we captured and have used in a few beers within the past year. With the esters this yeast gives off, we felt a farmhouse ale would work well. We pulled locally-sourced ingredients and our knowledge together to come up with a beer we are very proud of.”

Brewing with Honey: We used wildflower honey from hives all over the greater Cincinnati area. We felt this would really help capture the flora of our city. The honey added quite a bit of flavor — aromatic notes of apple, white wine and floral — and functionality to our beer. The honey we added on the hot side aided in the overall ABV, dryness and body behind the beer. We decided to use 120 pounds of honey in our 15 barrel batch in two different methods. We used half of the honey in the whirlpool and the rest of the honey during primary fermentation. Our goal was to boost the sugar content of the honey but not lose the aroma characteristics.

Justice is Served On Tap, Denver Pink Boots
Lady Justice Brewing Company — Aurora, Colorado
Interview with Jamie Gonzalez

"When we were challenged with the idea of brewing with honey my mind went to sweet treats that have honey drizzled on them. Mangonada is one of my favorites — it’s a cup filled with chunks of mango drizzled with honey and chili — and was a direct influence for this beer.”

Brewing with Honey: We added honey on brew day and we fruited the beer with mango purée. Honey allows you to add a nice viscosity and silkiness to beers you don’t get with sugars or other sweeteners. The floral and fruity notes from the honey really came through in the final product. I am planning on making this beer again; there’s always a lot of fine tuning and tweaking with recipes as they develop.

Start Spreading the News, Honey Saison is Here, New York City Pink Boots
Pink Boots Society New York — New York City
Interview with Sarah Deodath

“We added the wildflower honey during the boil to use it as fermentable sugar. At that point beer is just wort so it's just like a really sweet but kinda bitter (because of the hops) liquid. Once the yeast gets added (after we send it into a fermentation tank) it eats a lot of that sweetness and turns it into alcohol and CO2.”

City of Love Gets Sweet on HONEieLOVE, Philadelphia Pink Boots
Chatty Monks Brewing Company — West Reading, Pennsylvania
Interview with Brandalynn Armstrong

“We opted for a honey-forward table saison. Saison means season in French, and we felt that paired well with seasons of honey and VOILA! HONieLOVE was born.”

Brewing with Honey: We added the honey post-fermentation with no heat aside from warming to add honey into the bright tank before carbonating. Since we wanted a low-ABV, honey-forward table beer, we had to be careful with how much sugars we added to primary fermentation, so we decided to add the honey in a honey/water dilution into secondary fermentation. The result was a shelf-stable but remarkably intact honey flavor and aroma.

We opted for an orange blossom honey, one of my favorite kinds of honey. This honey has floral and citrus aromatics, and it paired perfectly with the fresh Rakau hops. The stone fruit aromas and flavors paired with the citrus give HONieLOVE a delicious summer fruit salad with a drizzle of honey vibe.

Reach for the Stars with Blackberry Honey IPA, Pink Boots Washington D.C.
Astro Lab Brewing — Silver Spring, Maryland
Interview with Emma Whelan

“We used the honey for Busy Bees in the boil in the primary stages of the brew, and we also added the honey post-brew in the fermentation stage. In the early stage it was to add character and to help the beer ferment, and in the later stages we used blackberry honey. We wanted to impart some of those flavors into the beer, not just as part of the process. Ultimately we worked closely and used a lot of measurements; we got the calculations correct to make the beer as drinkable as we could. It didn’t sweeten the beer, in fact some of the blackberries made it a really silky IPA.”

We want to thank all of the wonderful female brewers who helped us spread the buzz around brewing with honey – we can’t wait to see what you brew next!