After returning from abroad to find that we’d disappeared into cartoon land and reviewed Duff beer last week it was time to bring a semblance of much needed seriousness to this column this week. To that end I sampled a beer that not only contains healthy honey, but offers its customers the peace of mind - essential when you’re tucking in to a lager - that no farmers were hurt, abused, or short changed in the making of this brew.
BeeWhyched Honey’d Ale sounds like a hippie’s wet dream. It’s full of natural ingredients (Those fellas love that kind of thing right? ), its sugar and honey is Fairtrade and it’s got a big Fairtrade sign on the bottle so you can show everyone how thoughtful you are while they’re tucking into their evil-Empire beer from some faceless brewing corporation.
But I confess when I locked eyes with the stuff two thoughts entered my head: “It says BeeWhchyed and there’s a picture of a bee on it,” I thought with a chuckle returning momentarily to Simpsons land; this was quickly followed by, “Is that a wasp though, not a bee?”
Trivial thoughts, though, were put to one side like an empty pint glass, and I popped the lid to see if finally the much pondered question could be definitively answered: “Does honey and beer go together?”
The short answer is yes.
The good brewer tells us the stuff is “buzzing with flavour this pale golden lightly honey'd ale has a delicate floral aroma and hints of citrus and dried fruit followed by the full bittersweet flavours of malt, honey and grapefruit”, and even though I didn’t experience enough subtle and delicate flavours to launch into a marketing spiel like above, the beer is quite delicious, with just a wee tinge of sweet honey that lifts it rather delightfully.
The stuff can be either drunk at room temperature or chilled and the bottle I picked up in The Salt House was sitting happily on the shelf. But I tried it chilled. Cold beer brings up more romantic notions of warm weather and jolly times. Room temperature beer brings up notions of spending €5 on a watery warm pint of American pissy beer in some bar in Dublin.
But either hot or cold, BeeWhyched serves up a tangy taste, a clear conscious and an excellent alternative to the usual array of bottled beers.
Verdict? Four out of five