We’ve seen craft beer have a renaissance, with micro-breweries popping up in city hotspots across the country. Now bees are having their turn, with hives also popping up in the most unexpected places. As ever, London’s right at the fore, and local company Hiver have decided to combine the two. We took a hive tour in Kennington Park to see what the buzz was about.
Hannah Rhodes is the founder and pioneer behind Hiver, a London-based company making honey beer in collaboration with a range of British beekeepers, including some on her doorstep in South London. With a decade of experience in brewing and the drinks industry, beekeeping and harvesting honey has been an interesting addition to her portfolio, and has led to the successful launch of Hiver, which now has two beers to its name - a blonde and a brown ale.
‘I found out about urban beekeeping through Urban Food Fortnight a couple of years ago, it seemed like this incredible product that was being made in really unusual scenarios’ which is something she could relate to her work with craft breweries. Having a love of different beers and styles, this naturally led to an interest in the ‘varietals of honey’ and she started researching honey beer as a style, one which she says ‘has a lovely tradition and story’. The initial brew took a lot of tastings and tweakings to get Hiver to where it is now, but the result is a beer made with both passion and accountability: using all British ingredients, supporting local producers and with a percentage of the profits donated to pollinator charities and urban space projects.