Every brewer knows how hard it is to win a gold medal in a beer competition, but to do it back-to-back in the same category is almost unheard of. Alvarium Beer Co., however, accomplished the feat in the heavily contested IPA category of the National Honey Board’s Honey Beer Competition.
Alvarium’s Honey Shot, a double IPA, won in both 2019 and 2020, and also took third overall this year, something that Chris DeGasero, Co-Founder/Head Brewer of Alvarium Beer Co., says is attributed to the fact that Honey Shot tends to come across as softer and juicier. Our judges agreed, using that exact adjective in their tasting notes.
New Britain, Conn., Alvarium’s home, is a city with a lot of strong ties to workers and bees — it’s in the motto and in the city’s flag. Honey Shot’s name is an homage to worker bees not only in name but in the ingredients. DeGasero says his thought was to boost the flavor and alcohol content of the base beer. He chose wildflower honey for the aromatics and the flavor, which he thought would be better served than a clover honey.
When brewing Honey Shot, Alvarium adds the honey in the whirlpool. “We flirted with the idea of using it in the fermenter, and that may be the next step for us, but now we’re happy with the whirlpool because it’s slightly heated, which also helps with the disbursement of the honey,” DeGasero says.
When drinking Honey Shot, DeGasero calls out the beer’s nice, soft body and residual sweetness.
“I think honey plays a little bit in the background to add the nice floral character to complement the citrus notes of the Citra hops,” he says. “Our customers love hazy IPAs, and we tie it to bees — that’s kind of our thing. They compliment the floral notes, and consumers really love it. We have a strong place in the city that we’re in, and being an award winner makes us very happy and honored to have placed another year in a row.”
For more information on Honey Shot, visit https://alvariumbeer.com/.