2019 Honey Beer Competition

Is there any better feeling than when ingredients just blend beautifully together? It can almost be hypnotic. 

That is what Josh Bischoff, head brewer of Indeed Brewing Company in Minneapolis, felt when he found the perfect pairing of lavender, sunflower honey and dates for his award winning fruit beer. 

What was the inspiration behind this beer, and who came up with the recipe?

For this particular beer there is not a coincidence between the name and the inspiration behind the name! The L(avender) and D(ates) came relatively quickly but the S(unflower honey) took some time and it wasn’t until we brewed a high gravity honey ale using 10 different types of honey that I came across sunflower honey, and the rest, as they say, is history.  

To a casual beer drinker, how would you describe this beer in less than 10 words.

Full of flavors you haven’t tasted in a beer before.

What do you enjoy most about this beer (appearance, flavor, aroma, etc.)

Honestly, everything. The aroma and how the ingredients interact with each other as it ages. Overall I think it’s just a fun beer that is filled with flavors generally not thought of when thinking about beer. 

What role (flavor, functionality, marketing, etc.) does honey play in this beer?

On the lowest level it completes the acronym! Really though it provides a respectable percentage (15%) of the overall fermentables of the beer. With that percentage it without question has a presence in the flavor profile adding to the depth and layers of flavor. Over the course of my career I’ve used a fair amount of honey, and I’ve found that it tends to weave in and out of the spotlight as the beer ages and this beer is no different.

What do you enjoy most about using honey in the capacity of brewing beer?

I like to see how it interacts with the ingredients and how it tends to come alive and take some of the spotlight as the beer ages. At this point I think it’s still fun to look for new varieties of honey and flavors they bring to the table!

Lavendar, Sunflower Honey and Date took home the gold medal in the Fruit/Vegetable Beer category of the National Honey Board’s 2018 Honey Beer Competition. Indeed Brewing also took home bronze medals for its Mexican Honey Lager and Shenanigans Summer Ale.