“Bee Civil”: How Your Three Favorite Brewers (with the Help of 138,240 Honey Bees) Made the Most Exciting New Beer in Saint Louis
COMING SOON: FEB. 14, 2018 to be exact!
We are very excited to release a brand new beer here at the Civil Life. As some of you may know, Jake’s family has been keeping bees and making honey. His cousin Nick and his parents Justine and Pete have been hard at work managing about twenty hives spread around Saint Genevieve County, Missouri. With a lot of local honey available, a honey beer seemed like a great idea.
Our “Bee Civil” Honey Wheat is something of a hybrid. Essentially an American style wheat beer, it uses a Kölsch yeast strain and a new “noble” variety of Citra hops with reduced bitterness. Expect a beautiful bright yellow beer with snow-white foam. As honey is extremely fermentable, the beer is dry. Although honey accounts for a full 20% of the total mash, its sugars were easily transformed into alcohol, yet the delicate flavor and aroma of wild flower honey are evident.
We worked closely with a representative of the USDA’s National Honey Board in developing our recipe and brewing procedure. Though we did not boil the honey, we did carefully raise it to pasteurization temperature before cooling it and adding it to the fermenter. In this way, we preserved the delicate aromas and flavors that would be lost at higher temperatures.
In addition to 150 pounds of local honey, we used pilsner malt and three types of wheat. The bready character of the malt marries beautifully with the subtle honey notes. Kölsch yeast gives the beer a clean finish without the overpowering notes of fruit or spice common in some wheat beers. Noble Citra hops impart pleasant notes of citrus and tropical fruit without the harsh bitterness common in traditional American hop varieties.
Overall, this beer is crisp and refreshing with layered flavors and a dry finish. We couldn’t have done it without Jake’s family, though, and all those hard-working bees. Nick really does estimate the number of bees involved as 138,240. It’s rumored he has named each one of them. Nick claims that to make just one pound of honey, bees travel 55,000 miles total and visit 2,000,000 different flowers. And they don’t take as many coffee breaks as our brewers.
Come down and try our new beer. Celebrate its nuanced flavors and brilliant color. And don’t forget to lift a pint to the hardest workers around. It’s said that bee-pollination of flowering plants helps produce about a third of the food we eat. Without these under-appreciated, industrious creatures, we’d be in trouble. Be Civil, “Bee” Civil, and Drink Civil. Cheers!
The Civil Blog has returned. It is predominantly authored by Civil Life Barman, Dr. Patrick Hurley, who can be found tending to our bar patrons on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays. He is also responsible for tending to our draft lines, which is recognized as one of our most important tasks. Special guest writers will appear from time to time. We hope reading this blog will give you much insight about the Civil Life and most importantly help you understand a bit more about all of us that work here and the beers we put our hearts into.