More than 100 entered, but only one came out on top. Gossamer Wings from The Tap Brewery in Bloomington, Ind., took home “Best in Show” honors at the 2017 Honey Beer Competition, hosted by the National Honey Board. This year’s competition had 106 made-with-honey beer entries, which were submitted from craft breweries throughout North America.
Gossamer Wings is a traditional German Kolsch with wildflower honey. The honey in the beer lightens the body and provides a soft floral honey note, making the beer easy to enjoy on a hot summer day. In addition to Best in Show, The Tap Brewery also took home the Best Belgian-Style Ale for its Electric Stinger.
The Honey Beer Competition was judged by 14 certified judges from the Beer Judge Certification Program, and featured nine beer style categories and one cider category. The submitted beers were judged on their aroma, appearance, flavor, mouthfeel and the role honey played in the beer.
“This is our third year in a row of doubling the previous year’s entries, which is a testament to the value of honey in brewing. It’s amazing to see how the competition has grown in the last three years, and amazing to see honey’s versatility in beer,” says Catherine Barry, National Honey Board’s director of marketing. “We tasted beers where honey was used to round out the flavor of hop-forward beers, to add floral aromatics to a saison, and to provide a hint of sweetness to a blond ale.”
The winners of the 2017 Honey Beer Competition:
Best in Show Winners
Gold Medal: Gossamer Wings - The Tap Brewery, Bloomington, Indiana
Silver Medal: Old Guard - Service Brewing Company, Savannah, Georgia
Bronze Medal: Bragnarok – Against the Grain, Louisville, Kentucky
• General Lager: Mexican Honey Imperial Lager – Indeed Brewing Company, Minneapolis
• General Ale: Gossamer Wings - The Tap Brewery, Bloomington, Indiana
• Wheat Beer: Honey Wheat - Gizmo Brewing Works, Raleigh, North Carolina
• Belgian-Style Ale: Electrical Stinger - The Tap Brewery, Bloomington, Indiana
• Fruit and Spice Beer: Rosemary Honey Wheat – The Farm at Broad Run, Broad Run, Virginia
• Braggot: Bragnarok – Against the Grain, Louisville, Kentucky
• IPA: Battlewagon - Service Brewing Company, Savannah, Georgia
• Stouts and Porters: Cherry Bomb Imperial Stout – New Bohemia Brewing Company, Santa Cruz, California
• Other Category: Old Guard - Service Brewing Company, Savannah, Georgia
• Cider: Green Mill – Vander Mill, Grand Haven, Michigan
The National Honey Board (NHB) is an industry-funded agriculture promotion group that works to educate consumers about the benefits and uses for honey and honey products through research, marketing and promotional programs. The Board’s work, funded by an assessment on domestic and imported honey, is designed to increase the awareness and usage of honey by consumers, the foodservice industry and food manufacturers. The ten-member-Board, appointed by the US Secretary of Agriculture, represents producers (beekeepers), packers, importers and a marketing cooperative.