The National Honey Board hosted its 4th Annual Honey Beer Competition this July in St. Louis. It proved to be biggest competition ever with more than 165 beers featuring honey competing for beer-style category and “Best in Show” honors. 

When the judging was complete, Biloba Frambois from Biloba Brewing in Brookfield, Wisc., took home Best in Show honors; as well as first place in the Sour category. The National Honey Board’s Honey Beer Competition featured 167 made with honey beers and cider entries, which were submitted from craft breweries and cideries throughout North America.

Biloba Frambois is a Lambic-style ale that is a blend of four- and one-year old Lambic that has been soured with a Lactic Bacteria. The aroma and taste is dominated by raspberries up front with typical Lambic flavors and aromas coming through to a pleasant tart finish. The beer is then refermented in the bottle using clover and alfalfa honeys, which helps round out the overall flavor profile. Biloba Brewing was founded in 2014 by husband and wife team of Gordon and Jean Lane.

The Honey Beer Competition was judged by 20 certified judges from the Beer Judge Certification.

Program and featured 11 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. New to this year’s competition was a design category, which recognized the best honey or honey bee-related packaging graphics.

“In four short years, the number of honey beers submitted to the Honey Beer Competition has grown from 23 to 167. What’s even more impressive is the diversity of beer styles that are now using honey,” says Catherine Barry, the National Honey Board’s director of marketing. “From IPAs to sours, honey has moved beyond blonde ales and wheat beers and into almost every beer style category. It’s amazing to see how the competition has grown in the last four years, and amazing to see honey’s versatility in beer.”

2018 Honey Beer Competition winners included:

Best in Show Winners

Gold Medal: Biloba Frambois – Biloba Brewing, Brookfield, Wisc.

Silver Medal: Michigan Honey – Virtue Cider, Fennville, Mich.

Bronze Medal: Double Barrel Honey Dip Stout – Able Baker Brewing Company, Las Vegas

Category Winners

• General Ale: Bee Enlightened Honey Kolsch – Half Full Brewery, Stamford, Conn.

• General Lager: Bit O’ Honey Brown Lager – Denver Beer Co. – Olde Town, Arvada, Colo.

• Wheat Beer: Orange Avenue Wit – Coronado Brewing, San Diego, Calif.

• Belgian-Style Ale: Apis IV – Elevation Beer Co., Poncha Springs, Colo.

• Fruit and Spice Beer: Lavender, Sunflower Honey and Dates Honey Ale – Indeed Brewing Company, Minneapolis

• Braggot: Heaven and Heathen – Guadalupe Brewery and Mjodhall Meadery (Collaboration), Carlsbad, Calif.

• IPA: Honey Double IPA – Tumbleroot Brewery and Distillery, Santa Fe, N.M.

• Stouts and Porters: Honey Dip Stout – Able Baker Brewing Company, Las Vegas

• Sour: Biloba Frambois – Biloba Brewing, Brookfield, Wisc.

• Barrel-Aged: Double Barrel Honey Dip Stout – Able Baker Brewing Company, Las Vegas

• Other/Experimental: Plum Surprise – Migration Brewing Company, Portland, Ore.

• Cider: Michigan Honey – Virtue Cider, Fennville, Mich.

• Best Design: L’Apiculteur – Central State Brewing, Indianapolis

For a full list of winners, more information and pictures, please go to or contact Keith Seiz of Brightly Creative at or 773-213-2564.

The National Honey Board 

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 10-member-Board, appointed by the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture, represents producers (beekeepers), packers, importers and a marketing cooperative.

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