Much in the same way that our American IPA was born, our first version of the Honey Blonde was also served at our “underground” party in December 2016. Not only was this the first beer we brewed in our pilot 15 Gallon Homebrew system, but it was also the first one to run out. We decided to give ourselves the benefit of the doubt and made sure that the Honey Blonde would be available when we opened our Tap Room ten months after that first party. Unsurprisingly, since the opening of our Tap Room, the Honey Blonde has been by far our best seller every month without pause.
The inspiration for the Honey Blonde first came to me after I started drinking a well-known Spanish Craft Beer called “Rosita.” For many months after I discovered this imported Ale, I ended up drinking it every weekend at Happy Wines in the Grove when I got together with my Cuban uncles to talk politics and sports. I enjoyed the subtle sweatiness that the Honey was offering, and it motivated to be to do some research on Honey Beers. One thing led to another and I went down one of those Intellectual rants where I started reading about the global decimation of bee populations and artificial breeding practices. Without going too much into detail, I learned about the importance of bee cultures and their pollination techniques to food agriculture. I also about how dozens of bee species had seen their populations drastically tank in the past decades and how this is/can affect the general agricultural industry; aka, our food supply.
Crafting the Little Haiti Honey Blonde
We have worked with many beekeepers and honey distributors since conceiving this beer. The first Honey Blonde batch included honey from the backyard of a good friend and alumni of the MBA (Miami Brewers Academy), Scott Stenins. A quick shout out to Scott whom I will always be thankful for after he graciously came in to help me clean kegs and tanks right after Hurricane Irma. After using Scott’s honey, we have worked with multiple local beekeepers mainly in the South Miami/Homestead area. We have always made sure that any supplier we work with prioritizes sustainable practices when cultivating their beehives and extracting the honey. We are lucky enough to live in one of the top-five honey producing states in the US, which is why we have had access to different types of Honey to experiment with, including Avocado Honey, Melaleuca Honey, Orange Blossom Honey, Wildflower Honey, Palmetto Honey, among others. As we move forward with the Honey Blonde at the helm of our Tap Room selection, we feel it is important to keep working with small beekeepers and keep educating our community about the importance of Sustainable Bee Keeping.
Finally, we decided to name this beer the “Little Haiti Honey Blonde” as a testament to the appreciation we have for our host neighborhood. The Little Haiti community has always inspired us to think outside the box when it comes to the colors of our Tap Room, the ingredients in our beers, and the flare of our events. I have come to respect the Little Haiti community because of its resilience and its loyalty to culture. For many years I have tried to create a relationship with the LHCC (Little Haiti Cultural Center), and I fondly remember that our very first public event outside of Bousa was at their Art Beat Celebrity Brunch in November 2016. It is important that amidst our limited means and resources that we continue to support and create awareness for local initiatives such as Gang Alternative and Haiti Cardiac Alliance, two fantastic organizations that are at the heart of the Little Haiti Diaspora. In conclusion, it seemed appropriate that our bestselling Tap Room beer is named after our neighborhood, and while we are at it enjoy the cool tongue twister effect it has; Little-Haiti-Honey-Blonde.