Help us make the best mead & honey beer, or to be precise, help us make more of it. We’ve already produced a divine sparkling Elderflower and Rose Mead that has won the Best Product Award at Scotland’s Speciality Food Show, a BBC Producers Award and 'Best in Show' at Traquair House. Our wonderfully smooth honey beer has been top pull at the pumps on its trial run in the Guildford Arms in Edinburgh (in fact it sold out!). Both are branded Beehive Brae with elegant designs. Our belief is that brew, branding and ethos will inspire loyalty!
The challenge we're facing is that both these amazing concoctions have been brewed with a home kit - No kidding! So, in order to get this Celtic Prosecco and its golden cousin into off licenses, restaurants and pubs up and down the country so that discerning imbibers everywhere can taste it, we need to upscale! And fast. We've got thirsty fans to please! (And converts to make)
To get us up and running – brewing in volume, satisfying all you brickies, Tyrion Lannisters and Boudicas out there – we’re crowdfunding to raise £2,500 with a stretch target of £45K that will get us the necessary big boys’ kit. That’s where you come in. You can be a honey for as little as [£5] five pounds or as much as two thousand pounds. It all depends on what you can afford and the level of reward you’d like to receive. But every pound counts. Just as every bee contributes to the hive. Which is why this is really swarm funding not crowd funding!
For a start, the core ingredient, honey, comes from one of the planet’s greatest eco-heroes – bees: the number#1 pollinators. And the honey we use comes from our own lovingly tended apiaries in Scotland and England. (To find out more about the importance of bees to our planet’s survival and how important it is to protect them and increase their number click here)
On top of this, the glass we use to bottle Beehive Brae is the most eco-friendly glass available; our labels are made from recycled paper-stock; and we ensure that as much of the waste from the brewing process as possible gets recycled, either as compost for local allotments or as pigswill.
And, we’re building a greenhouse at the back of our premises to make use of the C02. Food banks round our way, along with the local catering college, can expect the best tomatoes ever.
Our ethos is to do business that does good; our focus being planet, people, profit. Obviously to stay in business we have to make a profit but we will only entertain that goal if we can not only help the planet in doing so but also help people. Some of the people we’re helping are you, our supporters and consumers, giving you wonderful beverages that you can enjoy with a clear conscience.
But most importantly we also operate in a socially responsible way by giving employment where we can – especially in the functions of bottling and labelling - to disadvantaged individuals within our community and we insist on paying our people the living wage, with fixed hours of work.
So, all in all, if you back the escalation of Beehive Brae you’re not only backing beautiful brews that evoke historic and mythic roots you’re backing a business that is doing all it can to ensure a sustainable future for our planet.
We need initial investment to help with:
- Legal fees
- Bond/winemaking license.
- To get GFCO (Gluten Free Certification Organization) will certify our mead, which requires an onsite visit from an auditor, an expense covered under this project. GFCO is the organization that allows us to use the recognizable “Certified GF” circle on our packaging.
If we reach our target we have set a stretch target, further pledges through crowdfunder will be used to purchase the following:
- 3 x Fermenting Tanks
- 3 x conditioning Tanks
- 1 x Hot Liquor Tank
- 1 x Bright Tank
- 8 x Hoses
- 1 x Pumps
- 1 x Compressor
- 1 x Used Forklift
- Bottling equipment
- Website development
- Various other miscellaneous equipment
Our 100% pure beeswax candles are uniquely golden and dipped by hand. The dinner candles last for a good evening of eating, drinking and chatting. They burn with a lovely clear flame and give off a rich, subtle honey aroma. Our candles are 100% pure Scottish beeswax and purify the air - instead of creating toxins like most artificial candles.
What is mead?
Mead is alcohol which is produced by fermenting honey. It is the oldest alcoholic beverage in the world. The Ethiopian Kings drank it, Beowulf drank it. Aristotle, Arjuna, Shakespeare...they all drank it. And so did your great-great-great-great- fore mothers and fathers. The agricultural revolution came around and made grapes and grain easier to harvest for wine and beer. Mead regrettably, was ignored for something easier and cheaper to produce. Today, mead is making a comeback.
What does mead taste like?
Blossom honey, elderflower and rose petals create a luxurious bouquet bursting with floral notes. As in wine where the blend of grapes informs the complexity of the taste, mead varies the same way, depending the honey you put in gives different flavours to the mead.
How mead best enjoyed?
Best served chilled with a gentle shake before opening. Can be used as a cocktail ingredient, served with cheese , enjoyed with dessert or with a robust curry, to choice is entirey yours
How is mead made?
It all starts with our very own bees. Bees pollinate flowers (in our case, lime trees, heather moorlands, rape fields) and return to their hive, transforming nectar into sweet honey. This honey's taste and texture are direct reflections of the region the bees pollinate.
After the bees make their honey, we take that honey and blend it with Scottish water. We mix in some yeast, botanicals and voila! After three months of fermenting and three months of aging we will take what is now a delicious alcoholic beverage and pour it into a bottle, hand-cork, hand-label, and cork.
Where will it be available?
Our mead and honey beer will be available to be purchased direct from Beehive Brae and at discerning restaurants, pubs, delis, wine and beer stores. We are about to launch our first batch of honey beer at the Guilford Arms in Edinburgh this April.
Where is it currently being made?
We are working with our friends at Allan Water Brewery.
Why promoting alcohol?
We believe that people can enjoy beer responsibly , our product is niche and due to the costs of using honey a premium product, we are not advocating people get ‘bladdered’ unlike some large organisations that are able to promote cost pricing for the beers.
Why make beer with honey?
The real strength of honey is that it adds potency and lightness to beer, as other sugars do, yet smooths out the roughness that inevitably comes from adding sugar. We’ve found that honey also seems to knock the bitter edge off the hops while allowing some of the more subtle hop character to come through. Honey also adds subtle floral notes and aroma to beer, thanks to the various pollens and nectars used by bees in its production.
Honey is an all-natural substance, and is best for brewing in its raw, unheated and unprocessed state. At this point all of its vitamins, antiseptic qualities and nutrients are intact. The crystal-clear honey you see in the supermarket has been heat-treated and filtered to stay that way. Not that your basic commercial honey won’t make good beer. We use honey from our own apiaries.
Are you members of Drink Aware UK?
No, not as yet.
Why do you need your own premises?
Allanwater Brewery are at capacity already and only able to provide us with limited brewing space.
What licences do you need to apply for?
Premises license, personal license to dispense liquor, environmental, planning.
What are the best foods to eat with mead?
Food for mead, curry, wild boar, lamb, cheese, dessert.
What are the best food to eat with honey beer?
Any curry or spicy foods.
Is the mead available from any pubs or stores currently?
Not as yet but we have had a lot of interest.
Why are you making the mead gluten free?
- To give an alcoholic beverage option to Coeliac (an autoimmune disorder).
- It is estimate that 15% of the UK actively avoid gluten for diet or health reasons.
- 1 in 100 people in UK have coeliac disorder.
- One in five people in the UK now regularly buy gluten free products.
What does circular economy mean?
Craft beer production is often cited for its sustainability benefits, these will be a part of our brand ethos. This means working with an energy supplier to ensure that all of the power used at the brewery comes from renewable sources. Waste is another area where brewers can act sustainably and we can send off spent grain – the leftovers of beer production, to a local farm where it can be consumed by pigs, and hops waste can go to a local allotment and be turned into compost and we can reuse the yeast in further batches.
Risks and challenges
With all new business ventures some degree of risk does exist and as responsible business owners, we feel obligated to explain them. We’re offering many different rewards and a very unique and ambitious membership program. It is possible that this would prove to be overwhelming for our new venture if the campaign were to greatly exceed expectations. It’s highly unlikely that this event could cause us to fail on our promise to deliver the rewards, but it could delay the delivery.
Many of our rewards rely on vendors for fulfilment: a problem with any one of them could lead to delays or a change of plans. We would seek new vendors as soon as a problem arose, but there are no guarantees we could produce identical rewards in some cases.
Probably the greatest risk for backers comes from the nature of start-up businesses: Beehive Brae Mead is young, has no revenue, and still faces many challenges to opening. These circumstances often create cash flow problems for young companies. While we've planned our campaign finances and rewards very carefully, no start-up is immune to cash flow issues. Such circumstances could threaten our ability to deliver rewards, although we would do absolutely everything in our power to avoid such a situation.