Local business Honey Source is buzzing away with a new ‘honey wine’

Local business Honey Source is buzzing away with a new ‘honey wine’

Words by Bella de Almeida Reis

The bonus is it may even improve your hangover.

For the past two years, Honey Source has been Geelong’s go-to for all things honey and beekeeping. Not only do they sell 100% local Victorian honey and beeswax products, but they also offer full hive health checks, re-queening services and general hive maintenance.

Now, owner Sam Lamanna-Lilley has taken on the challenge to ferment his honey into an alcoholic beverage – better known as mead. Say what?!

So, you might be wondering, ‘what the heck is mead’? I sure hadn’t heard of it before, but it sounds absolutely delicious if you’re a sucker for a sweeter alcohol. Sam shares with us all the gooey details.

“Mead is likened to wine, but instead of using sugar (like traditional wines) Three Horn Brewing ferment honey to create the mead (honey wine). Mead, unlike wine, comes in an almost endless variable of flavours and varying sweetness. [We] use all-natural flavours derived from the very fruits, spices and honey we use. Time to age aids to stabilise our mead, we do not add the chemicals and preservatives one would typically find in almost every wine you’ve ever bought. They are also part of the dreaded hang over,” says Sam.

Natural alcohol and less of a hangover? Well, you can count me in.

The aforementioned Three Horn Brewing was created by Sam and his two best friends of over 20 years.

“Together over the last 12 months we have been developing our recipes and systems with our end goal being the gold standard of Australian mead making, and perhaps even the world!” shares Sam.

Unlike many other businesses in the pandemic, Honey Source has continued to thrive this year, even though beekeeping is seasonal, and weather is a contributing factor when the honey is produced.

“We were very lucky in a sense… part of the way the business was structured was direct selling online via our website, Facebook and Instagram. Honey Source has seen a massive influx of orders as we’ve been using this time to reach out and find our customers who never knew we existed. As our way of thanking all our loyal and new customers, giving them all free delivery in the Geelong region was the least we could do and establishing scheduled delivery days allocated each week – Monday’s and Thursday’s.”

“One of the hardest things we deal with in Australia as I’m sure everyone would agree with, is the intense summer heat. If we’re not careful, this can result in our hives melting down (when the inside temperature becomes too hot, the beeswax will actually melt),” explains Sam.

“All sounds bleak right? Not all hope is lost! It’s through time and experience we manage to survive each and every year, providing a food source for our hard-little workers, and a ‘Honey Source’ for ourselves and our customers all year round.”

Sam also has exciting plans post-lockdown to extend his honey knowledge to the greater community.

“We are desperately waiting for the restrictions to ease – getting back to classrooms to teach the Geelong children about bees. We are also helping to create a marketplace (Ebay for bees if you will) so new beekeepers will not have to struggle to source their own bees to help create their own “Honey Source”. We are also looking to create an event for chefs, students and producers to get together. Bringing them all together I feel will strengthen the respective industries and really showcase what our beautiful region has to offer,” says Sam.

And if you’re feeling like alcohol isn’t quite enough, Sam has been tinkering away with jewellery and knives to eventually add to the Honey Source product line. These will all be handmade by the very Sam himself.

Such busy bees! What can’t they do?!

Check it all out online here.