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Getting Hopped Up!

Updated: Jan 9, 2023

One of the things I really like is developing new products. This year I'm going to release a couple of limited batches of honey. The first one is Lucille's Hopped Gourmet Honey.

The barrel from batch number four of Lucille's barrel-aged honey went to Billy Jack at Rail Hopn in Auburn, WA. Every year he picks hops from Mary Olson Farms' 1890's noble hop plants to make a batch of beer called Mary Olson Red. In 2021 he invited me to be part of his hop picking crew (free labor). While we were picking hops, Billy Jack said "I wonder what hopped honey would taste like?" Now I've never been one to ignore or waste an idea. And I'm not above stealing one if it's a good idea. Billy Jack's idea sounded just crazy enough to be good. I took home a few hops and made up a test batch. It was good, but there wasn't enough flavor. It needed more hops.

I experimented with hopped honey a little bit last year and knew I would need a lot more hops to get the flavor profile I was looking for.

A few years ago I noticed a neighbor down the street from me was growing hops in his back yard. So this year I decided to ask Tony if he had any plans for the hops. "I just grow them for shade. I don't use the hops, do you want them?" Well there's only thing better than fresh local hops... You guessed it - FREE fresh local hops. I filled up a 5 gallon bucket, I figured that just might be enough.

As with most of Lucille's Honey, the sweetness is foremost, followed by the flavor. Lucille's Hopped Honey is no exception. It starts sweet and then you get amazing floral notes from the hops, with a touch of bitterness that hops are known for. It is a nice round flavor without being overpowering. I can see pairing really well with all kinds of cheeses. Or mix this up with some brown mustard and pair it with your favorite sausages.

I've got labels coming to me in the mail and then I can label up the 14 cases in this batch. Since you are on the mailing list, you're getting first crack at buying this amazing honey. It won't last long, so order it now and I will ship it out next week when I get the labels on the jars.

Let me know what you think about these limited release flavors. Is there a flavor you'd like to see? There is one more flavor I've been playing around with and if I can source the ingredient you will see that one released late this year/early next year. The Hopped Honey turned out so well, I will be releasing a batch every year. And I will use different hops in each batch just to make it unique. Do you want to hear more about who supplied the hops? Maybe you want to be a part of the hop picking experience next year? Send me an email and let me know. A big thank you to all of you on the mailing list. You are my regular customers and I appreciate your support of my small local business.

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