2018 Honey Spirits Summit Nashville Recap

 In the Spirit for Honey Spirits at Honey Spirits Summit 2018

For the second year in a row, Nashville and its rich distilling history played host to the Honey Spirits Summit, an educational and sensory conference hosted by the National Honey Board and attended by 25 distillers throughout the United States.

This invite-only event gives distillers the opportunity to learn about crafting spirits with honey from the bee to the bottle. In the past three years we’ve seen significant interest in using honey in distilled spirits, both in distilling from honey and using honey to back-sweeten a variety of spirits. 

The 2018 Honey Spirits Summit provided the technical information necessary for attendees to distill more dynamic spirits with honey. Here are five takeaways from this year’s Summit. 

We’ve got great partners

Corsair Distillery and Nelson’s Greenbrier Distillery hosted our festivities again this year with Nelson’s Greenbrier hosting the opening reception and Corsair Distillery welcoming us for our educational sessions. Not only do both distilleries open their arms and facilities to our groups, but they also create a specialty honey spirit for the event.

Trends are in our favor

The growing number of millennial and generation-z legal drinkers has changed the alcohol industry with less people drinking beer and more turning to spirits. In one presentation, we detailed how spirit consumers view honey spirits and how distillers can better market their products to influence purchasing decisions.

A tasting experience like no other

One of the most eye-opening aspects of the Honey Spirits Summit happened during the two honey tasting sessions. Many of our attendees had no idea there are more than 300 varieties of honey in the United States alone, each with a unique color, flavor and aroma. You could see inspiration occur in real time as we tasted through the confectionery flavor notes of radish honey and the musty funk of buckwheat honey.

There are many ways to use honey in spirits

For the last two years, the National Honey Board has invested in technical research on distilling with honey and using honey to flavor spirits. We presented our results at this year’s events and sparked excellent conversations of areas to study next. Especially topical were presentations on filtration of honey spirits and creating spirits distilled 100% from honey.

Distillers love bees!

On the final day, we took our attendees to an apiary where they were able to observe hundreds of thousands of bees at work. This was the perfect end to a great Summit.

Interested in attending the 2019 Honey Spirits Summit?

We keep this event small to give each distiller the opportunity to maximize their time learning about honey and collaborating with their fellow distillers. Please fill out the form if you would like to be considered for the 2019 Honey Spirits Summit.

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