At the top of the Seaport Hotel at the World Trade Center on the South Boston waterfront, nearly a million bees are hard at work, producing nearly 100,000 lbs. of honey when harvested. The most recent harvest took place this month and afterwards, the hotel celebrated a collaboration with neighboring Harpoon Brewery which made a very special brew, exclusively for the hotel’s guests at TAMO Bistro & Bar. The fresh new Seaport Honey Saison used 40 lbs. of the Fall, 2014 harvest.
Vice President & General Manager James Carmody explains that the Harpoon collaboration “makes perfect sense.” The bees produce the necessary honey and Harpoon created the new brew. We were among those fortunate to visit the bees and later, taste Seaport Honey Saison at TAMO.
Appropriately, the word ‘beer’ includes the word ‘bee.’ Seaport Honey Saison was the second brew created in the neighbors’ beer-making collaboration. Brewed on Harpoon’s 10-barrel pilot system, the Seaport Honey Saison pours a golden-orange color with a fluffy white head. The aroma has hints of peppercorn, clove, grass, and sweetness from the honey; all true to the Saison style. The first taste yields a bit of spice and clove from the yeast strain followed by a light-bodied mouthfeel. The finish is sweet honey. This easy-drinking and refreshing honey Saison is 4.4% ABV.
“We have enjoyed our longstanding relationship with the Seaport Hotel; they have been a wonderful neighbor,” says Bill Leahy, Boston sales execution manager for Harpoon Brewery. “It has been exciting to watch this area grow over the years with them and we’ve especially enjoyed brewing this Saison with them. This project is a perfect example of how great craft beer and hospitality go hand-in-hand!”
The hotel introduced the beehives in 1998 and its bees have been working steadily ever since. The Saison and the earlier 2013 Honey Ginger IPA are only one of the ways the honey is used. Beekeeper Edwin Medrano who is also the property’s executive steward also uses the honey to make a special cream which he calls perfect for helping rough patches of skin
The property was one of the first in the city, along with Inter-Continental Hotel, to create beehives on its roof. Today, many properties around the world are home to apiaries. Declining numbers of bees globally have created concern and interest in helping bees survive. From the Waldorf Astoria in New York City to the Mandarin Oriental Hotel in London, bees are getting to be as common as the hotel guests who get to enjoy their fresh honey.