It's all the buzzzz.... Honey Vanilla Vodka debuts on Saturday.
Come to the distillery to buy it by the bottle, and try it in tasty new cocktails.
Our newest spirit is made with the most amazing raw honey — all from the same hive, selected for it's deep color and flavor. Cardinal co-founder Adam Quirk has beekeepers in his family, and the honey came from those hives.
You might remember back in June when we hoisted a beehive of our own onto the roof of the distillery. This week, the first bit of honey was harvested from our hive. It was just a pint or so, but nonetheless, it went into our first batch of Honey Vanilla Vodka.
How did the honey make it from hive to bottle? Let's go to the roof!
Meet these masked beekeepers, Dan and Walt:
Dan Schroeder, left, is co-founder Adam Quirk's father-in-law, and Walt Schroeder, right, is Adam's uncle-in-law. Dan and Walt have an apiary — a collection of beehives — in the Fort Wayne area. They harvested roughly 100 gallons of honey from their hives this year.
Back in June, the Schroeder brothers loaded a hive on the back of a truck, drove it down to Cardinal and placed it on our roof. Home sweet home for 40,000 bees.
The hive is made up of boxes, called supers — think of them as stories of a building. Inside each super are trays of honeycombs, where bees store honey. Walt pulled out the trays and inspected them for honey. He handed the honey-laden ones over to Dan, who gently brushed the bees away.
You might be wondering if anyone got stung during all of this. Nope. Dan says we have a gentle hive. Walt wasn't even wearing gloves, see?
The frames were uncapped, then slid into a barrel-shaped contraption called an extractor. Walt cranked the handle to whirl the trays around like crazy, sending the honey flying to the inside wall of the barrel. The honey slid to the bottom and was collected.
Walt and Dan use this exact same process to harvest honey from their own hives, and they typically get gallons at a time. Harvest is done for the year. Until then, we've got Honey Vanilla Vodka to sip on.