The Buzz Around biere de miel

In this land where winter reigns for the better part of the year, where frost clings to eyelashes and snow blankets the ground, one might not expect to find thriving colonies of bees. Yet, with a helping hand, nature finds a way. 49th State Brewing’s littlest workers, the Snowbees, defy the odds. This project proves, with the care of Anchorage Backyard Beekeeper Tim Huffman, that a tropical insect can survive in a sub-arctic environment. 

Situated on the rooftop of 49th State Brewing’s production facility adjacent to the Alaska Railroad’s depot in downtown Anchorage, the Snowbees are a testament to resilience and ingenuity. These bees, traditionally associated with warmer climates, have not only survived but thrived through five harsh Alaskan winters. The Snowbees produce exceptional honey. Even in low-producing summers like 2022 when consistent rains negatively impacted honey production of household apiaries around Anchorage, the Snowbees came out ahead. Huffman explains that overwintering your bees means they start strong in the spring because they already have drawn comb. The most exciting part is how Snowbee honey is put to use! Specialty beers like Biere de Miel, showcase the purity and rich flavor of this sweet nectar.

Taking a sip of Biere de Miel is like being swept away by an Alaska honey flood. To brew this beer, 49th state brewing used buckets upon buckets of Snowbee honey. Intense notes of freshly harvested honeycomb, hints of orange blossom, and hazelnut nuances harmonize to create a unique tasting experience that beautifully showcases Alaska’s terroir. Biere de Miel, meaning “honey beer” in French, was bottle-conditioned to create an extra effervescent sparkle and further accentuate the honey character. You can grab bottles of Biere de Miel to go or enjoy it at 49th State brewpubs on Tuesday 7/2.

For those intrigued by the remarkable story of the Snowbees and interested in trying out sustainable beekeeping for themselves, mark your calendars. On July 16th, the Heritage Theater at 49th State Brewing will host a class on sustainable beekeeping in Alaska. You’ll be able to learn firsthand from the expert behind the Snowbees. Participants will gain insights into the intricacies of beekeeping in a challenging climate, discover innovative techniques for fostering healthy hives, and perhaps even be inspired to embark on their own beekeeping journey.  To sign up for the class email Tim directly at The space is limited, so reach out today.