10 June 2012

Beechworth - Honey and Beer

Beechworth is located in the north-east part of Victoria. It is a well-preserved historical town, a former gold mining town in the mid-1850s, with a history that includes the infamous Ned Kelly.

However for me, Beechworth brings to my mind a 1.5kg tub of Pure Beechworth Honey. Yes, I do like my honey.

Located on the main street of Beechworth is the Beechworth Honey Experience Centre. Beechworth honey history started with Benjamin Robinson, back in the 1880's. After failing to find gold, he realise that there was better living to be made supplying liquid gold, honey, to the mining colony in exchange for solid gold. Benjamin soon became an expert apiarist, a fancy name for a beekeeper.

Today, Jodie and Steven Goldworthy's represent the fourth generation of this unique family tradition. Benjamin is Jodie's great grandfather. The Beechworth Honey factory and offices however, have relocated to the town of Corowa, the hub of a huge Australian honey gathering network.

The centre offers a wide variety of products ranging from honey based gourmet type food, drinks, beauty products, beeswax candles, gifts and hampers. We got to taste some of the honey products on display and watch a live bee colony between two glass sheets. Live because the bees can travel from inside their hive to the outside world via the clear viewing tube.

We took a 25 minutes free educational honey tour.  We learnt about the history of honey, beekeeping and watched a video on how honey is extracted before being packed. We also learnt about the importance of food security, in particular about why Australia's food security needs bee security.

We stumble across the Bridge Road Brewers, rather than went looking for it.

It is located just across the street from the Beechworth Honey Experience Centre, about 20 meters towards the town centre, in a 150 year old Coach House and stables. It also doubles as a pizzeria and so makes it a good place to enjoy lunch or dinner.

The laneway entrance, leads into the breweries large beer garden and children's play area. Inside, the brewery has an open fire place ideal for the winter months. The beer garden also doubles as Beechworth's outdoor cinema in the warmer months of the year.

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