An alcoholic beverage with health benefits may seem like an oxymoron.
But, that is exactly Leaf & Hive Brew Lab has been concocting in Santa Fe since 2019.
“We specialize in a honey fermented tea,” said Andrew Lucas, Leaf & Hive founder. “It’s a probiotic and alcoholic beverage. Pretty much a new classification of alcohol. We call our product honeybrew. Technically it’s called jun.”
Leaf & Hive, located at 1208 Mercantile Drive in Santa Fe, offers 12 flavor profiles of its honeybrew.
“We have three flagship flavors that we are currently bottling and distributing throughout New Mexico,” Lucas said. “Those flavors are our House, which is kind of like our baseline green tea flavor (with) a lot of the tea and honey notes and that one is a very basic, simple tea. And then the next one is our Hibiscus. That’s going to be more citrusy and tart. And then the third flavor is our Lavender Lemongrass, and that’s going to be a lot more floral and sweet and quite lovely. They’re all quite delicious.”
Other flavors are in weekly rotation and the brew lab is busting out the fruity ones just in time for spring including a blueberry lemonade, watermelon basil, hibiscus mojito, and a tepache flavor that is fermented with pineapple, cinnamon, clove and other spices.
The vibrantly-colored honeybrews offer a number of potential health benefits.
“They’re packed full of probiotics and enzymes, nootropics from the different teas,” Lucas said.
“We’ve done extensive testing through Los Alamos Labs on what our drink actually contains … We also use all locally-sourced honey. We get all of our honey from Belen. So that’s another cool little thing that can help with your allergies.”
Lucas and his team have a deep respect for bees and what they contribute to the world.
“The bees have it all,” Lucas said. “They have all the answers. What they can do, it’s mind-blowing. Every part of the hive is medicinal from the beeswax to the bee venom to the propolis to the honey to the royal jelly. It’s quite amazing.”
Lucas hopes to create a nonprofit that promotes bee awareness.
“We’re also working on starting a nonprofit to raise education,” he said. “Educating the populace on how important bees are to the community. We want to be able to teach people how to maintain their own hives. It’s really bringing awareness to it because it is a problem with their numbers being decimated in areas.”
Leaf & Hive’s honeybrew can be enjoyed at its Santa Fe location in 12 ounce pours or as a flight of three, 5-ounce pours.
For take home, 32 ounce growlers filled with a flavor of your choice or 500 milliliter bottles of certain flavors are available for purchase.
Bottled honeybrew also can be found at Jubilation Wine & Spirits and Stone Face Package Liquors in Albuquerque.
More information on Leaf & Hive can be found at leafandhive.com.