Caledonia Spirits, the Vermont-based distiller that uses raw northern honey to make its flagship spirits Barr Hill Gin, Tom Cat Gin, and Barr Hill Vodka, announced Thursday that its popular Bee’s Knees Week initiative will have a new look in 2020. Held every September, Bee’s Knees Week has traditionally raised money for organizations that work to protect bees, but this year the format will be built around planting bee habitat to ensure that pollinators are able to continue playing their crucial role in our environment.
Last year, over 1,000 restaurants and bars across the country participated in Bee’s Knees Week, donating $1 from every Barr Hill Bee’s Knees cocktail (official recipe here) sold to the cause. This year, for every photo of a Barr Hill Bee’s Knees cocktail that gets posted on social media from September 18-27, Caledonia Spirits will plant 10 square feet of bee habitat. Restaurants and bars will still participate by adding Barr Hill Bee’s Knees cocktails to their respective menus, but this year’s program will, for the first time, allow for individual participation from home.
“Like everyone else, we have had to adapt during these unprecedented times, but with change comes opportunity – and we’re very excited about our plans for Bee’s Knees Week this year,” said Caledonia Spirits President and Head Distiller Ryan Christiansen. “Being able to participate from home is going to get so many more people involved in the cause, and that’s what Bee’s Knees Week is all about. Bees are so essential to our environment yet they face an incredible amount of challenges – whether it’s colony collapse, pesticides, or habitat loss due to overdevelopment. That’s why this year’s initiative will be geared towards planting new bee habitat to help offset some of those losses.”
Participating in the 2020 iteration of Bee’s Knees Week will be simple: 1) Order a Barr Hill Bee’s Knees cocktail or make one at home; 2) Share a photo of the cocktail on social media, using #beeskneesweek2020, tagging @barrhillgin, and tagging the bar, restaurant, or store where you purchased Barr Hill Gin. For every published photo that fulfills those requirements, Caledonia Spirits will plant 10 square feet of bee habitat. For participating bars, restaurants, or individuals whose cocktail photos account for a square footage that equals or exceeds their location’s footprint, the distillery will be giving out a special gift. Bars and restaurants can officially register to participate here.
Caledonia Spirits uses raw northern honey in each of its three spirits. Barr Hill Gin is a single-botanical (juniper) gin that gets finished with raw northern honey, creating a balanced spirit that boasts a floral, slightly sweet flavor profile. Tom Cat Gin is its barrel-aged counterpart that sits in new white American oak barrels for six months before being bottled – at which point its beautiful amber color is revealed. This smooth, aromatic gin, which showcases the best qualities of both the raw northern honey and the oak barrel, is a favorite among both gin and whiskey drinkers. Made entirely from raw northern honey, Barr Hill Vodka gets distilled only twice – a process that helps it retain some of the qualities from the honey. The hint of honey flavor, combined with an almost creamy texture, makes it stand out when compared to traditional vodkas.
Barr Hill spirits are available at bars, restaurants, and retail stores in 32 states across the country. The spirits can also be purchased via Caledonia Spirits’ new online store here. For more information on the distillery, its Barr Hill spirits, or its solar-powered distillery in Montpelier, please visit caledoniaspirits.com.