Brewers around the country use honey in ways that create flavors far more complex than sweetness. Many care so much about those delicate nuances that they have started apiaries, a sure-fire way to give them honey that can only be found in their area, to create flavor profiles that can only be found in their beers.
It’s not required that you manage hives to create a great honey beer, but brewers find that doing so keeps them in better touch with the honey’s origin and taste for producing more creative beers. Some breweries keep bees to support their farmland. The honey has become an important byproduct that’s fueled innovation in brewing. For others, the honey is the motivation — and they are happy that in seeking it, they can support a healthy agricultural ecosystem.