Their bee to bottle philosophy shines through in everything that they do, from their facility tours to all of their fantastic products. We had the opportunity to take one of their tours with owner/operator Clint, and also got to speak with their head mead maker Chase.
In the words of Chase, the entire operation is “an extension of the beehive expressing itself.” This is apparent from the moment you step onto the grounds, with a bee friendly garden gracing the outdoor area outside the entrance of the shop. Upon entering the building, you’ll be treated to the sight of some of the bees themselves, hard at work in their hive with a glass showcase to peer into while trying the wide variety of honey flavors available.
Walk over the bar of the Dancing Bee Winery and you’ll find a beautiful bartop made from a lightning struck tree that has been inlaid with stone. For only $10, their knowledgeable staff will guide you through the history of mead, from the ancient Sumerians, to Vikings and medieval times, to the modern day and age – all this while tasting a selection of 6 of their extensive list of honey wines, grape wines, or meads on tap in a bee-autiful souvenir glass.
Their wines include sweet meads, metheglins – honey and spices, portomels – dessert meads, melomels – honey and fruit, and red or white grape wines. Chase is always innovating new wines, and he makes use of their meads on tap to test out his flavor profiles. Chase’s goal with his creations is to let the honey shine through to “tell the story of last spring” with its flavors. He describes the process of coming up with his meads as reverse engineering, letting the honey “bee” in charge to dictate the mead flavors. The Winery gets its name from the dance worker bees use to communicate with each other to find the locations of food sources.
Walker Honey Farm all started in 1930 when Grandpa Walker started to keep bees. Their wide range of honey flavors include many unique characters, including mesquite, sorghum honeydew, and yaupon holly. If you’re looking for something outside of raw honey, you will be more than satisfied with their expansive Honey House Cafe product lineup. Check out their honey peanut butter, mead mustard, creamed honey, honey soaked pecans, and bee pollen.
They also carry a line Walker Honey Farm coffee in partnership with Coffee City USA in Tyler, TX, teas, trail mix, bath bombs, apparel, and down home decorations. Their honey soap is not to be missed, and also comes in a range of delicious scents. What started as a wholesale venture turned to the public domain, as members of the community would drop by the wholesale shop to ask to purchase honey. The current storefront opened in 2001, and is run by manager Alyssa, whose menu favorites include the Texas Two-Step, which combines grape and honey wine in a smooth blend for the new mead initiate, and their Basil Berry mead on tap.
They also have outdoor patios, and can host events such as baby showers and weddings. You can camp on the premises as part of their Harvest Host program, or check out their Farmer’s Market hosted twice a year on the grounds. They also host Trivia Nights on the 3rd Saturday of every month, which offers the perfect opportunity to try one of their many meads on tap, or a meadarita. This holiday season, be sure to raise a glass of their Merry Texmas, a semi sweet cranberry and orange blossom mead that will bring a new classic flair to your celebration.
If you want to learn more about mead, keep an eye out for our upcoming article on how to make it yourself! Until then, check out our Gallery Here.