Each year hundreds of beekeepers from all over the world enter their honey with hopes of winning the title of the world’s best tasting honey. Although the official contest is held in June, contestants are asked to enter their honey by January 31st in order for judging to begin. Because we receive so many entries, different preliminary judging dates are held, with each winner moving up until 30 finalists are chosen to compete at The Black Jar.
In other honey contests, “perfection” is key to judging. Honey is judged on moisture content, clarity, foam and particles, with points being deducted for each defect found. The Black Jar is set up to rely solely on the taste of each entry. The honey that makes it to the finals is covered in black fabric so the judges cannot see the visual characteristics or what’s in the honey. We choose this form of judging because we respect the unique flavors that bees bring back to the hive as they visit different flowers, and understand the varieties and flavors that will be found all over the world.
Not only is the Renaissance Hotel home to two of our hives, they also graciously host The Black Jar International Honey Tasting Contest. Located in downtown Asheville NC, The Black Jar is a ticketed cocktail event with live music, public honey tastings and a silent auction to raise money for the continuation of our research, Project Genesis.
Due to difficulties in shipping, entries may be packaged in unbreakable containers (1 liter/quart is approx. 3 pounds US/ 1.35Kg) which the Center will transfer into glass queenline jars. Two beekeeper labels must be included for attaching. These labels should be sized to fit a one pound jar. Please visit Contest Rules.
We will also award $150 each to winners in ten categories – which will be determined based upon the qualities and quantity of entries received. For answers to frequently asked questions click here.