Oregon native Damian Magista became obsessed with honey bees after his neighbor gifted him a hive in 2009. Once he tasted the stunningly complex flavor of the honey his bees produced, he knew he had to share his neighbor’s gift with the world. With that, one of our sweetest Co-Conspirator brands, Bee Local, was born. Sentinel is proud to offer guests samples of Bee Local honey in each one of our honor bars. Read on for more details about why this small company and its mission make Sentinel, and its hometown, Portland, a little bit sweeter.
Are you a wine connoisseur? A specialty coffee fanatic who prefers their beans light roasted, citrusy and smooth? If this sounds like you, chances are you’ll appreciate a smear of Bee Local on your next cheese board. Honey, much like grapes and coffee cherries, takes on its own terroir—producing flavor profiles reflective of the ecosystem that nurtures it.
Magista found that honey sourced from farmlands around Mt. Hood might yield rich, deep blue and blackberry notes, while a honey collected from the Mt. Tabor neighborhood of Portland often carries intensely tropical flavors with a hint of sandalwood and exotic fruit. Amazingly, honey from one area in Portland tastes completely different from honey sourced just a few miles away.
Magista’s fascination with the vibrant, diverse flavors he could produce grew into a passion for advocating for his favorite pollinators. As honey bee populations have declined, Bee Local has worked to promote and protect their health by championing diversity in Portland’s urban landscape and pointing to the relationship between our local environment and the food supply as a whole.
Bee Local is committed to producing high quality honey that is sustainably harvested and never heated, treated, blended or ultra-filtered. If you’re interested in tasting the magic for yourself, you can find it across the city. From Matchbox Lounge’s signature cocktail, the Bees Knees, to Salt & Straw’s decadent Honey Lavender ice cream, Bee Local honey has infiltrated the Portland food scene, bringing sweetness and sustainability to a variety of local favorites.