Thursday, March 17, 2022

Latest Buzz in the World of Mead

Nottingham Nectar aims to make mead more accessible to Madisonians and beyond

Nottingham Nectar creates a sparkling session style mead in four different flavors using Wisconsin fermented honey as the base.

Patrick Nottingham always wanted a winery, brewery or meadery included in his retirement plans. The self-proclaimed “beverage nerd” still has a ways to go before retirement, but his meadery, Nottingham Nectar, is already up and running in Madison, WI.

For those unfamiliar, mead is alcohol made from fermented honey, instead of hops or grapes. Wisconsin happens to be renowned for its wild prairie honey, which Nottingham says has a distinct light color and flowery notes. 

Mead is essentially just water and honey, but based on what you add to the mead, the type of honey and when the honey is fermented, there are all kinds of different styles. Nottingham Nectar creates a sparkling session style, which basically just means the drink is slightly carbonated. All Nottingham’s meads are naturally gluten free as well.

The Madison-based meadery has been around since 2016 as Colony Nectar Co., but went through a rebrand during COVID-19 as the former owner transitioned out, and Nottingham transitioned in. All four Nottingham Nectar meads are Colony Nectar Co. recipes, but with new branding.

Each of Nottingham Nectar’s meads are uniquely branded. Nottingham Nectar has four different meads available. Hexes & Hijinx is made from Door County cherries, so it is sweet and tart. Bonfires & Battlecries is made for fans of pilsner and lager beers, but with a light, crisp finish reminiscent of a cider. Folklores & Fairytales is similar to Bonfires and Battlecries, but with a sweeter finish, almost like a sparkling white wine. Sagas & Serenades is the sour option, with acidity from strawberries paired with sweetness from honey.

The full article by Madison Magazine can be found here.

Finding ‘Lost History’ in Your Glass

Alum Helps Continue Family’s Mead-Making Tradition, Honoring Holocaust Survivor and Winery Founder

The sweetness and light of fermented honey blend with crisp flavors of Frederick County-grown apples or richly sweet grapes, evoking notes of cinnamon or honeysuckle … well, that sounds intriguing. But what is it, you might be asking?

In a country where wine frequently means well-structured (i.e. pricey) French vintages or fruity blasts from California or Australia, it’s a fair question. The answer: a different kind of wine entirely, known as mead. After a heyday hundreds (or thousands) of years ago and being relegated more recently to renaissance fairs, it’s now “on the rise,” according to Vogue.

It’s never really fallen from favor, however, in Eastern Europe, where the Loew family began crafting it more than 150 years ago, a tradition it continues today at Loew Vineyards in Mt. Airy, Md.

Rachel Loew-Lipman ‘15, winemaker and vineyard manager, is working to uphold the Loew legacy and share her family’s story through every glass of mead (or grape-based vintage) that’s poured. 

“I want to reconnect people to a beautiful but lost history,” said Loew-Lipman, who graduated with degrees in plant science, horticulture and crop production and in communication.

The full article by Maryland Today can be found here.

Sweetgale Meadery wins medals

Homer meadery wins first-place, best of show awards in Texas Mead Cup.

Photo by Sweetgale Meadworks & Cider House owner Jason Davis

Continuing a Homer [AK] tradition of crafting award-winning meads, Sweetgale Meadworks & Cider House won two awards in the ninth annual Texas Mead Cup. According to a press release from Sweetgale owner Jason Davis, Sweetgale took first place in the berry melomel category for its Alpine Blueberry Mead and then won the grand prize in the Best in Show category.

Another Homer meadery, Odin Meads, also won second place in the varietal meads category for its oak-aged blackberry and honey mead. The results were announced live on Feb. 27 in La Grange, Texas.

Davis wrote that the “Best in Show” award is “further evidence that Alaskan honey and berries are world-class, and worth promoting.”

The full article by Homer News can be found here.

Daggers Meadery is Granville’s first farm winery, crafting wines from honey

Honeybees are amazing insects, and one small business in Western Massachusetts is growing thanks to the bees’ tireless work, coupled with a big dose of curiosity.

In 2009, Mimi’s Hilltop Apiary was born from harvesting honey and beeswax atop Prospect Mountain in the Hampden County hilltown of Granville.

There, Mark and Tammy Cressotti, along with their son, Austin, and daughter, Jessica Haas, worked to bring their aged apple orchard back to life by beekeeping.

Last August, they opened Daggers Meadery at 35 North Lane, where customers come to sample their creations.

Daggers Meadery now has eight still and two sparkling varieties of mead. “Our traditional meads like ‘Berserker Mead,’ are made with golden honey, while our ‘Prediction Mead’ is made with dark amber honey from Japanese knotweed,” Cressotti says.

They also have fruit mead, called melomel, that is made with pear, blueberry and berry blends. Their pyments, mead crafted from grapes, include “Revenge,” made with red grapes and is naturally carbonated, and they have a white grape called “Longship.”

To learn more, visit the website,, or call 413-214-5245 to book reservations.

The full article by Mass Live can be found here.

Austin meadery files for Ch. 11 bankruptcy

Meridian Hive tries to stay in business; Assets could be sold off, attorney says

Austin-based Meridian Hive has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in an effort to reorganize its debts and keep producing alcoholic mead.

Under the legal name Mars Colony LLC, it filed in late February for bankruptcy protection in the Western District of Texas. An amended petition was filed March 9.

Meridian Hive, one of a handful of meaderies in the Austin area making alcohol from fermented honey, was founded in 2013. It's led by CEO Cayce Rivers and sells its products on retail shelves in several states. In 2019, the company raised nearly $250,000 from 69 investors on WeFunder.

Meridian Hive continues to produce mead, according to the attorney representing the company in bankruptcy court, Todd Headden of Hayward PLLC

The full article by Austin Business Journal can be found here.

Magic potion in Midlothian: Funktastic Meads brings an age-old craft brew to the county

Nearly 10,000 years after humans discovered how to make mead – fermenting honey water and yeast to produce a pleasant and tasty alcoholic beverage – there’s finally a tap room devoted to wine’s less popular cousin in Chesterfield’s Alverser Plaza shopping center. It’s called Funktastic Meads.

Owners Matthew and Heather Carroll are ready to create a buzz.

Matthew is a specialty chemical salesman with a penchant for craft brewing. After years of making beer, he turned his talents to mead, determined to elevate the ancient beverage to modern standards. Heather is an accountant. After years of watching Matthew experiment at home, the CPA crunched a few numbers. Would it be possible to move the operation out of their home? At the time, the Carroll's had partnered with Lazy Days Winery in Amherst. They were selling 200 bottles per month, but it was 90 minutes away from home. Heather recalls the calculation.

“Sometimes they’d sell out in 30 seconds. Sometimes they’d sell out in an hour, but they were selling out every Saturday, once a month.” Promising numbers. Plus, adds Heather, “he just really wanted his own tap room. And I love the mead, and everybody we share with thinks it’s good. And so, here we are.”

Moving into their own space would also spare the Carrolls and their 8-year-old daughter, Aliza, the stress of running a meadery at home. The CPA sighs with a smile. “I’m super happy about having the mead out of my house because there was honey everywhere. I would go to open up a drawer and get honey on my hands. It was all over the kitchen. There’s mead on our ceiling.”

The Carrolls produce both still and carbonated meads on tap and switch stock regularly. They say customers appreciate the variety. “One of reasons they come back is because our board is constantly rotating. So every week we have at least two new meads on tap. If somebody’s getting a flight, every time they come, they can get two new selections. Every time they come.”

They also sell bottles of mead online.

And don’t fall for the fallacy that mead, because it’s made from honey, has to be sweet. Heather Caroll puts that to rest: “Pretty much everybody that comes in here can find something that they like, and usually it surprises them. It’s fun to watch them taste it and go, ‘Whoa, that’s really good.’” She laughs. “I’m like, ‘Did you expect it not to be good?’”

The full article by Chesterfield Observer can be found here.


No comments:

Post a Comment