Sunday, August 13, 2023

Latest Buzz in the World of Mead, Volume 02, Issue 11

In the enchanting realm of mead, where history intertwines with innovation, a captivating symphony of flavors and techniques has taken center stage. Delve into the vibrant tapestry of the mead world, where ancient traditions meet modern ingenuity. Discover how passionate artisans are infusing this timeless elixir with innovative ingredients, re-imagining its taste profile, and embracing sustainability. Whether you're a seasoned mead enthusiast or a curious newcomer, immerse yourself in this tantalizing expedition through the Latest Buzz in the World of Mead.

12 Meaderies Creating a Buzz in the US

In the world of mead, a beverage with roots dating back 20,000 years, a resurgence is underway, leading to a surge in mead production across the United States. Here are 12 meaderies that are making waves according to Daily Meal:
  • Honeytree Meadery — Nashville, Tennessee: Known for its unique blend of beekeeping and bartending expertise, Honeytree Meadery offers a variety of meads featuring distinct honey flavors, including orange blossom and wildflower. The meadery's tasting room and sunny patio provide a perfect setting to enjoy their creations.
  • Heidrun Meadery — Point Reyes Station, California: This meadery offers champagne-style meads crafted from wildflower and monofloral honey. The meads come in elegantly labeled bottles, each with its own story and unique flavor profile.
  • Four Fires Meadery — Maumee, Ohio: Starting as a small operation, Four Fires Meadery stands out with imaginative mead flavors like Black Arkansas apple and Black Mission fig. They offer nationwide shipping for those eager to sample their innovative concoctions.
  • Meridian Hive — Austin, Texas: Meridian Hive prioritizes quality and sustainability, partnering with an apiary in Mexico for premium orange blossom honey. Their range of meads includes innovative flavors like Honey, Blackberry, and Peach, available in portable cans.
  • Superstition Meadery — Prescott, Arizona: Superstition Meadery takes creativity to new heights with over 300 unique mead creations. With imaginative flavor combinations and seasonal releases, their meads are a treat for the adventurous palate.
  • Schramm's Mead — Ferndale, Michigan: Schramm's Mead offers more traditional yet imaginative flavors, from berry to ginger, and pairs them cleverly with various foods, making them a delight for food pairing enthusiasts.
  • Pips Meadery — Gurnee, Illinois: Pips Meadery embraces experimentation, crafting rich and flavorful meads like Black Currant Pancake, a bourbon barrel-aged blackcurrant mead with maple, cinnamon, and vanilla.
  • B. Nektar — Ferndale, Michigan: B. Nektar brings a modern twist to mead, crafting creatively named and flavored meads that defy tradition. Their taproom offers an array of unconventional choices for enthusiasts seeking something different.
  • Zen Bee Meadery — Worthington, Ohio: Zen Bee Meadery specializes in lower-ABV Session Meads and Honey Ciders, boasting high-quality varietal honey and imaginative fruit and spice combinations.
  • Garagiste Meadery — Tampa, Florida: As the largest publicly funded meadery, Garagiste Meadery focuses on innovative, creative mead offerings that stand out from the crowd.
  • Second City Meadery — Chicago, Illinois: Second City Meadery thrives on unusual flavors and creations, offering an ever-evolving selection for those seeking unique mead experiences.
  • Brothers Drake Meadery — Columbus, Ohio: Brothers Drake Meadery's commitment to local honey and creative experimentation shines through in their offerings. With two locations and a variety of mead options, they cater to a wide range of preferences.
Each meadery offers a distinctive journey into the world of mead, from traditional flavors to bold and inventive combinations, providing a diverse array of options for enthusiasts and newcomers alike. Read more HERE.

Carolina CiderFest Returns with Bigger Flavors and More Fun

Get ready for a cider and mead extravaganza at the Annual Carolina CiderFest! This year's festival promises an even grander experience, featuring a variety of hard ciders, meads, apple wines, and seltzers, all set against the vibrant backdrop of Downtown Asheville. Mark your calendars for Saturday, October 21, 2023, from 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m., and head to the newly expanded McCormick Field, the home of Asheville's Tourists Baseball team.

Partnering with the NC Cider Association, the 2023 Carolina CiderFest is expected to be a sell-out hit. Attendees can look forward to sampling an impressive range of local and national ciders and meads, both from small craft producers and larger establishments. Alongside the delightful drinks, artisanal food steals the spotlight, with offerings like local cheeses, baked goods, caramels, ice cream, and even McCormick Field's delectable treats.

Don't miss out on the VIP experience, granting early access at 10:30 a.m. VIP ticket holders can indulge in exclusive tastings from cider and mead makers, along with artisanal food vendors, before the general crowd arrives. This year's fest also boasts arts and crafts from local vendors, live music, and engaging workshops. If you're a cider enthusiast looking to uncover hidden gems and unique flavors, this event is a must-attend. Tickets tend to vanish quickly, so plan ahead and secure your spot for a day filled with flavor, fun, and festivities.

Renovating the Past for a Flavorful Future: Blind Goat Cider House Set to Grace 613 Maine

The 613 Maine building in Quincy, Illinois, currently in a state of disrepair with rotted boards and hanging light bulbs, is about to transform into a hub of cider and mead enthusiasts' delight. L.J. Helmke and Branigan Stehl, the driving forces behind the Blind Goat Cider House, are meticulously working to realize their shared vision for the space. Owned by TJ Craig, LLC, managed by Josh and Tieraney Craig of Quincy Brewing Company, this historic building's front will soon host the cider house, while the back will serve as an event space.

The project is a labor of love, with Helmke and Stehl's deep-rooted passion for brewing evident in their journey. What started as a hobby during the COVID pandemic led Helmke to pursue brewing education. Their creativity shines through, as they experiment with peculiar flavors and ingredients in their brewing process. Notably, their "secret weapon" is mead, a honey wine with higher alcohol content. While cider will be their primary focus, mead's unique qualities have become a passion project for the duo. With both day jobs and dedication to crafting exceptional beverages, the Blind Goat Cider House is a testament to their commitment to quality and community. The name itself is a nod to a blind baby goat, reflecting the personal touch they bring to their venture. As the restoration unfolds, so too does their dream of providing the community with remarkable libations and a warm, inviting space to enjoy them. The full article can be found HERE.

Zymarium Meadery Set to Open in Orlando's Mills 50 District

Exciting news for mead enthusiasts in Orlando as Zymarium Meadery prepares to open its doors in the Mills 50 District. Founded by the talented duo Joe and Ginger Leigh, who boasts nearly a decade of mead-making experience, this meadery is poised to make a splash. Joe Leigh's recognition as one of the top ten mead makers globally by the American Mead Makers Association adds a prestigious touch to the venture.

Crafted from locally sourced honey, Zymarium's meads promise a modern twist on the traditional drink. With an alcohol content ranging from 6% to 14%, their gluten-free meads come in an array of intriguing flavors, including blueberry, raspberry, hazelnut, cherry pie, and vanilla. The company's commitment to quality is evident not only in its production process but also in its wide distribution across the U.S., catering to mead enthusiasts in over three dozen states. Keep an eye out for their grand opening on August 19 at 1121 N Mills Ave, a landmark moment for Orlando's beverage scene. For more details, visit the Zymarium Meadery website.

Four Brothers Mead Mentioned in Feast Magazine

Paul Sableman, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

St. Louis’s Feast Magazine currently has an article focusing on Festus, Missouri’s Main Street, “A guide to Festus' flourishing food scene along its Main Street.” One of the businesses mentioned is a meadery owned and operated by my friends, Four Brothers Mead. Founded by four veterans from Missouri, Four Brothers Mead has transformed their space into an Old World mead hall while offering Viking-inspired mead to savor and enjoy. Whether sitting at the bar, relaxing at a table, or enjoying the deck area out back, you will be glad you stopped in.

Nestled just 40 minutes south of St. Louis, Festus' Main Street has transformed into a vibrant haven for food enthusiasts and families alike. The district's revival has been marked by the emergence of quaint boutiques, locally cherished eateries, and an inviting food scene that captures the town's essence. The community's emphasis on family-run businesses shines through, with establishments like The Corner Cup Micro Bakery and Pogolino's Pizza reflecting the intimate, caring atmosphere. Beyond the array of culinary experiences, from comforting coffee nooks to satisfying smash burgers, succulent steaks, and even a taste of the hometown brewery and meadery, Festus' Main Street offers a truly diverse range of options to appease all palates. This reimagined small town demonstrates how cherished traditions and contemporary flavors can harmoniously blend to create a unique and memorable dining destination. Check out Feast’s full article HERE, including their list of businesses to visit on Main Street.

As the golden curtain falls on our exploration, it's evident that the mead realm is in the midst of a thrilling renaissance. From experimental flavors that dance on the palate to eco-conscious practices that honor the earth, the future of mead is as promising as it is diverse. So raise your goblets to the artisans and pioneers who continue to elevate this ancient nectar, inspiring us all to savor tradition while embracing innovation. As we bid adieu, remember that the world of mead is ever-evolving, offering endless opportunities to indulge in its liquid poetry and discover the next chapter in its remarkable story. Skål!

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