First of all, I want to shoot a quick THANK YOU to every single person reading this. As you may have seen on instagram, I’ve been feeling a bit burned out and tired lately. I’m hoping to get back in the swing of things soon, but in the meantime, this blog has been a truly incredible outlet. Thank you so much, all you 32 people who keep reading it.
Back to business though–Let’s talk about mead! Look, you don’t have to be a viking to enjoy a nice glass of mead. It’s delicious and luckily it’s seasonally appropriate, since there’s nothing quite like a nice cuppa mead on a cool autumn night.
So what is mead anyway? It’s honey wine that’s made with yeast fermentation. Not quite beer, not quite wine, mead is the tasty in-between. Of course, I like my mead to be specialized. You can flavor it with pretty much anything, but my inner basic betch prefers a classic pumpkin spice. Word to the wise though–Mead tends to have a biiiiiiiit of a high alcohol content. While your wine typically ranges around 13%, mead runs as high as 20%. Maybe think of it as more bang for your buck.
Mead was our predecessor to today’s wine and was probably created by a very happy little accident. You could literally make mead by boiling up some water and honey, adding yeast, and letting it all come together for a few weeks. In fact, mead tends to be one of the more popular home brews. It’s easier than wine or beer to make, because much of the taste will be determined by the quality and type of honey. You don’t have to have any serious brewing skills. After learning this, my husband may be irritated because I fully plan to brew a test batch pretty much immediately.
If you have a taste for the days of yore, you’re in luck, because mead is now the hot new trend. Don’t believe me? There’s a former Sprouse brother (that’s a Disney Channel star for all you oldies) making fresh mead batches in Brooklyn for all the millennial hipsters out there. We’re now at approximately 500 US meaderies, with more to come. And because mead is it’s whole own category, it has a few varietals of its own. However, the main ones you’ll see are the traditional meads and melomels.
Traditional meads are nothing but the essentials–honey, water, and yeast. No additional flavoring is added and the entire taste and sweetness level come from the maker’s choice of honey.
On the other hand, we have melomels, aka fruit meads, aka best meads (in my opinion). I’ve seen mead made with everything from blueberrys to pawpaws, and frankly… they’re all delicious. There’s a little more room to play around and experiment. On the other hand, there’s also more room to cover the flaws of an initial bad brew.
So that’s it–a very basic entry-level trek into the world of mead. Want to learn more? Check out my sources from Delish and Blacksnake Meadery. FYI–Blacksnake is in Roanoke, VA and I plan to visit it soon!