Please enjoy and share these 7 quick facts that we bet you didn’t know about mead.
Mead Is Growing Faster Than Craft Beer
Since 2012 mead has been the fastest growing segment of the US alcoholic beverages market. In recent years it has even overtaken craft beer in its explosive growth. This means more meaderies, more variety, and a better selection of mead in the years to come.
Honey Wine Is A Terrible Name For Mead
When someone is new to mead, the first description that they typically hear is “it’s a honey wine”. Describing mead as honey wine is like describing cider as apple wine. The term “honey wine” conjures up a sickly sweet image to the uninitiated. Next time you’re asked to describe mead, tell them simply that it’s an alcoholic drink made from fermented honey that has as just as many, flavor and style variations as beer.
Over 200,000 Pollination’s In Every Glass Of Mead
This one comes courtesy of Golden Coast Mead in Oceanside CA. When I spoke to their founder Frank Golback he explained to me that there are over 200,000 pollination’s in every glass of mead. That’s pretty incredible when you think about. Its takes 200,000 flowers being visited by bees, to make your one glass of mead.
Mead Can Help Save The Bees
Speaking of honey bees, did you know that drinking mead can actually help to save the honey bee? Currently the main source of income for most apiaries is pollination services. This means that bee keepers pick up and move their hives all over the country, to help farmers pollinate their crops. This is not only time and energy consuming, but it is bad for the bees, exposing them constantly to new viruses, diseases and putting them through a lot of stress. An upshot in the mead industry, will mean more money in honey for the beekeepers. This will help support research and growth of the bee population.
Mead Is Good For The Environment Too
If you liked the last one, you’ll love this. Drinking mead, instead of beer, can actually help the environment. It takes approximately 590 gallons of water, to grow the barley and hops for just 1 gallon of beer. Compare that to the fact that honey is a necessary by-product of the agriculture that it is supporting, and its a no brainier. Next time you lift a glass of mead, you can feel good that you’re helping to save the planet.
Mead Can Be Used As Medicine
From the Vikings, to the Greeks, to the Welsh, who’s word for medicine is where metheglin (spiced mead) is derived from. Many cultures through out the ages have believed in the healing powers of both honey, and mead. In recent years, studies have even been done on the ability of mead to help curb antibiotic resistance. So next time you get sick toss out the hot toddy, and instead grab yourself a nice glass of spiced mead, you’ll be back out pillaging in no time.
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What is mead? Describing mead to someone who’s never had it before can be a little difficult. Here we’ll go over the basics and teach you everything you need to know. Hopefully by the time you’re done reading, you’ll be as excited as we were to try it our first time, and fall in love with this prehistoric beverage.
So what is mead exactly?
The definition of mead is: an alcoholic beverage, in which the sugars for fermentation come from honey. A basic traditional mead consists of honey, water and yeast. Mead is believed to be one of the first alcoholic beverages ever consumed by man.
Beyond your basic mead there are quite a few subcategories. These are some of the more popular:
Melomel: A melomel is a mead that has had fruit added either during or after fermentation. This is the most popular type of mead made today and has a very broad range of recipes.
Metheglin: Metheglin is a spiced or medicated variety of mead. Interestingly the word metheglin comes from the old Welsh word for medicine. Next time you have a cold, try a nice warm spiced mead in place of a hot toddie and you’ll see why.
Braggot: A braggot is like a cross between mead and beer. Braggots are made with malted grains.
Cyser: Cysers are meads made from apples or apple juice.
Pyment: Pyments are a cross between wine and mead. Pyment can describe both mead’s with grapes added and wine with honey added.
Just like with wine, there are many more subcategories of mead than the ones we have listed here. These are the ones you’re most likely to run into.
What does mead taste like?
This is a bit of a tough question to answer, it’s kind of like asking what does beer taste like? There are many different styles of mead available. Even the type of honey used, can have a huge impact on the flavor of a mead.
The best way to give you an idea of how mead tastes, is to tell you that there are over 600,000 pollination’s in your average bottle of mead.
Yup, that’s 600,000 flowers in every bottle of mead. My favorite description is “it tastes like sunshine and flowers in a bottle”, but even this doesn’t really do it justice. There’s really nothing that tastes quite as delicious and satisfying as a really good mead.
How can you get your hands on some mead?
Lucky for you mead is one of the fastest growing alcoholic beverages in the united states. Meaderies are beginning to pop up everywhere. If you’d like to find one close to you, visit our directory of meaderies. If you’re not close to a meadery, take a stab at making your very own mead with one of our Make Your First Mead Kits that take less than 30 minutes and taste absolutely wonderful.
To find out even more about mead, watch our interview with Frank Golbeck of Golden Coast Mead it was a lot of fun, and has tons of great information.