With craft beer being all the rage right now it is sometimes easy to forget about beer’s cousin Mead. Mead is any alcoholic beverage with the fermentable sugars being mostly honey. Mead can be just as versatile as beer. They can be sweet or dry; crisp and refreshing or boozy and complex; fruity and juicy or very mild. The ABV (alcohol by volume) ranges from about 8% on the low end to up to 20%.
Mead is an ancient drink and may even predate all other alcoholic beverages, although that fact is contested. Hunter gatherers would sometimes accidentally stumble upon creation of mead simply by leaving a pot out in the open with honey and other spices. The result not only tasted good, but provided a nice buzz. Mead is also sometimes referred to as “honey wine”. While it is true that mead uses yeast similar to wine, it is almost always associated more closely with beer.
Honey is the only constant when it comes to mead. Fruit, spices and hops are often added to achieve different results. In the store right now we are currently carrying five different Meads, two of which are recent additions to our shelves.
From Redstone Meadery we have three very nice local Meads from Boulder. Even within this one company there is a wide array of options; one with blackberry, one with hops and one non-carbonated traditional mead. All are available in 750ml flip top formats and are great options for getting into this style.
I am very excited to have two new Meads recently added in the store. The 1st is from Danish mMadery Dansk. It is called Viking’s Blod and is a cult favorite. It is a higher ABV Mead with hops and hibiscus. In some circles it is a delicacy to mix Viking’s Blod with a dark beer like a stout or porter. The 2nd new mead is from Celestial Meads out of Alaska. Specifically, we are carrying Gunlod’s Tears, a very dry French oak aged Mead. This a great option for those who lack a sweet tooth and just want something nice and dry.
So remember! Don’t forget about Mead!
– Dean LoRusso, Beer Buyer, West Vail Liquor Mart