WHAT IS MEAD?
Mead is an alcoholic beverage made from fermented honey. It can be flavored with a range of rich ingredients such as fruits, herbs, barks, spices, and more. Mead has not been a very popular drink for years, but recently more bottlers seem to be experimenting with making mead again, bringing it back onto the shelves of stores and into people’s home once more.
Mead is almost always a standalone drink, although there are some interesting cocktail recipes that can be made with honey mead. Most meads are sweet because of the honey fermentation base, although you can find some meads that are actually very dry and full of flavor. All of this depends on how much water was used to dilute the honey before it was fermented and turned into mead. A mead is flavored and fermented, it is usually left to age for a few months. Rarely is mead ever aged beyond 5 years.
BEST BRANDS OF MEAD
Just as you have craft beers, Redstone has a fantastic line of craft meads. You can get anything from sparkling meads to mead and hop fusions to high end flavored meads. Redstone is trying to familiarize the US market with meads by making them more accessible. They’re doing this by both bottling and canning their meads to reach consumers of all types. One of their best-selling meads is the deliciously sweet black raspberry mead.
What might get you interested in this particular brand is the interesting range of flavors they make. This Ohio meadery brand seems to enjoy experimenting with crazy combinations of beverage flavors like black licorice, bergamot blue, and their most popular apple pie. Some local bars in the Columbus area have created their own cocktails to go with this brand of mead, so make sure to check out recipes online if you want to get a different taste of mead.
This unique brand of mead aims for at the traditional wine-drinking market by bottling their mead in similar fashion to winemakers with a dark, slim bottle and an understated label. The flavors contained in these mead bottles are beautifully crafted to suit those who enjoy the complex mixtures of various wines. Medovina makes a classic honey mead, a lovely peach mead, and a highly unique stinging rose mead that is made from hand-picked rose petals.
Although this is a more local brewery in Michigan state, USA, the meads they make are very high quality and enjoyable. This brand is most famous for the somewhat-cultish mead called The Heart of Darkness that was an instant hit. It’s now a bit hard to find for sale as it’s in high demand and there isn’t much of it around. If you manage to get a bottle of it for yourself, sip slowly so you can fully enjoy the aromatic black currant, cherry, and black raspberry flavors swirled together in this mead that has been labeled as one of the best meads on the market today.
If you like whacky craft beer labels and titles, this mead brand might appeal to you. They have a flair for the semi-dramatic and a knack for coming up with interesting flavors for different seasons of the year and giving them equally interesting names. One of the most popular meads from the meadery is the IPA-style mead titled Evil Genius. Other offerings include cherry flavored Zombie Killer and a mead reminiscent of delicious Belgian beers called Imperial Funky Monkey.
HOW TO FIND THE BEST TASTING MEAD
Because mead is such an unfamiliar beverage to many people, you might have to take some time to figure out what you like. It’s best to start with a high quality, pure honey mead to get a good idea about the true flavor of honey mead before you start looking through the flavored varieties. All of the flavored meads build on top of the honey base, so if you have a strong opinion about the pure honey mead it can sway your decision about what sort of flavors to try. The most popular types of meads are usually spiced, because the spices work well with a sweet honey flavor.