Mead: The New Revolution in Recreational Beverages

Learn about mead. Get the history, and the 411 on the current explosion of mead in the craft beverage industry, worldwide!
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GotMead - LIVE!

Join us on Gotmead Live! On Tuesdays at 9PM ET, Vicky, JD and AJ (chevette girl), along with Pete (Oskaar) talk live with people in the mead industry, discuss recipes and techniques, and field your meadmaking questions in a friendly and easy going show. Click to get listening details!
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Come Visit Fellow Mead Lovers

The GotMead forums are packed with mead lovers. All ages, from all over the world. We talk about everything from Joe’s Ancient Orange Mead and how to modify it, to where to find mead, experimental mead recipes, and the best techniques for pitching, fermenting, racking, bottling and even drinking.
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Meadery News

Milawa’s Walkabout Apiaries moves into mead production

COBWEBS and dust were to be expected.

But when twentysomethings Tracey Whitehead and her husband, Don, cleaned out the farm shed, they never expected to find hidden treasure. Lurking behind the long-forgotten piles of stuff were oak barrels full of liquid gold.

The barrels contained perfectly aged mead – a honey wine renowned in Viking feasts and medieval debauchery – made by Don’s father, Rod Whitehead, years before on a whim. The discovery led to what is now a burgeoning sideline for the bee-keeping Whiteheads of Milawa and their family’s Walkabout Apiaries business in North East Victoria.

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Cellarmens brings beards, bees, and booze to Hazel Park

There is an uncanny serendipity to the story of Cellarmen’s that begs to be shared. At one point, all four of the guys were working at B. Nektar Meadery in Ferndale, with Radogost-Givens and Petrocik on mead making duty. Between the two of them, you probably can’t find two mead makers with more collective international medals, scooping up awards from highly-respected juried competitions like the Mazer Cup, the Michigan Mead Cup, and the Finger Lakes International Wine Competition, in addition to receiving national recognition from the likes of Esquire, Thrillist, and

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A Year in the Life of a Meadery Owner – Part 6

What I’ve learned in one year since opening a meadery… and just a heads up, this might just be the last of this series I’ve been posting up here.

One important thing I’ve learned is, you can’t “homebrew” your way in creating a successful meadery. What I mean by that is, just because you never filtered or sulfited your meads at home, doesn’t mean that is going to be the best practice once going commercial. When a good batch goes wrong in the bottle and starts fermenting again, not only will it get you pretty distraught, but the consumer relations process of rectifying the situation is enough to make you pony up the few grand for a sterile filtration and stabilization solution. Trust me, even though it was only 2 out of 30+ batches I’ve produced, it was enough of a lessoned learned, even though all of our customers were still totally cool with it and understanding. Since then, I had vowed to never let that happen again. (Additionally to original post: this is another reason why I am glad I haven’t began distribution yet. Gave me a chance to better “re-learn” my craft on a commercial scale)

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GotMead Live

GotMead Live – December 2015 – On Holiday!

Yes, it’s true, we will be going on holiday for the month of December, 2015! Stop whining, you can use this time to catch up on the episodes you haven’t had time to listen to yet, or go back to take those notes on that episode of Ask Oskaar. Yes, we have lives too, and will be spending the month with our families and friends, celebrating with fellowship and of course, mead, and having holidays. (Except for Vicky – she’s using the month to get her lungs back working right again, and frantically programming more cool stuff for GotMead and her business, Craft Beverage Marketing) So, while you’re listening, and surfing to do your holiday shopping, take a gander at a few nifty gifts GotMead recommends. <=== See this guy to the left? Yeah, Santa, SuperHero style. This and an entire set of comic book Santa covers can be YOUR Christmas cards this year. Kinda bitchin, you ask me. The artist is none other than Peter Vinton, creator of the Mead Wench and Mead Viking for GotMead. You can get your cards here. Is there a special meadmaker or mead lover in your life? Then consider giving them the gift of GotMead! For a paltry $25, you can give a YEAR of GotMead special recipes, patron forums, online chats, and invitations to patron only events online and in real life. Seriously, I’ll bet you spend more than that on coffee every month. So grab a GotMead Patron membership, and don’t forget to put the user name of the person it’s for! If it’s a gift, drop me a line...

Episode 19 – Guy McConnell – Laughing Leprechaun Meadery

Tonight on GotMeadLive – Guy McConnell, owner of Laughing Leprechaun Meadery, started home brewing beer in 1990 and making mead in 1992 while living in Alabama. He worked in high tech for 30 years, moving to Orlando, Florida and Huntersville, North Carolina before landing in Loveland Colorado where he has resided the past 17 years. 2 years ago this month, he was laid off with 300 of his closest friends from the company he had worked for for 13 years. After taking a year off to gain perspective, he decided to pursue his passion for craft beverages – mead in particular – and turn his mead making hobby into his livelihood. With mead just beginning to follow the growth trajectory of other craft beverages such as beer, cider, and spirits, the timing seemed right. He has leased an historic 1935 building in the heart of downtown Loveland, Colorado and is in the process of working with the Loveland Historic Commission and the City of Loveland to get approval to begin buildout of the space. The business will be a family affair with his wife, son, daughter, grandson, and son-in-law all helping out and our target for opening is March of 2016 – with St. Patrick’s Day as the perfect date! Oskaar is LIVE with us tonight, so bring your mead questions! We’ll be opening the lines up for you to call in!   JD is into contraptions, and he’s going to be telling us about his Rube Goldberg meadmaking setup. If you’re the inventive sort, and into gadgets, you will want to listen to this! Call in number: 818-921-4680...

Episode 18 – Chris Webber – Outlanders Keep

Tonight on GotMeadLive – After a tour in Iraq, this National Guardsman started making wine and mead out of his garage, enrolled in classes at Northwest Wine Academy in Seattle, founded the American Mead Association, and is starting his own meadery. Tonight, we’ll meet Chris Webber from Outlanders Keep in Washington state. Oskaar was at the Robert Mondavi Institute this past week at the mead industry branding conference, and is also one of the instructors for their ‘Introduction to Mead Making’ class, so we will be winging it tonight, and taking calls. Lets Talk Mead!   And of course we’ll have an update from JD for his ‘It’s the Great Pumpkin Mead’ that he’s fiddling with. Call in number: 818-921-4680 What we were drinking: Vicky – no alkyhol for me, the meds won’t let me JD – Hidden Legends – Pure Honey Mead AJ – Blackberry  Mead from Rossingnol Estate Winery courtesy of Scott (Kernel Crush on the forum) Links for Episode 17: Listen in! (NOTE: This is the LIVE player. Recordings are below and will be posted within 24 hours after the show. If you can’t hear, reload the page) If you are having trouble with the player above, here is an alternate live link you can use: Want to listen later? No problem! You can playback below, download the mp3, or get it on iTunes. Click to get the app if you’d like Soundcloud on your phone. Then you can stream, playback, and even search for other shows that broadcast via Soundcloud! Listen on iTunes Download the mp3 RSS Feed Listen to the recording...

Making Mead

Learn to Make Mead from U.C. Davis Enology Staff

You love to make mead. You’d like to make it even better. Maybe you find fermentation management a bit puzzling, or just want to figure out how to get good mead every time. Is this you? Then you *need* to attend this class. The Robert Mondavi Institute and the Honey and Pollination Center at the U.C. Davis Department of Viticulture and Enology are offering ‘Making Mead’ on November 13 and 14, 2015. This is a ‘beginners’ class, but don’t let that fool you. These folks are the bomb-diggedity of fermentation wizards, and have an amazing amount of knowledge to teach. The Honey and Pollination Center is actively creating new and more extensive offerings in meadmaking, both for home mead makers and commercial meaderies. Grab your spot now, this is limited to a small number so everyone can benefit. You can download the pdf of the picture above here.  And you can sign up at... read more

Sur lie, spice and Meadmaking

Thoughts on lees exposure and meadmaking from a question about lees exposure in a methyglin with lots of cinnamon in the GotMead.Com Forums Lees exposure can yield a wonderful mead if you know how to do it right. Honey matched with the right supporting ingredients, fermentation management, bulk aging and lees exposure can yield something divine. But, if you don’t know the basic recipe and haven’t ever managed a sur lie batch, you could be in for a world of hurt! One of the terrifying things lees exposure evokes is that it can vastly magnify flaws over time: improperly sanitized equipment, poorly managed (reductive) fermentations or dull/abundant oak can quickly overwhelm otherwise good mead or wine. Be aware that the further you adjust your mead with additional flavors (spice, fruit, oak, etc.) the more factors you introduce into the wheel-of-mead-misfortune possibilities. Additionally, unless you are intimately familiar with your non-exposed recipe you really need to experiment with it before committing to a large batch of sur lie mead. Based on what I’ve read and the lees exposure batches of mead that I have made, the yeasts I like the most are: CY3079, D47, D254, and K1. NOTA BENE: If you haven’t used different yeast strains for sur lie with standard, traditional dry mead, then you really need to take the time to do several batches in order to learn about how the process evolves and changes your mead.  If you are going to experiment, my suggestion is to do it in smaller strictly controlled batches. You can better discern the difference between them by comparative sensory analysis. Then you... read more

Oak and Mead

Oak and Mead   If George Washington made mead, he’d have chopped down an Oak Tree!   Throughout history, humanity has been fermenting just about anything we can get our opposable-thumbed mitts on for everything from the frenetic Dionysian rites in ancient Greece to a Saturday night Toga Party in the OC. Along the way we have used many different types of storage vessels to protect and age our prized meads, beers and wines along with a ubiquitous host of other alcoholic beverages. Somewhere, sometime, we decided to put mead into oak barrels, and since then no one has looked at certain oak trees quite the same.   What makes oak desirable in mead? Exposing your mead to oak imparts structure, complexity, additional sensory elements and of course new and exciting flavors. While oak adds many different elements to mead and wine (a study published in May, 2005 identified more than 70 volatile aroma and flavor compounds) many of the recognizable aromas and flavors are identified with vanilla, spice, sweet, spicy and “woody” characteristics. Breaking it down a bit we can group oak into its basic aroma and flavor and composition.   CIS and Trans Oak Lactones are characters imparted by the un-toasted oak (yes, even though the wood is toasted on the surface there is still the soft white-oak underbelly lurking below the toast) Trans Oak Lactones impart a woody, earthy almost chocolaty aroma and some flavor characters, while the more intense Cis Oak Lactones impart more of a coconut floral aroma and some small taste. If you’ve ever chopped down an oak tree you’ll recognize these aromas... read more

Mead Making Handbook – Internet Edition – 1998

Author:  Jace Crouch of the Brewer’s Guild This Mead Making Handbook was prepared by Jace Crouch of the Brewer’s Guild. It is designed to spread the word about Mead-making, and to guide both neophyte and more experienced brewers through the Mead-Making process. This internet edition is based on the third printed edition (1992). Contents Copyright 1998 by Jace Crouch. All rights reserved. The Brewer’s Guild is an Association of Mead-makers who seek to establish a fellowship among brewers, share what we know about brewing, learn from one another, and foster good Mead-making wherever we can. Permission to reproduce this Mead Making Handbook is hereby granted to all brewers provided that all copies are distributed free of charge. Introduction Making their own Mead is one of the most satisfying things that homebrewers can do. Whether it be for private use or for social purposes, home-brewed Mead is something special. With it, we warm our souls, toast our friends and neighbors, and greet our fellows. This handbook will teach you to make Mead, step by step, stage by stage, and problem by problem. It is not difficult to make a good Mead, even an excellent Mead, the very first time you brew. Like everything, there are a few rules: three to be exact. Rules one and two are best remembered as the two P’s: Purity and Patience. Purity is essential for making fine Mead. All the ingredients of your Mead must be the finest you can obtain. Use the best honey, one locally produced if possible. Avoid honey blends (many of which are made with Argentine honey), and above all avoid... read more

Honey Varietals

There are dozens of honey varietals. This list is a work in progress. If you have a varietal that I’ve missed, drop me a line at and let me know! If you have a photo of the honey or the plant it is a varietal of, that would be great too! If you are a real honey nerd, then pick up this book, and learn all the inner secrets of honey varietals: “The Honey Connoisseur: Selecting, Tasting, and Pairing Honey, With a Guide to More Than 30 Varietals” by C. Marina Marchese. You can also hook up with the American Honey Tasting Society. They have a flavor wheel for honey flavors, and even have classes on how to taste and recognize various honey characteristics. You can even study to be a honey sommelier!   Acacia Light and delicate, with a flavor that reminds you of dried pineapple. Alfalfa Still more delicate. It does not taste like clove or allspice, and yet there is a subtle similarity of — character? Avocado Dark and rich and full-bodied, and there is definitely a “family resemblance” to the avocado fruit! A very sensuous honey. Basswood This is one where the language of flavors is simply inadequate. Basswood is sharper than some; complex and interesting; possibly woody?   Blackberry Medium light and exceptionally sweet! Popular with kids. It has a fruity character. Blueberry Midrange in color, blueberry is surprisingly rich-tasting. The “blueberry” note is not readily apparent   Buckwheat “Single-malt honey.” The very strongest and darkest of honeys, it approaches blackstrap molasses (in my opinion). This is one that is much more than... read more

Mead in History

A Barrel of Very Good Mead

A Barrel of Very Good Mead from:The True Amazons: or, the Monarchy of Bees by Joseph Warder of Croyden, Physician (1765) "One hundred and twenty pounds will make a Barrel of very good Mead: But if you make it of clear Honey, then your best way is to allow four pounds to every gallon of Water.   Let your Quantity be much or little, (which you ought to govern yourself by either considering the Bigness of your Cask, or the Quantity of Honey you have to up into Mead) mix it in your Copper, and then boil it, and scum it well; … when your Mead is almost cold, tun it up, clay it down, and let it stand till it is fine, and old enough to drink; which sometimes will be sooner than other, according to the Time of the Year and the weather that comes upoin it after making. This Liquor is one of the choicest of Wines, as well as the most wholesome of all Vinous Liquors in the World, and outght to be drank and made use of in Possets, &c. as Canary; and thus used, it is impossible to know whether the Posset was made of your Mead or... read more

Recipe to make mead – 1730

From:Geheym der Wynen ontdektofKunst om alle Blaauwe, Rosse, Lange Verwaaydeen andere onzuyvere Wynen, binnen korten tyd,zonder mangel schoon te maaken. Printed by Reynier van Kessel,in ‘s GraavenHaag1730 RECEPTOm MEE te maaken Neemt 90. stoop Regenwater, en 10. stoop Honing, dieschoon en wit is, doch, indien gy geen witte kondt bekomen, neemtRoode die goed is, dat zaamen in de Ketel over het vuur gedaan,en laat het 20. stoop inkooken, schuymt het wel, doet daar danin een ons gestoote Yrias en een paar handen vol Hop, dat moogtgy alles met vier pond gesneeden lange Rozynen, in een zakje, inde ketel hangen, beproeft dan met een Ey, zoo het daar opdryft is het genoeg, laat het dan bynaa koud worden, doet hetdan in een Vat daar eerst Spaansche Wyn in geweest is, of tenminste met een pint van dezelve het Vat toegemaakt, laat hetzakje met Rozynen mede zoo lang in de Wyn kooken tot dezelvegenoeg is, wringt dan dezelve zak schoon uyt, zoo bekomtde Mee daar van een smaak als of het goede Spaansche Wynwas, doet dan wat gist in het Vat, en laat het op een warmeplaats staan, dat hy wel uytgewerkt is: dit moet ten minsteeen half jaar leggen Translation/interpretation: Recipe to make mead. Take 90 stoop (1 stoop equals about half an imperial galon) rainwaterand 10 stoop clean and white honey. If you could not get any whitehoney take good red honey instead. Put that together in a kettle overthe fire and let it boil down 20 stoop. When (or if, I’m not quite sure)it’s foaming a lot add one ounce crushed Yrias (dunno really what thatis) and a... read more

Some Notes About Honey – 1669

submitted by Cindy Renfrow In these quotes from 16th-17th c. English sources, you will see that the best honey was allowed to drip out of the combs. After whatever dripped of its own accord was collected, the rest was pressed out. The combs were then washed in water to remove the honey that still remained, and the sweetened water was used to make mead. “#3 SOME NOTES ABOUT HONEY – 1669 The Honey of dry open Countries, where there is much Wild-thyme, Rosemary, and Flowers, is best. It is of three sorts, Virgin-honey, Life-honey, and Stock-honey. The first is the best. The Life-honey next. The Virgin-honey is of Bees, that swarmed the Spring before, and are taken up in Autumn; and is made best by chusing the Whitest combs of the Hive, and then letting the Honey run out of them lying upon a Sieve without pressing it, or breaking of the Combs. The Life-honey is of the same Combs broken after the Virgin-honey is run from it; The Merchants of Honey do use to mingle all the sorts together. The first of a swarm is called Virgin-honey. That of the next year, after the Swarm was hatched, is Life-honey. And ever after, it is Honey of Old-stocks. Honey that is forced out of the Combs, will always taste of Wax. Hampshire Honey is most esteemed at London. About Bisleter there is excellent good. Some account Norfolk honey the best.” (From Digby, Sir Kenelme. The Closet of the Eminently Learned Sir Kenelme Digby Kt. Opened: Whereby is Discovered Several ways for making of Metheglin, Sider, Cherry-Wine, &c. Together with... read more

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