What is mead?
Mead is wine fermented from honey, sometimes with addition of fruit and/or herbs. Mead is the oldest known alcohol and has a presence within numerous cultures across the world. You may remember it from Beowulf, the Old English epic poem in which the warriors make merry in the Mead Hall, and it has a strong presence in the histories of Scandinavia and England by way of the Vikings, but the oldest evidence of mead dates back to 7000 BCE China. The ancient Greeks and Romans indulged in honey wine as well, and many countries have their own specific traditional mead recipes--Ethiopia, Lithuania, Norway, Greece, Nepal, Poland, and Croatia, among others. Like cider, mead will occur spontaneously when honey, water, and yeast are left to their own devices in nature. Such fermentation would occur in a waterlogged beehive, and upon consuming the wild honey wine, ancient people believe they were communing with the gods!
Typically, mead is fermented between 10% and 12% ABV, but at Black Mountain Ciderworks + Meadery, we focus on hydromels, meads fermented with a higher water content to achieve a lower-gravity, more sessionable mead. We find that hydromels are more approachable that traditional higher-gravity meads because they are more cider and beer-like (but still gluten free), and quite suitable for serving on draft. We craft our meads in small batches from local and regional honey with artisanal mountain spring water, so our selection changes frequently.
We craft over 25 different seasonal varieties of mead throughout the year. We devote 4 taps to mead in our taproom, but our selections change frequently. Now pouring (updated 5.25.17):
CARDAMOM CORTEZ: 6.6%. Coffee mead (coffeamel) from Dynamite coffee and cardamom.
ENGLISH ROSE: 6.6%. Rhodomel (rose mead) from champagne yeast and clover honey.
BLACK SHEEP: 6.6%. Black currant, agave, and honey.
CLOVEN CORTEZ: 6.6%: Coffee mead (coffeamel) from Dynamite coffee and clove.
10 oz pours and 32 oz growlers of mead to go are available from our tasting room. Flights also available.