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 BC 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. Come often to try them all! Upon visiting our taproom, we’ll be serving four meads from among the following:
BEE BALM: Mead fermented with lemon balm. Semi-sweet with soft lemon.
BLACK SHEEP: Semi-sweet black currant and agave mead. Like your favorite Rainbow song.
BORDEN PEAR: Barrel-aged pear-sorghum mead with honey. Sweet with fresh pear.
BOUDICA: St. Patrick's Day barrel-aged semi-sweet Irish breakfast tea mead,
BRAZEN HEAD: Dry bochet (mead made with caramelized honey). Beer-like with notes of caramel and molasses.
CORTEZ: Semi-sweet coffee mead made with locally-roasted Dynamite coffee.
CYPRIS: Beet mead. Earthy and semi-sweet.
EL DRAQUE: Mojito-inspired mead with lime and mint.
THE ENGLISH ROSE: Semi-sweet rhodomel (rose mead) with poppy seed.
THE VISCOUNT: Dry Earl Grey mead, named for the original namesake of the tea.
MANDORIA: Semi-sweet almond mead.
MUNINN: Rosemary metheglin (herb mead) from tree honey. Sprucy and semi-sweet.
KENT GOLDING: Mead with English hops. Mellow.
FENBERRY: Cranberry melomel (fruit mead) with maple. Tart cranberry, sweet maple, and just a hint of spruce.
FENRIS: Dry mead made with Scottish breakfast tea.
KESKEN: Semi-sweet apricot-chai mead.
LORD NELSON: Pomegranate-mint mead. A little fruity, a little minty.
THE MAYAN: Semi-sweet pineapple sage mead.
MÜNINN: Semi-sweet rosemary metheglin (herb mead).
NETTLESOME: Semi-sweet mead fermented with nettles. Notes of citrus light honey.
PLOMME: Semi-sweet melomel (mead with fruit) with plum.
PISTACHIO: Semi-dry pistachio mead.
THE RUBICON: Pyment (mead fermented with grape juice) from pinot noir; fruity and semi-sweet.
SANGUINE: Blood orange and sarsaparilla mead with orange ceylon tea.
SIMA: Traditional Finnish mead fermented with lemon and raisins.
THE STRANGER: Melomel (fruit mead) from orange, sarsparilla, and organic Ceylon broken orange pekoe tea. Soft orange accented by earthy sarsparilla.
THE TYRANT: Oak-aged semi-dry cherry mead.