More Honey Please
The savory honey flavors will have you wondering why you haven’t had mead sooner! Learn everything you ever wanted to know about mead from Delaware’s two meaderies; Brimming Horn Meadery in Milton and Liquid Alchemy Beverages in Wilmington.
What is mead?
Liquid Alchemy Beverages - Mead is arguably the oldest know alcoholic beverages and historically one of the most important beverages used in celebrations and special occasions. As “wine” is a category of beverages using honey as the fermentable sugar makes mead. It is uniquely different than grape wine, rice wine and other fruit wines. One very interesting characteristic of mead is its ability to undergo a second fermentation process and acquire additional levels of flavor depending on the fruits, spices or other special ingredients added. Flavors such as key limes, Thai chili peppers and maple coffee are more than possible with amazing outcomes as opposed to other styles of wine. Possibilities are literally endless.
What is the process of making mead?
Liquid Alchemy Beverages - Making mead is a combination of techniques consisting of traditional grape wine making and craft beer processes. It requires mostly a cold fermentation technique using a variety of honeys and specific yeast strains. Similar to other types of wine, filtering, stabilizing and barrel aging techniques can be applied. Most of our meads take approximately six to eight weeks to produces and barrel aging is approximately 1-2 years.
How is mead different than wine?
Brimming Horn - Mead has to be made with pure honey to be called mead. Wine is generally made from crushing and pressing grapes and or fruits and fermenting the juice. Mead has a different flavor and aroma profile than wine since honey is the main sugar source.
What foods pair best with mead?
Liquid Alchemy Beverages - This is where things get fun! Mead compliments so many different foods. Fruitier meads pair well with desserts and brunch foods. Mead can be mixed with some orange juice and topped off with a splash of prosecco for mead-mosa that far exceeds the run of the mill mimosas. Our 04 is the perfect pairing for dessert or brunch as well as our coffee maple, Ground & Tapped mead. Thai-Grr (our Thai chili pepper, key lime) pairs wonderfully with Asian and Indian dishes and works well as a mead-mule (just add a bit of ginger beer). Some of our darker meads, Pucker-Up-Baby and Currant-Lee pair well with steaks and chops. Dry meads taste great with cheeses. Our Overly-Hoptimistic (dry hopped mead) is great on its own or with game day snacks. There is a mead for every part of a meal!
What is your favorite fun fact about mead?
Brimming Horn - Mead is the oldest alcoholic beverage known to man dating back thousands of years before wine and beer. Mead is mentioned in many myths & stories and was the drink of the gods!
Liquid Alchemy Beverages - The word honeymoon has historically significant value. Honey in honeymoon comes from fermented honey wine used to celebrate the marriage between two people. Consumed for one moon (lunar) cycle after the wedding was an important ritual that has changed over time, but was a very important bonding time between newlyweds.
For anyone new to mead, what would you recommend for them to taste first?
Brimming Horn - I always recommended starting with a traditional mead like our award winning Freya's Kiss which is a simple fermentation of honey, water, and yeast or starting with a session mead which is generally lower in alcohol and drinks more like a beer or hard cider.
Liquid Alchemy Beverages - We love to see the delight on people’s faces when they first try mead. Many people have had “mead” at a renaissance fair, which is typically a grape wine with honey added, or they perceive it to be overly sweet or thick like the honey and that is not the case. Once fermented, mead is much like other alcoholic beverages in terms of consistency and most find it more drinkable than many other beverages. Mead becomes their grown-up drink. We recommend, if you are new to mead, to start with a “show” or traditional mead first. This is a mead without added fruits, spices, etc. Only pure honey. This is where you can enjoy the clean profile and truly taste the honey, whatever variety it may be. Our traditional mead is called Sweet-Nothing and we use orange blossom honey. It can be served room temperature or chilled. That is what is so very cool about mead – you can decide how to drink it! There are no grape wine folks judging you about chilling your mead.
What is a unique fact about your Meadery?
Brimming Horn - We make meads in collaboration with various heavy metal bands from around the country for our Mead & Metal series. One of kind meads that are only produced once for the bands. This has been really fun for us and the bands!
Liquid Alchemy Beverages - This is probably not a unique fact, but we love what we do, we love our customers and we love experimenting. We are involved with every aspect of our business and take great pride in everything we make. We are committed to using natural ingredients and as many local ingredients as possible. As of 2019, every still mead we make has won a national or international medal, including gold medals and best-in-show medals. We are proud to represent Delaware in the American mead market.