A renaissance is brewing, throwing the ancient alcoholic beverage spun from honey into the artisanal drink culture, well beyond medieval times. Whether it be fueled by the ever-popular craft brewing movement or drinkers’ new-age interest in fermenting honey, the mead industry is up-and-coming and you deserve to have at least a factual foundation for the now-modern drink.
So, pour yourself a glass and score an imbibable mead education below.
Top 8 Facts You Should Know About Mead:
- Mead is defined as an alcoholic beverage created by fermenting honey with water, and frequently fruits, spices, grains or hops. The alcoholic content of mead may range from about 8% ABV to more than 20%.
- There are 356 calories in an 8.1 oz serving of mead (honey wine).
- Some claim that mead was the first alcoholic drink, predating wine and beer. The earliest evidence of mead production dates back to 7000 BC from pottery vessels in northern China. Historically, mead was something of a global beverage: it was consumed by Greek gods on Mt. Olympus, Vikings, and African bushmen.
- The term ‘honeymoon’ can be traced to the medieval tradition of drinking this honey wine for a full cycle of the moon after marriage. Mead was thought to be an aphrodisiac, and if it was consumed by newlyweds, offspring would hopefully soon follow. A bride’s father would often include enough mead in her dowry to last for a month.
- A mead that also contains spices (such as cloves, cinnamon or nutmeg) or herbs (such as meadowsweet, hops or even lavender or chamomile) is called ametheglin. A mead that contains fruit (such as raspberry, blackberry or strawberry) is called a melomel, which was also used as a means for food preservation.
- There are festivals that pay homage to mead. The Woodbridge International Mead Festival, sponsored by local residents, claims to be the only mead festival east of the Mississippi. While few types of mead are available, all are home-brewed and go through a rigorous judging process.
- August 3rd is recognized as National Mead Day. National Mead Day was started by the American Homebrewer’s Association (AHA) back in 2002 to celebrate the craft of mead-making, and to spread awareness of this ancient, and more-so at the time, obscure beverage. It’s actually somewhat ironic for a drink that is more akin to wine to be selected for celebration by beer-brewers, but when you look at the craft beer movement, there are many beer-lovers who enjoy a good mead, often more than those who also enjoy a good wine.
- Literary nerds, alert: Mead halls play a prominent part in the epic poem Beowulf.
Facts sourced from Wikipedia, The Beer Files, Fat Secret and Time.
- Mead Kit Photo: Uncrate