It’s pretty clear that mead’s status as the new (old) brew on the block isn’t going away anytime soon, much to the delight of mead lovers all over America. We can debate all day why mead became popular and whether or not that popularity is a good thing for mead’s hipness factor, but I think we can all agree that we’re pretty excited about the great American meads that have been coming out of meaderies, wineries and breweries lately.
We’ve been asking around, and while some are pretty grumpy about their authentic, niche bevvy being adopted by the masses, most can agree that the quality of mead is benefiting greatly from the demand that’s now driving competition within the market. We polled our base about which meaderies are their faves, and we’ve started a huge list that we’ll be breaking down into several installments of articles.
Today, we’re excited to find out more about three of the meaderies that were mentioned most often in our polling.
Pirtle Mead – Westin, Missouri
First thing’s first – it’s pretty safe to say that this was our audience’s favorite mead by far. It was mentioned separately many more times than other meads, and as an added bonus, if you can get yourself there, tastings in their tasting room are free.
Even if you don’t like sweet wine, you still need to try the mead. It’d be like going to Disneyland and not getting your photo with Mickey, it’s that serious. -Yelp user
The tasting room is in an old church, adding a touch of history and authenticity to the mead. If you can’t make it to Westin, Missouri, not to worry – you can order a bottle for $15.95 on their website or pick one up at any number of retailers through Missouri and Kansas.
From the days of yore to the modern world, made from 100% Orange Blossom Honey our mead is a multi International gold medal winner. Pair with Cheesecake and Spiced Pear. -From the brewer
This medium sweet mead’s strong honey nose and good legs are complimented by its light golden appearance.
Starrlight Mead – Pittsboro, North Carolina
Also one of the most popular meads with our readers, Starrlight Mead has made the successful jump from a home mead maker to a full commercial meadery that makes a wide variety of meads from traditional honey to herb- and fruit- infused. The mead makers are also graduates of bee school and keep their own bees.
When people do labor of love, it inspires souls. It exudes and it reflects. It makes me conclude that Starrlight Meadery’s secret is not North Carolina’s honey but love – lots and lots of love. -Eflinda, blogger of “I Am Uniquely and Wonderfully Made”
They’ve added nine new flavors this year, from Lavender to Kickin’ Cranberry Orange. If you’re just getting into mead, it’s recommended to start with the off-dry traditional mead ($19.00) so you have a baseline. Mead isn’t always as sweet as you think! Its light floral notes finish with a slight citrus zest. Another favorite is the Nordic Blend, which is infused with caraway, fennel, and anise seed in the Scandanavian tradition.
Starrlight Mead can be purchased at the meadery, at local outlets throughout North Carolina, and can be shipped to 19 states.
Rogue Farms 19 Original Colonies Mead – Newport, Oregon
This popular Oregon brewery grows as many ingredients as possible for its brews on its farm in Independence, Oregon, and its bees sample all of the hops, blackberries, cherries, lavender, pumpkin, and rye they can get, infusing their mead honey with all of the delicious wildness of the Willamette Valley.
Bright golden yellow color. Rich floral aromas of honeysuckle, Asian pear, floral soap, and yuzu with a supple, bright, effervescent, dryish medium body and a tingling, interesting, medium-length citrus oil, lanolin, lilac water, and chalk eraser finish. A decidedly different sparkling mead that could use a touch more residual sugar to balance. -Bevtest.com
The mead itself is made from 5 ingredients: Rogue Farms honey, wild flower honey, jasmine green tea leaves, yeast, and water. It’s high in carbonation with a light taste and pale golden yellow color.
Rogue Farms Mead ships to Oregon and Washington for $6.75 plus fees. This mead was only brewed once, but it sounds like they’ll be making more. Let us know if you run into a bottle of this in your neck of the woods so we can let folks know about it.
Have you tried any of these meads? Have any other meadery suggestions? Let us know in the comments! We’ll be adding more to our fan favorite mead series soon.