Five on Five: Mead

Mead has enjoyed a meteoric rise over the past decade. Here, we ask five new-school meadmakers about the bottles that were formative experiences for them, or that stand out in recent memory.

Craft Beer & Brewing Staff Sep 25, 2020 - 3 min read

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Lost Cause Meadery Devilry

Jeff Herbert, cofounder, Superstition Meadery in Prescott, Arizona
“It is a raspberry mead made with meadowfoam blossom honey. They used tons of raspberries which lends a bright acidity and tart berry richness that pairs perfectly with the marshmallow and vanilla notes of meadowfoam honey. It’s a good example of a melomel where the honey varietal stands out as much as the fruit.”

Kuhnhenn Bourbon Barrel Aged French Toast

Clint Wadsworth, founder and meadmaker, Misbeehavin’ Meads in Valparaiso, Indiana
“It was at Dark Lord Day many years ago, and it just stood out from all the other glorious beverages consumed that day. I was awestruck that it perfectly captured the aroma and flavor of french toast, which I love to begin with, and that the bourbon barrel complimented it so well. I really aspire to share that same aha moment with our customers through our mead and ciders.”

Schramm’s Marionberry

Aaron Schavey, founder and meadmaker, Boneflower Craft Mead in St. John, Indiana
“One of the first meads I ever truly fell in love with. The complexity of the honey, fruit, acidity, and tannin all blended so well together at my first sip. Marionberry is one of those bottles you don’t want to end. Luckily, this mead is fair priced and accessible. You can definitely say that Marionberry has influenced Boneflower many times over again.”

Kuhnhenn B4FT

Chad Wiltz, owner and mazer, Garagiste Meadery in Tampa, Florida
“B4FT is a Bourbon Barrel Banana Bochet French Toast concept—in its time, pretty remarkable, in that it really challenged what I thought mead could be. Aging meads in used spirits barrels was still uncommon, and intentionally burning honey for Bochet-style meads was relatively unheard of. Notes of bourbon, toasted oak, and banana, with a kiss of cinnamon. It just worked, and as a mead novice at the time it positively blew my mind.”

Schramm’s Madeline

Anthony Qualls, cofounder, Manic Meadery in Crown Point, Indiana
“Schramm’s Madeline (1st Birthday) was the mead that got me hooked on big, bold berry bombs. Prior to trying this delicious boysenberry libation, I was very skeptical of high-gravity, sweet wines and meads, other than an occasional after-dinner port. Madeline changed that. Ken’s expression of every aspect of the berry highlighted in perfect union with the honey was a truly magical experience. The mead we make today would not be to the level of complexity and bold presentation without Schramm’s contribution and innovation.”