Mead by Many Other Names

Like craft beer, mead has many styles and names for those styles. Here are some of the many mead styles that you’ll encounter in your mead-tasting adventures.

Trish Faubion Jul 20, 2015 - 3 min read

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Mead styles are based on the mead’s basic ingredients (e.g., honey) and extra ingredients (e.g., herbs, spices), the degree of sweetness, the alcoholic strength, the degree of carbonation, and the country of origin. Here are some of the many mead styles that you’ll encounter:

Show Mead

Plain mead with no spices or fruits added. For instance, Moonstruck Meadery Show Mead is made from honey (White Dutch, wild clover, and alfalfa), water, and yeast.


Mead made with fruit added. Our mead reviews in Issue 6 (April/May 2015) include three melomels: Mjödhamnen Lingonlunda, Moonlight Meadery Desire, and Schramm’s Raspberry.

Sparkling Mead

Carbonated mead, which is usually bottle conditioned with a small amount of honey or sugar added to achieve the carbonation. Celestial Meads Honey Do and the Redstone Meadery Nectar series are examples of sparkling mead.


Sack Mead

Mead with a very high honey content and alcohol by volume. Kuhnhenn Bourbon Barrel Sack Mead is—as its name implies—a sack.


Mead made with malted grain (usually barley). Samuel Adams Honey Queen, Dogfish Head BeeWolf Braggot, and Kuhnhenn Braggot are all examples.


Mead made with grape or grape juice added. Redstone Meadery’s White Pyment includes Chardonnay grapes while B. Nektar’s Wildberry Pyment includes Shiraz grape juice.

Interested in learning more about mead? Check out Issue 6 (April/May 2015) of _Craft Beer & Brewing Magazine®, _where you’ll learn more about mead, cider, and gluten-free/gluten-reduced beer. Get your back issue today!



Mead made with honey and apple cider. Examples include Vander Mill Cyser Van Doom and Green River Ambrosia Bourbon Barrel-Aged Cyser.


Mead made with such spices as cinnamon, nutmeg, or cloves. Tugwell Creek Solstice Metheglin includes ginger and spices and is aged in French oak barrels.

Short Mead

Mead made in a way that it matures quickly. Many homebrew recipes are for short mead.

Great Mead

Mead designed to be bottled and aged for several years.


Mead made with caramelized honey, which creates such flavors as toffee, chocolate, and marshmallow.