Mead Beer – Definition & Detailed Explanation – Beer Styles Glossary

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I. What is Mead Beer?

Mead beer, also known simply as mead, is an alcoholic beverage that is made by fermenting honey with water. It is one of the oldest alcoholic drinks known to man, with a history that dates back thousands of years. Mead beer can vary in sweetness and alcohol content, depending on the specific recipe and brewing process used. It is often referred to as “the nectar of the gods” due to its sweet and complex flavors.

II. History of Mead Beer

Mead beer has a long and rich history that spans many cultures and civilizations. It is believed to have originated in Africa or Asia, with evidence of its production dating back to ancient times. Mead was popular among the Greeks and Romans, who believed it to have medicinal and aphrodisiac properties. It was also enjoyed by the Vikings, who referred to it as “the drink of poetry.”

Mead beer continued to be popular throughout the Middle Ages and Renaissance periods, with many European monarchs and nobles enjoying it as a luxurious beverage. However, as the popularity of beer and wine grew, mead beer began to decline in popularity. In recent years, there has been a resurgence of interest in mead beer, with many craft breweries and meaderies producing unique and innovative varieties.

III. Ingredients used in Mead Beer

The primary ingredients used in mead beer are honey, water, and yeast. The type of honey used can vary, with different varieties producing different flavors and aromas in the finished product. Some mead beers also include additional ingredients such as fruits, spices, or herbs to enhance the flavor profile.

IV. Types of Mead Beer

There are several different types of mead beer, each with its own unique characteristics and flavor profiles. Some of the most common types include:

1. Traditional Mead: Made with just honey, water, and yeast, traditional mead is a simple and straightforward style that allows the natural flavors of the honey to shine through.

2. Melomel: This type of mead beer includes the addition of fruits, such as berries or citrus, which add a fruity and tart flavor to the finished product.

3. Metheglin: Metheglin mead is made with the addition of spices and herbs, such as cinnamon, cloves, or ginger, which give the mead a complex and aromatic profile.

4. Cyser: Cyser is a type of mead beer that includes the addition of apple juice or cider, which adds a crisp and refreshing apple flavor to the drink.

V. How is Mead Beer made?

The process of making mead beer is relatively simple, but it requires patience and attention to detail. The first step is to mix honey and water in a fermentation vessel, along with any additional ingredients such as fruits or spices. Yeast is then added to the mixture, which will ferment the sugars in the honey into alcohol.

The fermentation process can take anywhere from a few weeks to several months, depending on the desired sweetness and alcohol content of the final product. Once fermentation is complete, the mead is typically aged for a period of time to allow the flavors to mellow and develop.

VI. Popular Mead Beer brands

There are many craft breweries and meaderies that produce high-quality mead beer, each with its own unique flavors and styles. Some popular mead beer brands include:

1. Superstition Meadery: Based in Arizona, Superstition Meadery is known for its innovative and creative mead beer varieties, including barrel-aged and fruit-infused options.

2. Redstone Meadery: Located in Colorado, Redstone Meadery produces a wide range of traditional and flavored mead beers, using locally sourced honey and ingredients.

3. B. Nektar Meadery: B. Nektar Meadery, based in Michigan, is known for its bold and flavorful mead beers, which often include unique ingredients such as coffee, hops, and chili peppers.

Overall, mead beer is a versatile and delicious beverage with a long and storied history. Whether you prefer a traditional honey mead or a modern fruit-infused variety, there is sure to be a mead beer out there to suit your taste preferences. Cheers!