Wednesday, November 18, 2009
When I mention “mead” I find that most people ask me to repeat myself. When I continue to say it’s a type of honey wine, ears seem to instantly sharpen and eyes focus in. Now that I may also have your attention, mead is the world’s oldest beverage, believed to be invented in 7000 BC in Northern China. A friend first introduced me to the drink and before I could take another sip, I had plans to visit the Boulder Meadery to see exactly what was fermenting.
Upon walking inside the small operation in Boulder Colorado, I found a lively atmosphere and a friendly guide that did not delay in letting the tasting begin. After rolling in the honey, we took about seven steps and were already in the middle of the mead magic. A space about the size of two conference rooms cranks out enough mead to be one of the leading producers across the country. The whole process happens in the small space, from brewing to bottling.
After learning the science of how two sole ingredients, honey and wine, come together to create a delicate and refreshing beverage, it was time to wet the palette again. Our small tour group took turns anxiously rushing sample glasses to the tour guide, to get a fill on many types of mead. Whether sparkling mead, still mead, mead mixed with fruit or mead mixed with spices, each sample has an incredibly distinct flavor. Mead may be a hidden secret many have yet to discover, but I quickly learned why the world’s most ancient beverage was back in fashion. I would like to raise my glass and cheers to those that were brewing up the recipe over 9,000 years ago.