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Cherie Andrews of Chinook Honey Co. and Chinook Arch Meadery pours samples of mead for members of a visiting tour group Sept. 25 at the operation’s shop near Okotoks, Alta. | Barb Glen photo
Cherie Andrews of Chinook Honey Co. and Chinook Arch Meadery pours samples of mead for members of a visiting tour group Sept. 25 at the operation’s shop near Okotoks, Alta. | Barb Glen photo

Alberta Canada: Yeast plus honey equals success

After 49 batches, meadery develops winning recipe to make 20,000 litres annually

by Barb Glen
The Western Producer

Art and Cherie Andrews are wise about mead, about bees and about how to produce honey and honey products.

If they weave poems, they kept that information to themselves on a recent tour of Chinook Honey Co. and Chinook Arch Meadery near Okotoks, Alta.

Art is a believer that everything old is new again. Mead, also re-ferred to as honey wine, is widely considered to be the ancestor of all fermented drinks and dates back at least 7,000 years.

Art predicts a resurgence in mead production and consumption. He and Cherie opened the first meadery in Alberta in 2008, and two others have opened in the province since then.

“It’s the biggest up-and-coming drink in America right now, across the border, and what happens down there is going to happen here next,” Art told a group of Canadian farm writers in late September.

“I was the first one to stick my head in and start playing with this stuff. It sounds simple, doesn’t it? Honey, water, yeast, that’s all it is.”

It turned out to be a bit more complicated. He made 49 bad batches before he hit upon the right technique. Now Chinook Arch Meadery makes 13 varieties of mead, which it sells from its on-farm shop and in Alberta liquor outlets and wine stores.

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About Rob

Rob

A novice mead maker, but a huge mead enthusiast! I’m also the owner and Site Administrator of TheMeadery.net and reside in Manchester, New Hampshire.