By TAMMY La GORCENOV. 12, 2015
New York Times
In an alley behind a shopping mall in Vauxhall, a modern version of a fermented beverage popular in the Middle Ages is being produced, sampled and sold: mead.
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Melovino, the only commercial meadery in the state, opened just over a year ago and has already won 19 awards, including a gold medal in March at the Mazer Cup International, a prominent mead competition in Colorado.
“We can actually say that the best fruit mead in the world is made right here,” Sergio Moutela, 33, Melovino’s founder, said.
Those who don’t know what mead is, let alone that it has become the subject of the kind of fevered contests more commonly associated with barbecue, have plenty of company.
“I would say 70 to 80 percent of the people who walk through our doors have never heard of it,” said Mr. Moutela, who learned about the drink himself only four years ago while dabbling in making wine and craft beer.
Made from fermented honey, mead predates beer and wine by thousands of years. It makes appearances in both the epic poem “Beowulf” and Chaucer’s “The Canterbury Tales.” Though it has long been a staple in countries like Ireland, Poland and Ethiopia, where it is called tej and considered by many to be the national drink, it is just now gaining popularity in the United States.
Profile: Melovino Meadery