By Jan Fialkow
The Gourmet Retailer
February 23, 2015
Mead – the medieval drink of fermented honey – may conjure up images of Renaissance Fairs, but it is experiencing its own rebirth with consumers looking for a unique artisan/craft beverage.
Mead is the fastest growing segment in the American alcoholic beverage industry; between 2012 and 2013, mead sales grew by 130 percent according to the American Mead Makers Association (AMMA), exceeding growth rates for beer, wine, distilled spirits and hard cider.
The number of domestic meaderies (wineries that produce mead) has grown from 60 in 2010 to 194 in 2014, accounting for 2.5 percent of American wineries. Mead is popping up on restaurant wine lists, store shelves and bar taps across the country.
Honey is the primary fermentable in mead, but different styles add fruit or spice, Mead can range from dry to sweet and it can be still or sparling. Like wine, craft beer and spirits, it can also be barrel-aged.
It was the main alcoholic beverage for millennia, only being eclipsed when agricultural production became entrenched. At that point, grapes for wine and grains and hops for beer became more readily available than honey, which depended on wild bees for its existence.
Full Story: Mead Makes a Comeback