Posted on January 6, 2015
by Gina Smith
The Mountain Express
Asheville, North Carolina
The mention of mead is likely to bring to mind Vikings and Renaissance fairs rather than sophisticated sipping and food pairings. But times and tastes are changing, and some locals have their sights set on modernizing perceptions and knocking the dust off the ancient drink’s faded appeal.
One of these mead mavens is Fairview resident Ivar Schloz. A former metallurgical engineer and longtime beer-brewing hobbyist, Schloz is the owner and head mazer (mead maker) at Bee & Bramble, an artisan meadery that began marketing its products locally in mid-November. Contrary to the commonly held notion of honey wine as an overly sweet drink, Schloz’s meads are dry, crisp and laced with floral notes — similar in taste and appearance to a nice white wine. And his goal, he says, is to change the way people view mead.
“My mission, I guess, if you could say there’s a mission, is to dispel the notion that this is a specialty beverage,” says Schloz. “This is a daily drinker. This is something you can pair with foods and that you can drink on a daily basis. I guess I’m testament to that: I love beer, I love wine, but honestly, I’d rather drink my own stuff.”
Schloz was first inspired to try making mead in 2010 after he tried some made by a friend during an annual gathering of his college buddies. It was a Viking-themed party, of course.