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Jhett Collins, one of the founders, pours a sample of mead. Their sampler is meant to be an educational tool to learn about the beverage. - Globe | Juliana Goodwin
Jhett Collins, one of the founders, pours a sample of mead. Their sampler is meant to be an educational tool to learn about the beverage. - Globe | Juliana Goodwin

Southwest Missouri brewer turns tap on ancient drink

By Juliana Goodwin
The Joplin Globe
February 6, 2015

BUFFALO, Mo. — I tasted mead in Europe once, and it was sickeningly sweet; the mead at The Leaky Roof Meadery in Buffalo is nothing like that.

Tucked away just off U.S. 65, it is the state’s only dedicated meadery — meaning it doesn’t make anything else.

Mead is one of the oldest fermented alcoholic beverages known to mankind, and it’s made by fermenting honey with water and other spices.

Todd Rock, general manager and head mead maker, mixes it with other fruit such as berries, apples and sour cherries. He also adds in herbs such as ginger and lavender, and he even ages some in oak barrels.

In short, he likes to experiment and has fun with the names, too. One of the meads is called “Spook Light,” named after Joplin’s infamous haunt.

While mead has a long history, it fell out of favor in Europe as the population grew because it was easier to cultivate grapes than honey, and wine production took over, Rock said.

“There’s been a revival of mead in North America, and we are one of about 150 meaderies,” Rock said. “We are one of six that carbonate our mead.”

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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.