By Fritz Hahn November 16 at 8:30 AM
Mead, the fermented honey beverage swilled by Vikings, medieval royalty and costumed Renaissance festival fanatics, is undergoing a mini-revival right now, showing up at high-end neighborhood grocery stores, on tap at cool beer bars and, maybe, your Thanksgiving table.
Example A is Charm City Meadworks, which officially opened for business in July 2014. It’s turning 3,200 pounds of honey into mead every month in a garage-size industrial space in South Baltimore, supplying 130 stores, restaurants and bars in the Washington-Baltimore corridor as well as pouring flights and selling growlers in its taproom on weekends. Charm City’s meads, infused with herbs, hops and fruit, are sold in cans and bottles at Glen’s Garden Market and Mom’s Organic Markets, offered on tap at Dacha Beer Garden and Meridian Pint, and used in cocktails at Boundary Road and Beuchert’s Saloon.
Nationally, mead is on the rise: According to a report issued this past spring by the American Mead Makers Association, sales grew 84 percent from 2012 to 2014, and production increased 128 percent from 2013 to 2014. The association reported that 42 new meaderies opened across America in 2014, “with many more in the planning stages across nearly every state.”