By Michael Platt, Calgary Sun
Though the Vikings considered it the perfect drink to complement outdoor activities like marauding and pillaging, Nathan Ryan would be content to just see Albertans sipping mead on a hot summer patio.
That’s the long-term goal as Ryan and his brothers work to make one of the most ancient boozy beverages around a staple of Alberta’s festive future, with the honey-based tipple taking it’s rightful place alongside wine and beer.
“Our goal is to take the novelty out of mead, if we can,” said Ryan, co-owner of Fallentimber, a meadery operating out of Water Valley, northwest of Calgary, and one of only a handful of producers in Alberta.
“Mead is perfect as a hot summer patio drink — it’s not sticky, it’s not super sweet, and it’s refreshing and not a challenge to drink.”
No wonder the Vikings liked it, along with the ancient Greeks, ancient Chinese, ancient Hindus and virtually ever other global culture with a taste for honey and hooch.
It is the oldest fermented beverage known to man, and offers a nice sociable kick with a more manageable hangover than brews made with grapes and barley. Supposedly.
Really, modern drinkers should take to the honey-hued drink like bees to flowers — and often, it’s just a matter of getting a generation raised on beer and wine to try something “new”, though technically its a drink as old as human history.
That’s why the Calgary International Beer Festival is so vital for Fallentimber and others on the outskirts of the traditional beer market, and with 41,000 potential palettes passing through next weekend, it’s a chance to conquer like sailors from Scandinavia.
“We actually get the most benefit out of beer festivals like Calgary, because we are still a novelty product,” said Ryan, who will be serving mead samples this upcoming Friday and Saturday at the Calgary show.
“Among all that beer, we stick out like a sore thumb.”
Full Story: New drink creating a real buzz
Meadery Profile: Fallentimer Meadery