Celebrating the nectar of the Gods
By: Tammy Marlowe Johnson
The Cochrane Eagle
Everything old is new again.
In the case of mead, it’s a resurgence that’s taken more than 20,000 years.
“Mead is the oldest form of alcohol,” said Nathan Ryan of the Fallentimber Meadery. “We’re still just scratching the surface.”
The ancient drink of the Vikings is defined as any alcoholic beverage made from honey. That’s where it all began for the family-run Fallentimber: father Blake ran a honey operation on their farm northwest of Water Valley when Ryan and his siblings were kids.
“He ran bees and he ran cattle,” recalled Ryan. “We built this based on his business.”
When the cattle operation shut down, the boys wanted to diversify the bee side of things, so they started to tinker with the nectar of the Gods. At first, it was not as simple to create as it may have once been in medieval times.
“It’s tricky. There are not a lot of people you can look to or follow the lead of. We screwed up a lot of small test batches,” Ryan laughed.
The boys eventually got the hang of it, and today, six years later, Fallentimber boasts some of the best in the business. Their traditional mead, as well as different types of specialty meads – like Saskatoon berry, cinnamon and ginger – line the shelves in liquor stores across Alberta.
“The honey may have mild differences, but you can tell that the landscape delivers,” said Ryan. “We’re starting to develop a pretty good following.”
Full Story: Celebrating the nectar of the Gods
Meadery Profile: Fallentimber Meadery