by Stephanie Danley, WTLV
You might have noticed it in shops or even coming soon to our local breweries (Wicked Barley and Engine 15), the trend in craft brewing is moving to Ciders and Meads. The craft beer industry is resurrecting an old style and injecting it with new ideas. I’m always amazed at the creativity in the industry.
This past week I attended an introduction to Mead held at Total Wine. I’ve just recently discovered the events and classes there and this was my first event. I’d suggest checking them out. They have classes and events for nearly every kind of alcohol available in the store. Costs are minimal, I paid $5 for the Mead class.
The stars of this class are the brewers/owners of B. Nektar Meadery, Brad and Kerri Dahlhofer and Paul Zimmerman and Florida sales rep Mark Houdeshell. This Mead specific brewery is based in Ferndale Michigan and is the largest Meadery in the country. Brad Dahlhofer said that the output of the Meadery is probably smaller than Cigar City or Funky Buddha, but as far as Meaderies go, they are the largest. They also occupy a spot on the Worldwide Top 100 Breweries list put out by RateBeer.com.
As an introduction, Brad explained that Mead is simply honey, water and yeast. Where beer gets its fermentable sugar from grains and wine from grapes, Mead uses honey. Brewing Mead can take as short as a couple of months (for low alcohol yields) or over a year for higher ABV content.
Brad is VP of the American Mead Maker Association. He said there are very strong restrictions regarding Mead. Currently there is a bill in Congress called The Mead Act, that would do a multitude of things including changing the definition of what makes a Mead and making it easier for Mead to be produced.
Full Story: First Coast Brews: Mead all about it!
Meadery Profile: B. Nektar Meadery