by Scott Halliday | Thursday, March 05, 2015
Michigan is widely recognized as a leader in the booming national craft beer movement. Less recognized, however, is the growth of Michigan’s mead industry and the quiet emergence of metro Detroit as the nation’s premier region for high quality mead production.
For the uninitiated, mead is an alcoholic beverage made from fermented honey and flavored with various fruits, spices, and other ingredients. The drink has a documented historical tradition dating back to roughly 7000 B.C. Meads are generally classified into two types: still meads, which are not carbonated and usually stronger, and draft meads, which are carbonated and generally more easy drinking.
Michigan is the second only to California in terms of the variety of crops it produces and is home to a large beekeeping community, making it an ideal location for mead makers, who enjoy easy access to a vast variety of fruits, honey, and other mead ingredients available from local sources. Several metro Detroit meaderies have taken full advantage of the state’s unique situation to create and grow a close-knit mead community of mead makers and enthusiasts.
According to Ratebeer.com, generally regarded by enthusiasts and mead makers as the most mead-centric of craft beverage reviewing websites, local producers B Nektar, Kuhnhenn Brewing, and Schramm’s Mead alone accounted for 27 of the Top 50 Meads in the world and seven of the Top 10 in 2014.