Hyattsville Life & Times
February 8 2016
BY SCARLETT SALEM — The meteoric rise of craft brews over the past few years has laid the groundwork for a return of mead, which may arguably be the world’s oldest alcoholic drink. And while it has gained traction nationwide and is set to storm the Washington, DC, region, most people have never even heard of it.
“People say ‘I saw it [the bottle] said Charm City…I bought it, I love it, I don’t know what it is,’” said Hyattsville resident and co-founder of the Baltimore-based Charm City Meadworks, Andrew Geffken. “It’s the world’s oldest alcohol and was relegated to the sidelines and we are trying to bring it back a bit,” he said. Although the drink’s popularity has waned since the advent of beer and wine which are less expensive to produce, it has been a constant presence at Renaissance Festivals and recent online data has shown a recent uptick in meaderies opening nationwide.
Made with honey, water and fermented yeast, mead falls into a distinct class of its own, not traditionally considered a beer, cider, or wine. A substantial amount of honey is needed to create mead because of its higher alcohol content, which can vary between mead destined for a keg or a can. “[It’s about] one part honey to four parts water and can get somewhere in the 2,500 to 3,500 gallons a month. … There are some losses along the way for filtration,” said Geffken.
Meadery Profile: Charm City Meadworks