Travel: Union meadery leads modern mead movement
Melovino Meadery of the Vauxhall section of Union is the first meadery in New Jersey and offers those interested in wine and beer a new fermented beverage to discover
by Jenna Intersimone
UNION (Union), NJ – With craft breweries sprouting up throughout New Jersey and people itching to try the latest local beer, it’s no surprise that beer fanatics have been giving home brewing a try in their own basements.
Sergio Moutela of South Plainfield, founder of Melovino Meadery in the Vauxhall section of Union, started out as a homebrewer, too, until he decided that it was time to get a little more creative.
Moutela, who grew up making wine at home with his grandfather and went on to brew his own beer as an adult, stumbled across mead — a fermented beverage made from honey — online in 2011.
“I used to just know honey as the product that comes in bear-shaped bottles at the supermarket,” he said. “However, I soon found out that just like in the grape wine world, different varietals of honey can make completely different products.”
Most people know mead as what they see offered at renaissance fairs, but Moutela soon discovered that it was much more than that. He found that even though wine is also an archaic beverage, no one spoke about it in the way that they do of mead, and if people continued to do so and refer to it as the “drink of the Vikings,” it would continue to stay niche when it had the ingredients to become much more mainstream.
“In the homebrewer scene, a lot of people were talking about making this thing called mead and it intrigued me,” he said. “Mead is open to fermenting fruit with honey or spices, so the creative window is pretty endless. I tried it, and I was making a lot better mead than I was beer.”
With a plan for this new, extremely versatile beverage, Moutela was soon making mead with products such as ghost pepper chilies, bananas and vanilla beans.
Moutela’s mead was more than good — he won mead home brewing competitions at the local, regional and national level, including back-to-back gold medals in 2012 and 2013 at the Mazer Cup International, the world’s premiere mead-making competition.
Full Story: Travel: Union meadery leads modern mead movement
Meadery Profile: Melovino Meadery