The Rookery: Why mead is magic
An ancient marriage of fermented honey and water, mead offers a warm, golden buzz. Gayle Ritchie meets mead maker Christopher Mullin of The Rookery in Blairgowrie
by Gayle Ritchie
Brewing up mead in his halls of residence at Aberdeen University, it’s no surprise that Christopher Mullin was hugely popular among his fellow students.
His fascination with the alcoholic drink developed as he delved deep into the history of Gaelic, and he enjoyed many hours getting merry with his pals in a bid to brew the perfect mead.
“It was a big part of the pre-Christian Celtic story and it’s likely to be the oldest alcoholic drink in the world, with archaeological evidence suggesting mead production in Western Turkey in 45,000 BCE,” says Christopher, 42.
“It was the predominant drink until hops came along in the 1600s, meaning that beer tasted nicer, lasted longer and cost less.”
After university, Christopher joined the army and his work in the Intelligence Corps took him all over the world until he left in 2014.
It was then that he had an epiphany moment.
“Mead had been a hobby for 20 years and even at uni, I knew it was good enough to sell,” he recalls.
“I started hatching plans, talked to home brewers and potential stockists, bought a house in Kirkmichael and set up a micro-brewery which made mead.”
The venture – The Rookery – was largely self-financed but Christopher also got some help from an ex-military fund, Business Gateway and GrowBiz.
He brewed in a derelict stables at Enochdhu for 18 months until he found his own premises in an old flour factory in Blairgowrie.
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