by Carolyn Beans
National Public Radio
You may know mead — an ancient alcoholic beverage made from water, honey, and yeast — as a drink that’s popular among Renaissance fairgoers and Game of Thrones fans.
Meadmaker Andrew Geffken is on a mission to add another group to that list: the average beer drinker. At Charm City Meadworks in Baltimore, Md., he’s experimenting with modern takes on this age-old drink.
The current problem, Geffken says, is that mead just isn’t cool enough to woo hip craft beer drinkers. But with a little help from hops — many a beer drinker’s favorite ingredient — he thinks he can change that.
Geffken isn’t the only meadmaker attempting to revive this old-timey beverage — mead’s popularity has risen rapidly in recent years. Charm City — which Geffken opened with co-owner James Boicourt in 2014 — currently makes enough mead to burn through 5,000 pounds of honey each month.
Still, there are only about 150 meaderies in the U.S. — whereas there are about 4,000 craft breweries. To gain a foothold with beer enthusiasts, Geffken is blurring the line between the two beverages.
Meadery Profile: Charm City Meadworks