By Rachel Nania
WASHINGTON — The oldest alcoholic beverage is making a comeback.
Several years ago, Chris Ekechukwu tried mead for the first time at the Maryland Renaissance Festival. Ekechukwu was familiar with many styles of craft beer — he was a homebrewer himself — but was intrigued by mead’s still, “super sweet” quality.
“I thought it’d be much more interesting if it was a bit less sweet, carbonated, more drinkable,” said Ekechukwu of Leesburg, Virginia.
So he got to work, attempting to achieve just that. After about 30 or so test batches, Ekechukwu finally had a beverage that he describes as a cross between Champagne and cider. He was pleased with the result, but was curious to hear what others thought, so he took his product to a beer and wine meetup group.
“Someone told me, ‘I’d pay $30 for this!’” he said.
That’s when Ekechukwu realized he could turn his sparkling beverage into a business. Now, bottles of his Honey Grail mead can be found in beer and wine stores across 13 states. Honey Grail is also available in a number of local restaurants, including All Purpose Pizzeria, Pizzeria Paradiso, The Black Squirrel and Bourbon.
Meadery Profile: Honey Grail