MEADERY - COMING SOON!
Mead is delicious beverage made from the fermentation of honey diluted with water and the addition of yeast. It is the oldest reported alcoholic beverage, with archaeological references to it going back thousands of years.
Mead is a very versatile drink. While people often think of mead as a sweet dessert wine, it can can be fermented into a dry, an off-dry, or a sweet wine — either still or sparkling. It can also be made in many styles, similar to a white wine, a red wine, a cider, a fruit wine, or a beer — as long as the primary source of fermentable sugars is from honey.
In order to produce mead on our farm, the Ontario government requires us to keep a minimum of 100 honeybee colonies — this is no small challenge for a start-up like us, especially considering that the average annual bee colony mortality rate has been over 30 percent here in Ontario — and it was 47 percent in the winter of 2017-18.
Nonetheless, the size of our apiary has been growing steadily in the last three years. As we continue to expand our apiaries to reach the 100-hive threshold, we are also actively perfecting our mead recipes, building the meadery space inside our barn, tooling-up the mead-making equipment, and initiating discussions with government agencies to obtain the appropriate licensing.
Stay tuned! We hope to launch our meadery in the coming months. We will provide updates as we get closer to the opening.
LATE JUNE TO OCTOBER:
11am to 5pm
from Thursdays to Mondays
Closed on Tuesdays and Wednesdays
REST OF THE TIME:
You may hear mead referred to as a honey wine. While it is the legal, taxation definition, this is not really technically accurate since mead is created by fermenting honey while wine is made from fermented grape juice.
Mead was produced in ancient history throughout Europe, Africa, and Asia.
There are many types of mead — sweet, dry, sparkling, crisp, refreshing. The mead family tree is large and includes:
Traditional Mead is made from honey, water and yeast. It will be known a Great Mead or a Sack, if it is brewed with more honey as this given the beverage more alcohol potency. It is called a Hydromel, if the mead is brewed with less honey (i.e. more water and less alcohol).
Pyment is a mead fermented with wine grapes.
Cyser is an apple cider mead.
Melomel is fermented with any choice of other fruit.
Acerglen is brewed with maple syrup.
Metheglyn, is a mead infused with spices, herbs, and/or tea.
Braggot, is a beer style mead brewed with grains.
Myth & Lore
Referred to as the “nectar of the gods” by ancient Greeks, mead was believed to be dew sent from the heavens and collected by bees.
J.R.R. Tolkien referred to mead in Lord of the Rings as did George R.R. Martin in the Game of Thrones:
“I welcome you to our fires, and offer you meat and mead in honour of our friendship” said Bran Stark to northern lords. While Marillon said to Sansa Stark, “I never get drunk. Mead only makes me merry”.
As we know here in Canada “Winter is [always] coming!” So, better to stock up on mead.
During medieval times, mead was an integral part of wedding ceremonies where newly-weds were encouraged to drink mead to promote good luck with their marriage.
Furthermore, the bride and the groom were given a supply of mead lasting a full moon cycle in the belief that mead promotes fertility and virility. From this practice, has emerged the term “honeymoon.”
In ancient times, healers in Africa, Europe, and Scandinavia would brew or infuse medicinal herbs with mead to create a Metheglyn, which was believed to heal, and provide comfort to friends and family.
Today, mead is enjoying a renaissance. For instance, in the United States there were less than 30 meaderies in the early part of the millienum — now, there are over 200.
As mead continues to gain popularity, so does the art of food and honey wine pairing. The same principles which guide your choice of a red or a white wine to accompany a meal also apply to the selection of a fine mead.
In fact, there is so much diversity in mead styles that it would even be possible for a meadmaker to custom brew a mead to match your favourite dish.