How did I get into brewing mead?
Back when I was in college, I spent a semester studying abroad in Montreal, Quebec. At the time, I was 20. Given that the drinking age in Canada is still 18, unlike in the United States, some of my friends and I had some fun exploring bars around the area. One friend in particular had an urge to find mead – which he described as a honey beer. This is the first time I really registered what this was beyond a vague notion of being something that vikings drank.
I’m sure the viking connect was what inspired my friend to find it. Unfortunately, we were not really able to find a true mead, but his search was sated by a honey wheat beer we discovered in one bar. Even now, it can be difficult to find them, but there has been a recent resurgence in brewing this drink, likely spurred along by the craft beer and cider brewing scene. I recall briefly looking into how to make mead back then, but quickly lost interest upon reading that the general time to complete was measured in months (initial fermentation generally completes within 2 weeks, but like wine mead tends to get better with age). This time span seemed an eternity to my younger self, where it would essentially take a whole semester to create this drink.
Several years later, I played the Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, which has a heavy viking theme to it, and heavily features mead throughout. Miracle of Sound, (known for their music that pays homage to popular video games) created the song Nord Mead for their tribute to this game. It’s catchy, check it out. The game even contains a recipe to create mead in one of the books you can acquire on your adventures. This peaked my interest in the subject once again. The spark stayed there until I finally took the plunge. As I write this I have been brewing for over a year now and have created roughly 28 gallons in 8 different batches.
It has become a fun hobby, that also produces a tangible product at that the end of it. This I can then share with friends and family. So join me on this journey, and make some for yourself.