Arktos is a meadery located in Grand Rapids, Michigan. It can be a bit difficult to find, as it is situated in a small building located off a highway service road. A barbed wire topped fence surrounds the parking lot, and you have to walk through a snaking hallway to get to the little tasting room within.
Bizarre locations seem to be somewhat of a theme with these smaller producers. And this is a shame, really, as I greatly enjoyed the product they had available. I can’t imagine the location is doing them any favors. but the staff was friendly, and they provided us with a flight of every mead flavor they had on tap.
In addition to their meads, they also had some suggested combinations of those flavors available for purchase, as well as a few unique sodas.
Queen Bee (Traditional)
The obligatory traditional that all meaderies must have available. This was mildly sweet, with an hint of oak in the backend (from the barrel aging). It had a nice subtle honey flavor to it. Nice, simple, but not dull. A pleasant drink.
Enchanted Horse (Apple Cyser)
This was very sweet. A strong, vivid honeycrisp apple flavor. It had a light apple scent to the nose.
Red Fox (Grape Pyment)
This one was actually my favorite, and I’m usually not usually a raving fan of grape flavored things. It’s nose had a faint grape scent to it, very subtle. This drink had a nice acidity to it, that left your mouth watering. The grape was more of a grape juice, than a wine flavor, so nice and fruity. It was nice and sweet. My wife also approved of this one. We ended up getting a bottle to take with us.
Black Stripe (Strawberry)
This had a sweet nose. The strawberry fruit flavor was light, but had a nice tartness to the finish. It was also a strong one, weighing in at 18% abv.
Ursa Major (Braggot)
This half mead, half beer variety doesn’t appear in a lot of meaderies, so is always interesting to see. This was somewhere along the lines of a stout or porter with a hint of that honey flavor. It had a strong, dark malty, or coffee-like nose to it.
Cricket Song (Coffee)
This is a cold brewed, Guatemalan green coffee bean flavored mead. It had a complex nose to it, with strong, bitter coffee as the primary with a faint hint of sweetness underneath. The flavor was much more subtle than the scent suggested. Just a hint of that coffee bitterness, which even I enjoyed, not being a coffee drinker.
They have some interesting ceramic flip top bottles/growlers for sale, that they are willing to fill up with what they have on tap. Do note that the price they have listed for these is just for the bottle itself, not including a fill up. This caught us off guard, slightly when we ordered.