Friday, April 3, 2015

I Meaded This!

Last Sunday we finally had a nice day here.
By nice I mean sunny.....I don't mean warm yet. lolz
I really needed this excursion out......or should I say I "meaded" this?! 8-)

Anyway, Hubs had a Groupon I gave him for Christmas and we finally got a chance to travel down to Allentown to use it.

It was for a tour and tasting at a Meadery...The Colony Meadery.



If you don't know what a Meadery is, it's like a Brewery but they make mead, not beer.

Mead is a very old beverage.  It's been around in some form since prehistoric times.
It's still made close to it's original form in places like Ethiopia and Egypt to this day.
Of course, mead, or tej as it's called in Ethiopia is very different from the modern versions of mead.

       #getbuzzed on the back of their tasting glasses.....too cute
Mead was one of the first products humans knew to ferment.  Honey and water were combined and the natural yeasts pulled from the atmosphere ate the sugars in honey and turned it into alcohol for our enjoyment.  Of course, we learned during the tour that there isn't enough nitrogen present in honey to complete the process to make it drinkable for a modern audience.  Often what you end up with is similar to tej, which is a thick viscose overly sweet "liquid". 

Recently home brewers have been experimenting with how to keep the yeast working.  This involves lowering & maintaining temperatures artificially in brewing vats to adding other forms of yeast and/or ingredients to keep the yeast happy and eating until you have a more acceptable product which people enjoy drinking.

Dan with his 2 new girlfirends, "Bertha" and "Agnes".  I love how they name their vats. lolz
Colony Meadery is currently using smallish food grade plastic vats.

They have these big bad boys on site and will upgrade to them and a higher production output soon.....

Meet "Matilda".  Off to her right and behind is my favorite, "Otis".....hehehe

Many commercial brewers add grapes and wine yeast to make their mead(Chaucer's and Bunratty).  These are technically Wine-Meads and much sweeter than a good mead.  Mead when crafted well has much more complexity than these brands. (Plus it isn't as sweet.)

Anyway, the operation we visited "The Colony Meadery" has only been around for about 2 years and it still in it's infancy.  But they are already making a taste line of products and are winning medals.



Yes, like beer and fine spirits, there are competitions for mead makers.  There are 3 mead only Events held in the US, one each in New Hampshire, Michigan and Colorado.  In fact the MAZER CUP, the Colorado competition was held the week before our visit to Allentown and The Colony Meadery won a few medals, a Silver for this interesting mead version called "Mo-Me-Doh".....



It's a lime and mint infused mead and the name plays on the cocktail called a Mojito.  8-)

We also learned all about the art of beekeeping and more than you'd want to know about honey and bees.  The Colony Meadery only uses orange blossom honey that has been minimally processed.  The type of honey is very important in mead making since the sugars in honey are converted to alcohol so your raw materials(used by the bees to make the honey)can impart good or bad characteristics to your finished product.

We even got to take home these spiffy glasses.


When the folks at Colony Meadery began there were only a few meaderies in PA.  Today there are 40 and more coming down the pike.
The revolution in making mead came a few years ago when someone posted a recipe for making mead on a craft beer home brewers group and people started experimenting in earnest with making modern verions of mead.

But enough of all that edification, soon it was time to taste the good stuff!

 The selection of tasting bottles and Greg, one of the owners.

We ended up bringing home a case of various meads we enjoyed..........


They also do growler fills though Hubs hadn't brought any of his along this trip.
There is a small craft beer brewery next door called "HiJinx" so we will probably be making another trip down there later this year, maybe when our craft beer crazed son comes home for a visit.  ;-)

 

A shout out to Todd and anne marie-- this isn't too far away from where you live and I think you'd enjoy this....at lest the tasting part. ;-)

If any of my readers are going to be in the Allentown PA area, HERE is a link to the Groupon for The Colony Meadery.

Sluggy

6 comments:

  1. I've never heard of Mead. How interesting! I'm glad you had a sunny day. Hopefully the warm is soon to follow. :-)

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  2. Cute title and cute hubs. I'm not sure about his girlfriends yet.

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  3. Looks like a good time. This is my husbands old stomping grounds.

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  4. It's been a long while since I had any mead (there are a couple of meaderies near Quebec City, Quebec) but I did enjoy it as I recall :) at least I think I did!

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  5. We have a meadery opening here soon. I can't wait to try it!

    Peace <3
    Jay

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  6. I think of Beowulf when I think about mead. Otis was the one with the hose? Yes, I know it is near Matilda, but I think he just likes her.

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