Traditional Mead UK

Craft Mead

Mead has seen quite a resurgence in recent years. Some have attributed it to TV shows like Game of Thrones, but a lot of newer producers seem to have taken inspiration from the rise of craft beer and cider.

In a traditional mead recipe, it is common to ferment until fermentation stops naturally. This produces a wine-strength drink with residual sugar left in most cases (since honey is so high in sugar) as most yeasts will be killed off around 14% to 15% ABV. However, we are now seeing meads from producers such as Zymurgorium, Gosnells, and Mabinogion made in the 5% to 7% ABV range. These are more comparable (and drinkable) like a craft beer.

The prolific Scottish producer, The Rookery, makes mead under the “craft mead” label as well, but their offerings are higher than wine strength even. In this case, it appears they are referring to the small-batch, hand-made approach to their mead production.

These “craft” meads represent a very modern revival of mead. While there is also a rise in producers making traditional meads, melomels and metheglins, the craft producers are bringing some unusual twists and eccentric creativity in some cases.

We only have to look at anything made by Zymurgorium to see the embodiment of the craft movement out of Greater Manchester in the form of mead, gins and liqueurs. Their meads — as it the case with Gosnells — are all made to beer strength and sold in 300ml bottles. In fact, in many cases their labels would blend in with a fridge full of craft beers.

In the case of The Rookery, we are seeing a producer creating so many interesting flavours of meads, that we’re yet to try even half of them!

Craft meads found so far: