Bees provide so much for us: from sweet honey treats and beeswax for crafts, to products with numerous health benefits.. But, if you’re looking to sip on the sweeter things in life, we promise you that mead is all the buzz. That’s right, honey bees are responsible for the delicious, ancient draught that people have enjoyed for thousands of years. Much like the honey bee, mead has an interesting and almost magical history. After reading this, readers will want to pour a glass of their new favorite beverage. Ready to learn more? Let’s go!
Mead, ambrosia, nectar of the gods. All names given to this golden treasure. Long ago, cultures across the globe worshipped and valued mead as much as they did bees. In Greece, mead was considered a gift from Aphrodite and used by profits to look into the future. The gods would drop the sweet nectar down on flowers and bees would collect it, turning the nectar into divine honey. The vikings believed that mead would be served to them once they found themselves in the Halls of Valhalla. They believed that gods such as Odin drank this sweet wine. The Celts and Saxons believed that a river of mead flows through heaven and that drinking it could bring everlasting life.
Mead also happens to be responsible for the term “honeymoon.” Many believed that mead had magical properties to help with fertility. Mead was gifted to newlyweds so they could start a happy and healthy family.
Over the centuries mead fell out of popularity. It was easier to make ale and wine, though this never stopped mead from being a sacred drink. Fortunately, with the rise in awareness for the endangered honey bee, mead has seen an increase in popularity.
In recent years, we’ve seen a rise in craft breweries and cideries. With that success, craft breweries are now taking a crack at making their own mead. And sales have taken off. In fact “according to a study by the American Mead Maker Association, mead’s producer community has exploded 130% since 2011, making it the fastest growing alcoholic beverage category in the US.”
Mead has become so popular that even celebrities are making their own. After saying so long to The Suite Life of Zack and Cody and The Life on Deck, Dylan Sprouse began his own meadery. Sprouse found his passion for brewing while he was in college. He worked for Kings County Distillery in Brooklyn and made his own mead in his dorm room. He went on to create All-Wise Meadery with his roommate, Matt Kwan. Talk about a sweet life! (Ba Dum Tiss) If you’re looking for a laugh, check out their mini-series on the bottom of their website.
As a bee enthusiast, you likely already use honey and wax for food and crafts, maybe even from your own bees! But, is all this talk of mead making you thirsty? Consider trying your hand at mead making. It’s not too hard and you get to reap your own rewards! Mead is basically fermented honey water. And no, you don’t have to use rain water and let it sit by your fireplace for months like the Greeks did.
To brew your own mead, all you need is:
Follow your favorite recipe and you’ll be making your own mead in no time!
Do you think mead is all the buzz? We do. Once again, honey bees have given us something we love. This heavenly drink makes a perfect holiday gift. It’s a sweet treat to share with the honey lovers in your life (over 21 of course!) As long as there are bees we will continue to cherish the gifts they give us. Raise a glass to the sweeter things in life.