If Australia is to follow trends in the UK and USA we may see a rise in mead on the back of craft beer and cider’s exponential growth.
“Given the rise of craft beer and cider it seems logical that mead might become the next rising star, particularly from smaller artisan makers,” said mead maker Brendan Heath from Beechworth Honey Mead. “In the US and Britain we are seeing a resurgence of mead, the number of meaderies in the US has exploded from 30 in 2003 to 250 today, so why not here?”.
Hailing from Victoria’s Beechworth region, Heath’s range of four meads were five years in the making and launched in December 2014 to coincide with the opening of Beechworth Honey Discovery.
“We lovingly restored and extended the former historic bank of NSW in Beechworth to house Australia’s most comprehensive honeybee education centre with the aim of highlighting the important link between honeybees and our food supply,” said Heath. “With a restaurant showcasing food pollinated by honeybees, a bee garden featuring a working honeybee colony and of course our mead cellar door to taste and sip on delicious mead.”
The Beechworth Honey Mead range is not the clawing sweet style people may expect and features three still meads under cork and one slightly spritz mead under crown seal.
“All our mead’s have a dry to sweet scale on the bottle, starting from the dry end we have our Spritzer Mead, a lightly carbonated style that has a fresh honeycomb aroma and our Classic Mead with seriously smooth honey flavours and aromas without the sweetness you might expect,” said Heath. “Moving up the scale we have created a Raspberry Mead that features Red Gum honey co-fermented with raspberries, this is a delicate mead with soft rose petal flavours – great over ice. Finally, we have our Sweet Mead, but you will notice it is still only half way between dry and sweet on our scale, this is a full flavoured mead with distinct warm honey characters but not too sweet.”
A winemaker with more than 25 years’ experience, Heath always had an interest in fermentation and blending, which lead to him diversifying into mead making.
“The great thing about mead is the endless options of what we can create, not only do we have the diverse honey varieties but the endless option of fruits, herbs and flowers that we can co-ferment is mind blowing,” he said.
“Much like brewing and winemaking it is about starting with a great base product, honey selection for us is critical. I work closely with our master beekeeper Steven Goldsworthy to source the best honey varieties we can.”
For more information on Beechworth Honey Mead and how it is crafted check out the video below.