Three cheers for honeywine
The word honeymoon stems from honey wine and the tradition of drinking it for one full lunar cycle starting on the first night of a couple’s wedding. Fermenting wine from honey has become popular again and will be celebrated at the International Mead Festival – Honey Wines of the World, in Boulder on Oct. 24 and 25.
With three dedicated meaderies, Colorado has become a hotbed for the beverage.
“Mead can be dry or sweet, still or sparkling and have fruit, herbs or spices added,” says David Myers, owner of Redstone Meadery, who will host the festival and is a recognized leader in the industry. “Mead is historically referred to as nectar of the gods. If it was good enough for Zeus then it’s good enough for me.”
The drink, arguably the world’s first fermented beverage, has been made for centuries and is popular in countries including the United Kingdom, Ethiopia, Poland, Ireland and now the United States. In the U.S. recent news on mead includes the announcement from the National Honey Board that it may contribute to similar health benefits as white wine due to honey’s antioxidant characteristics.
The festival will also host the world’s most comprehensive commercial mead competition. More than 50 commercial meads from five different countries will be entered for judging and will be available for tasting by the public.
Categories of meads that will be served and judged include:
nBracket or Braggot – Honeywine made with malt, must be at least 20% honey
nCyser – Honeywine made with apple cider, apple juice or apples
nDessert Mead – Honeywine 14% alcohol or more
nHydromel- Honeywine 10% alcohol or less.
nMelomel – Honeywine using fruit excluding apples or grapes, also includes vegetable meads
nMetheglin – Honeywine made with herbs or spices
nPyment – Honeywine made with grapes or grape juice
nTej – An Ethiopian-style honey wine with hops/spices being an evident flavor
nTraditional – Honeywine not from a single variety of honey, no fruits, herbs or spices added
nVarietal – Honeywine made from single-bloom or varietal honey with no fruits, herbs, spices or other major flavor ingredients
Groups in support of the mead festival include Redstone Meadery, Honeywine.com, Association of Brewers, National Honey Board, Mountain Meadows Meadery, Sky River Meadery, White Labs Yeast and What’s Brewin Home Brew Supply Shop. Tickets are available at the Redstone Meadery Tasting Room in Boulder by calling (720) 406-1215 and Boulder Theater Box office (303)449-9630 or at http://www.meadfest.com.