The Great Meadiversary Tour is over, but what fun we had! Eight meaderies and one brewery in five different states in one week. So many meads to try! So many amazing mead makers! Everyone was so friendly and passionate about their meads and the drive to improve their craft. And hospitality? You bet! Everyone was welcoming and so great. We had so much fun!
Here’s a rundown on where we went, what we saw, and who we met:
Silver Hand Meadery, Williamsburg, VA
Silver Hand has only been open for 6 months, but meadmaker Glen knows his stuff! A great little place right off the main drag in Williamsburg. (Interesting fact - they aren’t allowed to charge for tasting in VA, so you buy a honey tasting and get the mead tasting for free!) They have just expanded into the space next door, so the tasting room is a little bigger now.
Brimming Horn Meadery, Milton, DE
Brimming Horn isn’t up and running quite yet, but they are going to be a force to be reckoned with when they are! Meadmaker Jon is a long time brewer for Dogfish Head Brewery and has a serious handle on fermentation. We only got to sample one of Jon’s home brews, but it was tasty! We look forward to going back once he’s got the new place open!
We also got the best tour ever of Dogfish Head Brewery!
So. Much. Stainless. Steel.
Like millions and millions of dollars worth and some of the coolest remote controlled brewing equipment ever. We admit, we will never be THAT big, but it’s fun to dream! (Yes, some of those pictures are of DFH, not Brimming Horn’s new place!)
Liquid Alchemy Beverage, Wilmington, DE
Liquid Alchemy Beverage (or the LAB) was this fun place with a rather eclectic style - half mad scientist lab, half Star Wars enthusiast heaven! Meadmaker Jeff is making some fun fusion flavors that are sure to please. We happened to show up on the day they were getting in new tanks, so Ben got to help owners Jeff and Terri unload and try to fit them in the storage room.
Stonekeep Meadery, soon to be in Fleetwood, PA
Stonekeep’s meadmaker Mark gets our award for Best Tank Tetris Ever! Mark is making mead (and wine) in the basement of his home in a space that is clearly too small for all the flavors and tanks he’s juggling! But that’s probably why they’ve bought a 200 year old farm house on 17 acres of beautiful land. Sharee showed us around and there is so much potential for this really unique space on a very busy country road. Can’t wait to see the finished place. Until then, they have a couple of other places where you can taste their meads.
The Colony Meadery, Allentown, PA
The Colony is in an interesting shared space with a brewery and some other completely unrelated businesses. We were totally jealous of all the production space they had in this warehouse space. Meadmakers Mike and Greg are making an impressive collection of flavors ranging from 4% alcohol canned meads to other fanciful combinations. Loved the story about one of their meads that didn’t sell, until they renamed it! (Find out which mead that is in the next blog post!)
Orchid Cellar Meadery and Winery, Middletown, MD
Orchid Cellar probably has one of the best views of any meadery we visited - and an awesome log cabin tasting room. This meadery is making authentic Polish-style meads (sweet, wood aged) because their owners and meadmaker are immigrants from Poland. We spoke (for hours) with Sales Manager Dan who filled us in on the history and passion of the meadery.
Black Heath Meadery, Richmond, VA
Black Heath was probably the smallest meadery we visited, but what meadmaker Bill is doing in that small space is really tasty! Fruits, spices, crazy combinations - Bill is doing it all. He has a talent for being able to re-use tanks, barrels and equipment that others have no more use for. Ben is jealous of the oak barrels Bill gets from local distilleries.
Bonus: Honeygirl Meadery, Durham, NC
We got home and found out that our friends at Honeygirl Meadery were open on Easter Sunday, so we went for a visit. Admittedly, we are smitten with meadmaker Diane and her meads, but hey, nothing wrong with hanging out shooting the breeze over a glass a mead! Honeygirl has been around for 2 years now and is making some superb meads. Ben was overheard saying, “This is the best vanilla mead I’ve ever tasted!” Now that’s an endorsement!
We had such a fun trip - obviously! And we didn't come away empty handed, oh no! We brought home quite a few meads, mostly to share with you on Mead Day for our "Great Meadaversary Trip Tasting". We'll take you on a tasting road trip with the meads gathered on our vacation! Watch the Facebook page and here for the scheduled time.