What is Mead?

Mead is an alcoholic beverage made from honey. In the same way that beer is made from barley and wine is made from grapes, mead simply means honey. It is also gluten free!

It can be made in many different styles. It can be more like beer, more like wine, sweet, dry, still or sparkling. You can use only honey or add nearly anything to flavor it from berries and other fruits to herbs, spices and more.

Our meads tend to be more wine or spirit-like though we do make a line of session meads which are lower ABV and carbonated in cans that are wonderfully refreshing. Our barrel-aged meads are particularly unique.

Mead is believed to be the oldest fermented beverage, predating even beer and wine. Nearly every ancient culture that had access to honey, independently figured out how to turn it into alcohol.

Exploring the Varied Types of Mead

The world of mead is vast and varied, with each type offering its unique flavor profile and characteristics. As mead makers experiment and draw from historical recipes, a multitude of mead varieties have emerged. Here’s a closer look at some of the most popular types:

Traditional Mead: This is the purest form of mead, made only from honey, water, and yeast. Without the addition of other flavorings or fruits, the quality and characteristics of the honey used take center stage.

Melomel: This is a fruit-infused mead. Depending on the fruits used, there are sub-categories like:

Pyment: Mead made with grapes or grape juice, often resembling wine.

Cyser: Mead made with apples or apple juice.

Hydromel: A lighter version of mead, hydromel is diluted and has a lower alcohol content, making it similar to beer in its strength.

Braggot: A blend of beer and mead, braggot is made by fermenting honey with malted grain. Depending on the recipe, it can either lean more towards beer or mead in flavor.

Bochet: A unique type of mead where the honey is caramelized or burned before fermentation, giving the drink a rich, toasty flavor.

Capsicumel: A spicy mead made by adding chili peppers. It offers a delightful blend of sweetness from the honey and heat from the peppers.

Acerglyn: A rare type of mead made by blending honey with maple syrup, resulting in a delightful mix of the two sweeteners’ distinct flavors.

Metheglin: While originally referring to mead infused with herbs and spices, it’s commonly associated with any spiced mead today.

If these unique and sometimes archaic names sound intimidating, don’t worry, you don’t have to use them. Mead culture is thankfully fairly open-minded and laid back. As long as you are enjoying what you are drinking, that’s all that matters.

To dive even deeper into what mead can be, check out our post “What is mead?“.

Darlin’ Corey Duo to perform at Sap House Meadery

Darlin’ Corey Duo’s Erica Brown and Matt Shipman will return to Sap House Meadery’s Dinner and Show Concert Series on Thursday, July 18 at 5:30 p.m. Both multi-instrumentalists, Brown will perform...

Brad Myrick to Perform at Next Sap House Meadery Dinner & Show Concert

Guitarist and composer Brad Myrick will perform at Sap House Meadery’s next Dinner & Show Concert on Thursday, June 13 at 5:30 p.m. A three-time New England Music Awards nominee, including 2023 Male...

Dinner & Show Series Welcomes Keefer Glenshaw

Located in Center Ossipee’s quaint downtown, Sap House Meadery will host its next Dinner & Show Concert on Thursday, May 16 at 5:30 p.m. with Keeger Glenshaw. A multi-style cellist and...

Senie Hunt to Headline Next Dinner & Show at Sap House Meadery

On Thursday, April 18 at 5:30 p.m., Sap House Meadery will welcome Senie Hunt, a self-taught singer-songwriter and percussive guitarist adopted from Sierra Leone. Presented by NH Music Collective,...

Sap House Meadery to Host Dinner & Show Concert

In partnership with NH Music Collective, Sap House Meadery will host singer/songwriter Jud Caswell on Thursday, March 14th at 5:30 p.m. Part of Sap House Meadery’s second season of monthly shows,...

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Mead: The World’s Most Diverse Alcoholic Beverage

In the world of alcoholic beverages, mead holds a unique and underappreciated position. Not only is it one of the oldest known drinks, but it also boasts an unparalleled diversity. From the...

Mead: The Gluten-Free Beverage You’ve Been Searching For

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