What Is Mead?

MEAD (/MIːD/, FROM OLD ENGLISH MEDU)The Drink of the Gods

Often referred to as the drink of the gods, mead, the oldest alcoholic beverage known to mankind is made by fermenting honey and water with yeast. In its simplicity lies its versatility as myriad varieties of honey can be combined with various fruits, spices or grains and presented to tickle your taste buds in still carbonated or naturally sparkling form.

Mead is found in cultures across the world given that it is a natural sweetener available everywhere. Given its versatility every culture has its own version of mead. Low alcohol, just for merriment, high alcohol for ritualistic purposes; on some continents the drink for the poorest of the poor, whereas on some, a drink for the royals!

For an in depth look at mead across cultures do check out our blog posts

In addition to pure deliciousness meads are one of the most sustainable beverages on earth. They don’t need huge landscapes for plantation, no annihilation of plants and no pesticides to be sprayed. Bees as you know are responsible for a significant fraction of our food sources and greenery. Acquiring honey for making meads does not in any manner harm this harmony of nature. It actually incentivises bee-keeping and is conducive to the environment.

Mead is undoubtedly the most sustainable alcoholic beverage.

What’s old Is new! Mead in India
What’s old Is new! Mead in India
In this post we take a look at the history of mead in India!
What’s old is new! Mead across the world
What’s old is new! Mead across the world
In this post, let’s see what they thought of mead in Africa, Egypt, Russia, China, Americas and a last surprise item in this blog post
What’s old is new! Mead in Europe
What’s old is new! Mead in Europe
The first installment in our three part series on the history of mead. In this post we explore the role of mead in ancient European civilisations.

Types of Meads

The much touted versatility of meads comes not only from the varieties of honey used but also how it is treated and with the ingredients it is combined with. As many great mead makers of our time say, “There is a mead for everyone.”

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Traditional Meads

Only Honey

These are made from just honey, water and yeast and can range from dry to sweet.

Meads made from caramelised honey are called bochets.

Melomels

Honey + Fruits

Fruits can be combined into meads in myriad ways allowing for spectrum of meads from fruity sweet meads, like our pomegranate melomel, to drier varieties with a subtle tinge of fruitiness, like our jamun melomel.

Melomels often have different names depending on the fruits they are combined with. Pyments, like our chenin blanc pyment, are meads fermented with grapes while Cysers are meads fermented with apples.

Sourcing at Cerana Meads
Cerana Meads Metheglin Ingredients

Metheglins

Honey + Spices

Flavoured with spices and herbs metheglins were also called medeglins in ancient Wales. It is probably the source of the word medicine.

Even in India, Ayurveda describes certain Asavas made with honey (Madhuasava) as remedies to certain illnesses based on the spice or herb combination used.

The very first mead experimented with by our co-founder Yoginee was a metheglin which we plan to launch as a limited release in the winter 2020.

Braggots

Honey + Malts

The fourth category based on ingredients, which beer lovers would queue behind, is a braggot. It’s a mead made with honey and malts.

This style is usually close to beer; is low on alcohol and carbonated just like the beers. But even high alcohol, still braggots can be made based on recipes.

We at Cerana meads have brewed Queen bee, a dark braggot in collaboration with our friends at Bombay Duck Brewing. Try a pint when possible!

Cerana Mead Braggot