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Honey Wine Winery (Meadery)

Updated on July 26, 2018
Maren Morgan M-T profile image

Food, glorious food! Maren brings you rare recipes and news of funky, out-of-the -way places to dine or purchase treats.

It looks a little strange, but I'll give it a go.
It looks a little strange, but I'll give it a go. | Source

Meadery (Honey Wine Maker)

Wine has been made by fermenting honey in water since approximately 7000 BC. Although many Americans drink wine from grapes, the art forms of craft brewing and wine making are becoming popular again. Thus, there is a market for old-fashioned honey wine, also long known as “mead.” Happily, many varieties of mead and its derivatives are now made in eastern Pennsylvania.

What is Mead’s History?

It sounds Biblical or Kings-and-Queens-ish, whether new Goth or historically accurate. Most people, however, would be hard-pressed to supply details about it.

Mead was enjoyed by ancient Egyptians, Norse Vikings, English royalty and Celts. Shakespeare, Chaucer, and Homer are among the writers who have referred to it. Some feel thjat it may be the oldest alcoholic beverage on earth, occurring naturally.

According to Stonekeep Meadery, in Berks County, PA:

“Mead fell out of favor in about the 12th century due to heavy taxation and regulations on the ingredients used to make alcoholic beverages. Because honey was such a prized commodity it was expensive and mostly only consumed by royalty. In addition, with the start of voyages to the new world, and the discovery of sugar cane, honey was no longer necessary as a sweetener.”

Types of Meads

Basic or “pure” mead is honey diluted with water and fermented with yeast. When fruit, spices or malt are added, the subcategory name changes. For example, Melomel (Mel'-o-mel) is the subcategory name of mead made by fermenting fruit or fruit juice along with the honey. Metheglyn (Me-theg'-lin) is mead with herbs and/or spices added. Then there is Braggot (Brag'-got), a drink made with honey and malt, more or less a mead-beer. The alcohol content of these varies from low to very high.

Stonekeep Meadery's Modern Twists

Stonekeep uses sulfites in its production to deter bacterial growth. The mead bottle labels carry the Contains Sulfites warning.

It offers this explanation:

“Virtually all wines and meads contain some level of sulfites. A small amount of sulfites are naturally produced during the fermentation process.

“Mead is a medieval drink! Aren't you destroying the legacy if you add sulfites?

“The addition of sulfites (by one method or another) is not a new concept. In the middle ages, to help sterilize their oak barrels, wine makers and mead makers would burn strips of sulfur inside the barrel (a process that is still practiced by some today). The effect of this was to allow the Sulfur Doixide (sulfites) given off during this process to permeate the wood of the barrel, inhibiting the growth of wild yeast, bacteria and other nasty stuff. This sulfur dioxide would then find its way into the wine and help preserve it as well. Modernly, winemakers can achieve this effect chemically.”

Also, Stonekeep Meadery ages all of its meads in stainless steel tanks, not oak barrels. There are no artificial colors or flavors in its meads.

Locations Where Stonekeep Mead is Sold

Stonekeep Meadery has a tasting rooms in Jim Thorpe and Boyertown and can also be purchased in Lansdale, Wayne and Mt. Joy.

Meduseld Meadery In Lancaster, PA

This meadery opened in 2018 and offers six meads, manost with blends of Pennsylvania wild honey and one using blueberry nectar. Some of their meads are fermented in wine barrels.


© 2012 Maren Elizabeth Morgan

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    • Maren Morgan M-T profile imageAUTHOR

      Maren Elizabeth Morgan 

      6 years ago from Pennsylvania

      unknown spy, let me know when you have tried mead.

    • unknown spy profile image

      Not Found 

      6 years ago from Neverland - where children never grow up.

      hi Alicia..this sounds interesting to me too. :) thanks for sharing

    • Maren Morgan M-T profile imageAUTHOR

      Maren Elizabeth Morgan 

      6 years ago from Pennsylvania

      rjsadowski and amerben, I have tasted mead and did not fall in love with it. However, I would be intesested in tasting some of those melomels or metheglyns.

      AliciaC - Now you know :)

    • AliciaC profile image

      Linda Crampton 

      6 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      I've never tasted mead, but I've been interested in trying it for a long time. I didn't know that there different varieties of mead. Thanks for the information!

    • profile image

      amerben 

      6 years ago

      How do you like the flavor? I had some Mead in a gift shop in Battle, England a few years ago (the scene of the Battle of Hastings in 1066 in which William the Conquerer won by outsmarting the Saxons - the town of Hastings is actually a few miles away) and didn't care for it at all. Rather have a pint of good ol' warm British beer. But to each his/her own.

      B.T.

    • rjsadowski profile image

      rjsadowski 

      6 years ago

      Interesting Hub although I don't expect to drink any.

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