Did you know that Thursday is named after Thor? Of course you did. To celebrate Thorsday and in anticipation of the release of Thor tomorrow, I asked the Alamo’s Jim Hughes to do some writing about the beverage the Mighty Thor enjoys the most: mead. -Devin
What comes to mind when you think of mead? Renaissance fairs? King Arthur and his Knights of the Round Table? Norwegian gods tossing back bulls’ horns full of the stuff in the Halls of Asgard? For sure, mead is an ancient beverage, possibly one of the very first fermented drinks in the world. After all, at its most basic it’s just water, honey and yeast, and since honey is ideal yeast fodder who’s to say that, millenia ago, someone didn’t accidentally leave out a jar of said mixture in the sun for a few weeks, come back to find that wild yeasts had got in there and done their magic, tried the brew and found that not only did it taste pretty good, there was a previously unknown, shall we say, light headedness that came with it… and maybe some regrets the following morning.
Despite its long and noble history, mead is hardly a drink of the past. Not only can you buy it in Texas, there are bona fide meaderies right here in the Lone Star State.
The Bell Mountain Winery of Fredericksburg makes Oberhof Mead, aka Texas Wildflower Honey Wine made with honey gathered from the St Edwards Plateau. It has floral and spicy notes, and a subdued sweetness that doesn’t pucker your face.
Texas Meadworks of Seguin makes regular mead as well as a range of melomels - that’s mead fermented with or flavoured with fruit. Apple, peach or blackberry, for instance. They also make a bourbon barrel-aged mead called Honeymoon Bliss. I doubt there’ll be much honeymooning going after the newlyweds have polished off a bottle of this 18% ABV beverage.
The Rohan Meadery (a touch of Tolkien there, perhaps?), out near La Grange, is yet another Texas-based producer of meads and melomels whose website offers a different story on the possible origin of the drink along with their range of fermented honey.
Going further afield (but still to be found on Texas shelves), the Redstone Meadery of Boulder, CO makes regular mead and melomels such as black raspberry and boysenberry. There’s a Vanilla Bean mead too, and mead flavoured with juniper berries (that’s the stuff that gives gin its unmistakable flavour), and even one that’s dry-hopped!
Please enjoy your mead responsibly. Smiting mortals or challenging people to a joust will not go down well with the judge.