When we asked our new friend Greg Cotner (by way of friend Taylor Cox) to give us the goods on the Top 10 Meads he took on the job without question and afterwards he simply said, " 10 was tough and I tried to put a mix of great meads that everyone seems to like. Most are available on the shelf or mail order from the meadery or vino shipper too." Thanks for pointing us in the right direction for all of this delicousness!
MEAD DEFINED BY WIKI: Mead, also called honey wine, is an alcoholic beverage that is produced by fermenting a solution of honey and water. It may also be produced by brewing a solution of water and honey with grain mash, which is strained before or after fermentation. Depending on local traditions and specific recipes, it may be flavored with spices, fruit, orhops (which produce a bitter, beer-like flavor). The alcoholic content of mead may range from about 8% ABV to 18%. It may be still, carbonated or naturally sparkling, and it may be dry, semi-sweet or sweet.
1. Kuhnhenn Brewery/Meadery. Warren, Michigan. Known for their March Meadness event where a different mead is released every day in the month of March and their Summer and Winter Solstice parties. Crowd Favorite: Bourbon Barrel French Toast Mead. Honorable Mention: Maple Sherry Cream Pyment
2. B.Nektar. Ferndale, Michigan. It started as a hobby and was born out of a basement but B. Nektar has quickly become one of the hottest meaderies in America. They have a growing distribution network and a legion of fans. Crowd Favorite: Zombie Killer lightly carbonated cherry cyser. Honorable Mention: Wildberry Pyment.
3. Apis. Lublin, Poland. The maker of what many consider to be the greatest Polish meads in the world. Crowd Favorite: Jadwiga. Honorable Mention: Kurpiowski.
4. Wild Blossom Meadery. Chicago, Illinois. First winery in Chicago. They use honey collected from their own bees. Crowd favorite: Nau-t-gal / Nau-t-guy. A bourbon barrel mead. Honorable Mention: Apple-Cin.
5. Medovina. Niwot, Colorado. 500,000 Buckfast bees are responsible for the honey in these wonderful meads. Crowd Favorite: Sweet Melissa. Honorable Mention: Stinging Rose.
6. Moonlight Meadery. Londonderry, New Hampshire. In a short time this meadery has amassed wide distribution and a staggering number of different meads. Crowd Favorite: Kurt's Apple Pie. Honorable Mention: Desire.
7: Schramm's Mead. Ferndale, Michigan. This meadery makes the list and is yet to open. Ken Schramm wrote The Compleat Meadmaker which is considered by many to be the best book on making mead. The quality of Ken's meads are known throughout the world. He recently had two of his meads labeled and sold under the B. Nektar brand. Most Anticipated: Heart of Darkness. Honorable Mention: Ginger Mead.
8. Sap House Meadery. Center Ossipee, New Hampshire. A new, small batch, up and coming meadery that likes to impart local flavors like maple syrup into their meads. Crowd Favorite: Blackberry Maple. Honorable Mention Kombucha Mead.
9. Redstone Meadery. Boulder, Colorado. One of America's largest and and most widely distributed makers of mead. They have a good selection of meads but its the Reserve Series that is out of this world good. Crowd Favorite: 2005 Black Raspberry Reserve. Honorable Mention: Honeywine with Vanilla Beans and Cinnamon Sticks.
10. Honey Sun iQhilika. Grahamstown, South Africa. These meads are based off of a 20,000 year old South African beverage known as iQhilika These meads will not be for everyone but they are unique. Crowd Favorite: Herbal. Honorable Mention: African Birds Eye Chili
by Greg Cotner
(MeadMe on ratebeer) and lover of all things mead.