What is Mead?
By definition, mead is “an alcoholic drink of fermented honey and water”. This simple definition is at the heart of all of our meads and is the essence of our business.
However, not all meads are created in the same manner and some are not even real meads at all!
Real mead producers are few and far between and we’re proud to say that Lancashire Mead are one of the largest producers of real mead in the UK.
What is mead made from?
Real mead is produced by combining honey with water and then fermenting those ingredients with or without added yeast. Some natural flavourings could be added to the process to add a variety of different flavours but that is it!
There are many UK producers who claim to produce mead, but they will use wine or some other alcohol base and then add honey to flavour the wine. A more accurate way of describing this type of “mead” is to call it “honey wine”. We’re not saying that honey wine is an unpleasant drink to drink but we just want to make everyone aware that this is NOT real mead.
Unfortunately, mead is not protected in the UK like it is in Europe. There are no laws currently to prohibit producers from describing their drinks as mead, so this only helps to confuse the customer even more! If a mead smells like honey, then either honey or honey flavouring has been added at the end of the production process. This is called back-sweetening, and cannot be done without the addition of chemicals (stabilisers) to prevent the mead from re-fermenting in the bottle.
What does mead taste like?
This is a popular question asked, but not that easy to answer! Mead will taste differently depending on the production process and the ingredients added.
The simple answer would be that a standard, real mead tastes like a medium sweet wine, with a similar texture to sherry but with a distinct tone of honey.
However, mead will also taste differently due to the honey it uses – early or late season honey; specific pollen honey like clover or hawthorn etc – the colour will also vary for the same reasons. This is before you consider any fruits or spices that have been added.
We believe the best way to know what mead tastes like is to try it yourself 😊
History of mead
Mead is considered to be one of the world’s oldest alcoholic drinks having been first referenced thousands of years ago.
It is believed to have originated from the African continent before finding its way to Europe and the rest of the known world and was considered by many to be a sacred drink, the drink of the Gods, sent from the Heavens as dew and collected by the bees. It’s easy to see why mead was thought to bestow magical properties!
Commonly associated with the Vikings, mead was also very popular with the ancient Chinese, Greeks and the Anglo-Saxons as well as many other cultures.
Mead started to become less popular as the population became more urbanised and bee keeping became exclusive to royal houses and monasteries.
In recent years mead has seen a renaissance in popularity thanks in part to popular TV series such as Game of Thrones and The Vikings plus online games such as Elder Scrolls and Skyrim.
Why buy mead from us?
There are many different types of mead but if you’re looking for a traditional mead then you’ve come to the right place.
We’re passionate about producing authentic, traditional mead as close as possible to how it used to be made all those years ago.
Most of our production process is still done by hand and we even handpick some of the ingredients that are used in some of our drinks.
We do not make “honey-wine” which many other producers describe as mead. We make our mead the natural way with natural flavourings and we clearly display our mead ingredients on our labels, so you know exactly what goes into our bottles.
Our prices may be a little higher than other producers but with us you know that you are buying authentic, traditional mead.
Please visit our mead shop for a selection of our flavours and let’s drink to the Gods!