The Birds and The Bees
On Valentine's day as our tasting began it was amazing to see a few new faces, drinkers who were not fond of beer had been brought along by their friends and partners to enjoy the perfect in between beverage.
Not quite beer, not quite wine, or cider . . . but older than all of them.
Mead was the drink of the evening, and this bee wine - new to most of us - definitely impressed. The Beer Boutique paired with the good people at Mabinogion Mead to offer an informative tasting of this age old brew.
So what is Mead?
Well just like wine is fermented grapes, and cider is apples, mead is it fermented honey.
"We have fabricated our own mead fermenters, which control temperature and have nutrient and 02 ports to allow the perfect process control. We also have bulk tanks with spice traps and burgundy barrels to age different mead styles as we see fit.
Our Valentine's Day Matches
1. Pollination Series: Orange and Vanilla Melamel
An elegant example of honey wine, slightly sweet, slightly boozy, we paired it with cured salmon and soft cheese to compliment the delicate flavors.
"A sweet aged cyser, made from fresh apple and Welsh unpasteurised honey. Rested in cinnamon and myrtle pepper for a delicate spice finish." We paired with different varieties of cured meats to bring out the spices within this warming nectar. Imagine hearty meats, a hearth, and mulled mead . . .
3. Bee Brew, Four Branches
The closest to a cider/beer. 5.5% in a 330ml bottle. "Open oak cask fermentation of unpasteurised Wild welsh apples and native untreated honey combine to create a dry tasty cyser." We paired it with caerphilly cheese: bold, delicious, and beautifully Welsh.
Strawberry, honey mead. Thick, sweet, but never too much. We paired with strawberries and homemade madeleines.
5. Cherry Cyser
Deliciously sweet and dangerously moorish. We partnered the sweet cherry with a dark, but not too bitter, chocolate.
If anything this tasting secured our respect and love of Mead and of Mabinogion Mead. You can purchase the mead in store and online and you can read more about the meadery (including the location of hives, type of honey, history etc. etc. etc. on their website) trust is it's fascinating!
So in true Mabinogion fashion . . .
"Knife has gone into meat, and drink into horn, and a thronging in Arthur's hall. Save the son of a king of a rightful dominion, or a craftsman who brings his craft, none may enter."
Peace and Yeast,
The Beer Boutique