Cleveland is home to some top-class meaderies serving up honey wine with ancient roots — who knew!
Like its popular cousins wine, beer, and cider, mead is a fermented alcoholic beverage that perfectly accompanies a warm summer day. It’s made of fermented honey, but that doesn’t mean all meads are sweet! Mead runs the gamut between dry (less sweet, similar to a dry wine), semi-sweet, and sweet. Though mead is popularly associated with Old England and the Vikings, evidence of mead-making has been found everywhere from ancient China to the Sahel region in Africa. Read on for four Cleveland-area meaderies keeping this centuries-old fermentation tradition alive.
1. Western Reserve Meadery
This classy meadery and tasting room is provides the definitive Cleveland mead experience with flights, seasonal specials, and mead education. Recent releases include a light, herbal strawberry basil mead and the flavorfully complex Sur Lie mead, aged using the same method as Chardonnay. For the full experience, visit their vintage industrial tasting room complete with charming honey dipper-shaped taps
Find it at 2135 Columbus Rd Suite C, Cleveland, OH 44113.
2. Bottlehouse Brewery and Meadery
This multitasking brewery, meadery, and cidery is a fermentation enthusiast’s dream. They create their mead using locally-sourced raw honey and age it for a minimum of six months in steel tanks or oak barrels before bottling. Find out what’s on tap here — current highlights include the spiced blackcurrant, blueberry, and apple Metropolis and a buckwheat variety aged for two years in a Bourbon barrel.
Find the Cleveland Heights location at 2050 Lee Road, Cleveland, OH 44118.
3. Feisty Brood Meadery
This small Northfield meadery boasts a collection of innovative meads. Standouts include the floral Zen Orange Blossom and the local coffee-infused Coffee Adoration, described as a perfect accompaniment to meat-heavy dishes like burgers. They also offer a mead club for true mead aficionados, which offers members three 750mL mead bottles, a tour, and exclusive tastings for $60 quarterly.
Find it at 145 W Aurora Rd, Northfield, OH 44067 or in stores.
4. Crafted Meadery
Pop culture aficionados will adore Crafted Meadery’s imaginative branding. The Mogadore meadery delivers on their aspirations to make modern mead with a hype-building monthly release schedule and their Modern Mead delivery club. Recent standouts include June’s Stranger Bings with cherry and spices, and July’s Gose Project: Blackberry, which also features coriander and sea salt.
Find it at 1189 State Route 43, Mogadore, OH 44260 or in stores.
[Featured image: Western Reserve Meadery Facebook]