Mead, world’s oldest drink, sees newfound success

Global Business

Mead is the world’s most ancient drink and considered the “nectar of the gods”, and it’s undergoing a revolution similar to craft beer in the U.S. CCTV America’s Owen Fairclough reported this story from Baltimore, Maryland.

Mead, world\'s oldest drink, sees newfound success

Mead, world\'s oldest drink, sees newfound success

Mead is the world's most ancient drink and considered the "nectar of the gods", and it's undergoing a revolution similar to craft beer in the U.S. CCTV America's Owen Fairclough reported this story from Baltimore, Maryland.
Download Video

It was brewing day at Charm City Meadworks a meadery that uses honey to fuel what some say is a fastest-growing segment in the U.S. alcohol industry.

“It was overwhelming. We thought we were doing really well when we went to five-gallon buckets. It felt pretty big when we did our 100 gallon batches – this tank now is going to be a 300 gallon batch,” Andrew Geffken, co-founder of Charm City Meadworks said. “So it just keeps getting bigger and bigger and more and more honey.”

Co-founder James Boicourt got into beekeeping as a student and said making mead was a natural progression.

“There really wasn’t anything that I could find that was worth drinking, and what little there was was hard to find,” Boicourt said.

The mead ferments for several weeks.

“You can get a sense that it’s tastes a little bit bready… you don’t have any off-flavor,” Boicourt explained. “Sometimes if you have a fermentation that’s gone bad you can have a little bit of a funky twist to.”

It can be infused with pretty much any kind of spice or fruit and can spend up to nine months in oak casks depending on the variety.

The fruit of all the labor ends up on tap in bars in Baltimore. Some are fairly light, around 6 percent, and comparable with craft beers. Other meads can be up to 12 percent in strength.

“As soon as we got mead, it took people a little bit of time to discover it, and now it’s become: “Where is your mead if we don’t have it?” Steve Marsh of Liam Flynn’s Ale House said.

Boicourt and Geffken invested about $100,000 into their business. Since they started last year, they have tripled the amount of mead they sell. With around only around 200 meaderies in the U.S., the industry is young and ripe for development.