Monday, April 20, 2015

Missouri Mead Mania

Originally published on VisitMO Spotlight
What’s all the buzz about meads? Mead (aka, “Nectar of the Gods”) is an alcoholic beverage made from fermented honey and water. Bees are a very integral part of our ecosystem, and mead has been made from honey since around 2000 BC, before beer or wine. It is thought to be the oldest form of alcoholic beverage on earth. It can be sweet, dry, sparkling or still. It is believed that the term “honeymoon” comes from the idea that mead was an aphrodisiac that newlyweds would drink on their wedding night.
Missouri wineries aren’t letting the mead trend go on without them. This sustainable beverage gives people a chance to support their local wineries, the ecosystem and enjoy a delicious, natural drink. If you’re looking for a new tasting adventure, mead offers a delightful array of flavors and styles. You can find Missouri meads throughout the state.
About 35 miles north of Kansas City, you’ll find Pirtle Winery in the quaint town of Weston. This winery is located in a building that was formerly the Lutheran Evangelical Church , built by German immigrants in 1867. They offer three tasty meads: blackberry, raspberry, and Pirtle Mead (100% orange blossom honey). The Blackberry Mead won the 2010 MO Governor’s Cup for Best Fruit Wine, and the Raspberry won the same award in 2012. The Pirtle Mead is a multi-International gold medal winner. This winery focuses greatly on quality, and it’s obvious they hold very high standards for their mead.
Southwest Missouri is home to Leaky Roof Meadery, named after the railroad line that brought together Kansas City, Clinton and Springfield known as the Leaky Roof Railroad. This meadery puts extra emphasis on empowering local agriculture and bringing the community together. You’ll usually find eight meads on tap, but the variety does vary based on the season and what the mead makers have up their sleeves. You can get their mead by the sample, pint, growler and even keg. Their flagship mead, KCC&S Cyser, is a slightly carbonated, semi-sweet mead made from blending honey and fresh pressed apple cider.
Next time you are venturing along the Hermann Wine Trail, be sure to stop at the Martin Brothers Winery to sample their impressive mead selection. Esther R. Martin runs this family business with her four sons who started making mead as a hobby. The winery is situated on a beautiful landscape of peaceful, rolling hills. This is a perfect place to enjoy an afternoon picnic complete with award-winning meads. You’ll be able to sample their unique Banana Mead and Prickly Pear Watermelon Mead, and hopefully chat with one the friendly Martin brothers.
Outside of Springfield, there is a winery that boasts a fairly large selection of meads. 7Cs Winery is off the beaten path and is full of country charm. They offer more than 10 meads, ranging from the more common, clover and raspberry, to the more exotic, jalapenos and habanero selections. You can take the green route and purchase most of their meads in recyclable pouches, which have less negative impact on the environment, and are lightweight and easy to carry.
Meads open up an all new tasting adventure while you’re out exploring Missouri Wine County. You’ll find meads at Wenwood Farm Winery in Bland and Windy Wine Companyin Osborn. Get on the mead bandwagon, and don’t be surprised if more meaderies pop up in Missouri.
For more Missouri mead see OOVVDA WineryHorst Vineyards, and Adam Puchta Winery.

"A horn of mead was never far from his hand." A Dance with Dragons, George R.R. Martin.

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