SO, WHAT THE HELL IS MEAD ANYWAYS?
Mead Madness hit us hard this year.
Though you may not have known previously, Mead is one of the OGs in the alcohol realm. In fact, it has been said to be one of the oldest beverages on earth. This sweet libation was enjoyed by our viking ancestors, and was referred to as the “nectar of the gods” by ancient Greeks. Decidedly different and in a category of its own, naturally we at Sociable were drawn to it. From a cult favorite to patio sensation, we’re trying to bring mead the recognition it deserves. We decided the best way to showcase our favorite honey delight, was through an interview with our “Mead Master” himself. Lou Karp has been the brains behind this sweet operation since its inception 2 years ago. He’s responsible for all of the limited edition mead madness brews, and our Mead for Speed that you can now purchase in stores.
Below you’ll get a little taste of his expertise, and learn a little more about his sparkling honey masterpieces.
What is mead, and how is it made?
Mead, also known as honey wine, is an alcoholic beverage made from the fermenting of honey. It is simply made by diluting honey down with water to a desired sugar concentration, pitching the yeast, and letting it ferment. We do things decidedly different here at Sociable by adding a little sorghum malt to the process to give our product a boost of tannins.
How did you learn about mead?
I'm a nerd. It is known.
Where did you learn how to make mead?
I picked it up during one of my many homebrew adventures mostly because I wanted to make something other than beer. The process turned out to be very simple. If you know how to carry out a healthy fermentation, you know how to make mead. The results of these mead homebrews turned out much better than any of the beers that I made so I kept at it.
What’s your favorite style of mead?
I have two favorites and cannot pick between them. One would be a session, meaning below 7% alcohol (mead ABV's run high), and semi-sweet. Mead for Speed is a great example of this style. My other favorite style would be a high quality dessert mead. These usually have more of a wine like ABV to them, but very sweet. I'm searching for my favorite honey to make with which to make a style so that I can pair it with cinnamon ice cream.
What’s your favorite mead you’ve ever made?
Mead for Speed hands down. Being able to say that I made a recipe that is actually being canned on a mass scale is beyond cool. Also, we're definitely catching mead on the upswing of its popularity. It's awesome to be able to teach and introduce people to a product they've never had with something that I've made.
Which is your favorite mead from this year’s Mead Madness lineup?
It's a tie between the cocoa/black currant and basswood. Though the lavender will certainly be making regular appearances in the taproom in the future.