21 & Up: Meaderies making a comeback

21 & Up: Meaderies

WILLIAMSBURG, Va. (WVEC) -- Mead is not new at all, but its production nationwide has recently taken off.

Silver Hand Meadery in Williamsburg opened in November 2015 and says mead is also known as honey wine.

"We like to say it's got the creativity of craft beer, but the elegance of wine," said owner Glenn Lavender.

As its nickname suggests, instead of being derived from fermenting grapes, mead is created from fermenting honey. Lavender first learned about mead from fiction novels.

"If you read Beowulf, even the second sentence talks about the mead hall," he said.

Lavender said you can make mead at home as well. "It takes about three pounds of honey per gallon to make mead."

Silver Hand's honey fermenting process takes about three weeks. Then, their wine is mixed with flavorful ingredients like strawberries, blueberries, or oak chips. A few weeks later, they prepare to bottle, and Lavender said that process takes up a good amount of space at the meadery. 

"[The] whole tasting room gets transformed into a bottling area. We do everything by hand," he explained.

Silver Hand has a number of other products and services, like honey sticks, tastings, and even aroma wheels. It also occasionally hosts what's called a "Mead Up," a weekend-long social event that includes food and music, and is one of their rare opportunities to serve honey wine by the glass.

For more information, visit the Silver Hand website

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