What Is Mead?

Great meadBees-1-web starts with great honey.

Green River Ambrosia has been brewing great mead since 2007.  This ancient beverage, sometimes called honey-wine, dates back 20,000 – 40,000 years, originating in Africa. The first mead would have been gathered after honey from feral bees, rainwater, and wild yeast collected and fermented in the hollows of Baobab and Miombo trees*.

Our goal is to support sustainable beekeeping by purchasing raw, high-quality honey, primarily from local bee keepers, and fermenting it into exquisite mead that honors the nuanced flavor of great honey.

 

Our Mead Styles

Green River Ambrosia makes semi-sweet, medium-bodied  mead varieties that are crafted to reveal the delicate aromas of honey.

For our melomels and metheglins we add local fruit or organic herbs to complement, not overpower, the raw honey. Our barrel-aged meads take on the additional flavor and aroma of the oak whiskey barrels for smooth, rich flavor.

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Local Honey Meads

Traditional Mead

These meads are simply fermented honey. Local, wild flower honey extracted in late summer captures the season and the terroir of the Connecticut River Valley.

  • Liquid Sunshine
Fruit Mead (melomel)

Our cyzers (apple mead) are brewed with raw, local honey and freshly-pressed heirloom cider from the stunning orchards of the Pioneer Valley.

Herbal Mead (metheglin) 

Herbs and spices create soothing meads to sip and savor.

  • Chamomile
  • Winter Warmer

 

Small-Batch Meads11807391_10152946302042687_3236971781791988398_o

  • Oaxacan Mead: A traditional mead of honey from the BIDOO Collective in Oaxaca, Mexico. This artisanal, organic honey gets its distinctive flavors, including marzipan and clove, from lush tropical forests. It is available through our friends at Follow the Honey who are committed to sustainable beekeeping and human rights.
  • Barreled Buckwheat: A traditional mead from NY buckwheat honey. Barrel-aged.  2015 Mazer Cup International Silver Medalist.

 

Our Process

Honey is mixed with warm water diluting it to the proper sugar content depending on how sweet or dry we desire the final product to be. In order to make the best tasting mead possible we never boil our honey, which keeps its raw characteristics and allows the delicate floral flavors and vital components of the honey to make it to the finished product.

image1-1We use different varieties of wine yeast specifically selected for the style of mead we are making. Once the yeast is pitched, the must (honey water) is pumped into a fermenter where it begins to convert to alcohol. This primary fermentation lasts for at least one month. Following, we rack the mead into a secondary fermenter where it will age one to four months more. The  secondary fermentation allows the flavors to develop and the clarity to increase. Afterward, the mead is either ready to be bottled or barreled. Barrel-aged meads will continue maturing for another 6+ months until they have taken on the flavor and aroma of the oak whiskey barrels.

Our mead is lightly filtered before bottling. Though normally added at this point, we have decided to forgo sulfites. We use a gravity filler to limit potential oxygen exposure that could damage the final product. We cork the bottles with high-quality natural corks and top with non-plastic foil. The mead is then bottle conditioned for an additional 3 to18 months.

The process of creating mead takes five months to two years from the time we start the fermentation until it reaches your local shop or restaurant.

We hope you enjoy our fine Green River Ambrosia mead!

 

Food Pairing

IMG_1622Liquid Sunshine works well with dishes such as roast chicken and autumn roots; savory bread pudding; or poached pears. Try it with Spoonwood Cabin’s St. Em cheese.

Barreled Buckwheat is extraordinary with the Grey Barn’s Eidolon cheese and rosemary olive oil sourdough.

Valley Czyer pairs nicely with roast pork, apple pie, and sharp cheddar such as Cabot Extra Sharp. Winter Warmer also pairs nicely with cheddar.

Whiskey Cyzer pairs surprisingly well with dark chocolate.

 

Our Suppliers - Mead

Warm Colors ApiaryClarkdale Fruit FarmsBully Boy Distillers
The New Hampshire Honey BeePine Hill OrchardsBIDOO Collective via Follow the Honey

 

*Mark Beran’s presentation to the Boulder Revel, March 2006