The Story of Mead...
Mead is a beverage rich in history and lore dating back over 8,000 years. Mead appears in many cinematic works, such as Game of Thrones, Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings, Beowulf, Skyrim, King Midas and many more. Much like other ancient alcoholic beverages, mead too is surrounded by stories and rumors.
Most of these stories have lasted through the ages and do not need to be created or circulated. Mead has a shroud of mystery surrounding it, evoking images of Vikings drinking around a table, mass orgies, and mysterious potions. So sit back, relax and let Monks Mead be a part of your story.
Throughout time, the legend of Mead has fascinated and enthralled many.
Mead is thought to be an aphrodisiac, a medicinal potion, and a fertility aid. As it is made entirely by honey, mead legend takes on a mystique from its naturally sensual ingredients. Mead is also known to be the origin of the word "honeymoon". In early times, newlyweds were given a supply of mead to last the full cycle of the moon. They were instructed to partake in the experience daily to enhance their libidos and improve their chances of creating a family.
The drinking experience is different with mead than any other beverage.
Each sip is filled with thousands of years of history, lore, and magic while you consume the intoxicating flavors of fermented honey. Some say that imbibing mead brings one to a level of intoxication unlike any other alcoholic beverage.
Mead has a long history. So long, many say, that it may well be the oldest recorded fermented beverage. King Midas drank mead (hey, after all, he "did" have the golden touch, right?), as was discovered in an archeological dig. The Celts were purportedly drinking it in 500 A.D.
There are indications that the Greeks, Romans, Egyptians, Ethiopians, Scandinavians, Assyrian, Incas, and Aztec used mead - both in festivals and as a religious drink. Oddly, it seems to have pervaded many, if not most, cultures at some point in time. You can find it in the writings of Greek philosophers and the stories of their gods. Mead appears prominently in the tales of Scandinavia and the Vikings. You can find mead in the histories of England (Queen Elizabeth I loved it!), France, Greece, South America, Africa, Ireland, Sweden, Poland, Hungary, Germany, and Australia.
Honey, and by association, mead, has been attributed with the power of being an aphrodisiac. It has been said in times gone by that mead imbues the drinker with attributes such as life, wisdom, courage, and strength. The Celtic peoples of the British Isles were reported to have made mead with honey and the sap of a hazel tree. Some Christian saints (probably the Irish ones!) were reportedly fond of a "wee drop 'o mead" at times.
It is purported that St Brigitte turned water into mead at the court of the King of Leinster. Mead was popular until the 18th century, when processed sugar was developed. As the popularity rose and the price fell, sugar became the sweetener of choice and mead and other drinks made with honey fell out of favor.
Today, mead is enjoying a resurgence! There are nearly 100 commercial meaderies operating worldwide, and countless thousands of home meadmakers concocting the brew in their homes.
Current interest in the SCA, Renaissance fairs, and the rising popularity of 'period' type movies and fantasy films such as Elizabeth, Shakespeare in Love, 13th Warrior, Lord of the Rings, and others have greatly increased visibity for this most noble of drinks!