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Wednesday, August 17, 2016

National Mead Day Tour Recap

In the past several years mead has become an increasingly popular beverage with meaderies popping up all over the country to satisfy the ever increasing demand. In order to foster camaraderie and awareness among mead makers and their patrons, National Mead Day is celebrated on the first Saturday in August. One of the world's oldest fermented beverages, mead is simply made by combining honey, water, and yeast. In honor of National Mead Day a very special tour is arranged by the fine folks of Motor City Brew Tours. Starting and ending at B. Nektar's Summer Mead Festival, the tour takes you to two breweries/meaderies in the Metro Detroit area, Kuhnhenn Brewing Co. and Dragonmead Microbrewery.
Look! Its Stephen from Motor City Brew Tours
On National Mead Day there are many events and festivals throughout the meaderies in the area. Our first stop on the Mead Day tour was Kuhnhenn Brewing Company. As part of the tour, Motor City Brew Tour's provided four tasting tickets to Kuhnhenn's Mead Day festival as well as Pizza to fill up with before a long day of tastings. The tour was my first visit to Kuhnhenn's tap room and my first time tasting their mead. Kuhnhenn's mead is considered traditional mead, a fermented honey wine with an average ABV above 14%. Of the many meads tasted,the Dry Blackberry Mead was one of my favorites, with an amazing aroma  that smelt of sweet blackberry pie.

Outside of Kuhnhenn Brewery & Winery
After a couple hours and a handful of mead tastings, the tour departed Kuhnhenn Brewing Co. and headed down 696 to Dragonmead Microbrewery. During my visit to Dragonmead to podcast with Larry and Spencer, I was able to sample one of their meads, but with the tour we received a mead sampler which included five mead samples. Dragonmead makes some delicious mead, we sampled nine different meads while visiting the Warren Microbrewery. Our table of four (Joe, Vince, Shelby, and myself) voted Shitonov the Worst In Show with a 3/4 vote and Old Guy the Best In Show with a 3/4 vote. Vince's pallet seemed to be calibrated differently from the rest of us.

Dragonmead Mead Sampler

The last stop on the Mead Day Tour was the Summer Mead Festival at B. Nektar in Ferndale,MI. The 8th Annual Summer Mead Festival marks the anniversary of one of the most popular meaderies in the country, B. Nektar. Its insane to think and realize that this heavy hitter in the mead game is located in my backyard. This year B. Nektar released American Maniacs, the 500 batch that they collaborated with Superstition Meadery from Arizona. American Maniacs is an apple mead with prickly pear juice added. Both Joe and I enjoy a sample of American Maniacs on NITRO, but we did not purchase any bottles.
B. Nektar Summer Beer Festival
The National Mead Day Tour with Motor City Brew Tours was such a great way to celebrate Mead Day and experience a large variety of meads. My top picks of the day were the Dry Blackberry Mead (Kuhnhenn), Old Guy (Dragonmead), and Prickly Pear Kill All The Golfers (B. Nektar). All of these are available at their respective tap rooms. Though we have to wait another 364 days before the next Mead Day you can head on out to these locations and try their amazing mead year around.