Mead is an alcoholic beverage made by fermenting honey. Honey is the sugar source that yeast convert into alcohol and carbon dioxide in the fermentation process. Any alcoholic beverage is produced in much the same way, there are just different sugar sources used. Honey is to mead what grape juice is to wine, what apple cider is to hard cider, and what malted barley is to beer.
If you’ve never had mead, we understand wanting to relate it to something you’re familiar with. But are you here because you want to try something just like other drinks you’ve had, or are you here because you’re interested in exploring something different? We like to encourage people to put aside their expectations, be prepared to experience something new, and treat their senses to something fresh and exciting. With the breadth of variety of flavor and mouthfeel possible with mead it is impossible to answer this question without doing you and mead a disservice by immediately setting your expectations to one thing. Instead, I like to ask “What do you like to taste?” and start from there…
A well made dry mead may contain the essence of the flowers the bees took nectar from to craft their honey. It will taste different from wine, and cider, and beer, as it should! The underlying sugar source is completely different. And different honeys will impart different essences. We may build on these fundamental essences to create other flavors by leaving some residual sweetness to impart more character of the honey, or by adding fruit or spices. Or we may leave it alone to enjoy it in its purest form. The possibilities are endless!
Perhaps you’ve only had one type of honey in your life. Perhaps you’ve only had what we call grocery store honey. These are generally wildflower honeys, often blended with other wildflower honeys to recreate a familiar product for their customers. Unfortunately, they are also often adulterated with other sugar sources to achieve this “familiar” honey character and keep costs down. But there is a whole world of natural honey varieties out there that most people don’t know about. Pure wildflower honeys from one part of the country to another can vary greatly in taste, color, and texture. Even season to season as the bees forage different nectar sources. There are also mono-floral or varietal honeys that result from bees having almost exclusive access to a single nectar source, like clover blossom honey, orange blossom honey, raspberry blossom honey, cranberry blossom honey, avocado blossom honey…the list goes on and on. All these honeys will produce different varieties of mead with different flavors and essences, just like different grape varieties are used to produce different wine varieties. At Blisspoint we only used natural unprocessed honeys from sources we trust where we can trace the honey back to the hives they came from.
A term coined by the food industry. In the formulation of food products it is the amount of an ingredient which optimizes the palatability, and achieves the sensory profile where the product is perceived by the taster to be optimal. Here at Blisspoint Meadery we apply this term to our craft. We are in constant pursuit of the perfect beverage, searching for that blisspoint, the perfect combination of flavors in the perfect proportions, to put the mouth and mind in a state where it cannot imagine anything better in that moment. Your blisspoint is different from your friend’s blisspoint, and your blisspoint may change day to day, moment to moment, depending on weather, what you had to eat that day, or your general mood. The blisspoint is a moving target, difficult to pin down, but worth the pursuit. At Blisspoint Meadery, we want to help you find your beverage blisspoint, over and over again.
Symbee is a term coined here at Blisspoint for a truly unique mead style. Symbee is our own line of carbonated meads created through the symbiotic fermentation of honey, green tea, probiotics, and yeast. The starting base is similar to Kombucha, but instead of using sugar and black tea, we use honey and green tea (this is called a Jun tea). The starting base undergoes further alcoholic fermentation yeast and additional honey. The result is a refreshing blend of tart, fruit, and funk flavors on a honey canvas, yielding citrus and tropical notes layered with sweet grass and wheat. We create different varieties of Symbee with the addition of fruits or zests to build on the base flavors in complementary ways.
Bulamel is a term coined here at Blisspoint to refer to our line of low abv carbonated meads. At its roots, bulamel means bubbles and honey, and undergoes a more traditional style of fermentation (unlike Symbee). The generic term mead is generally thought of as a still and higher abv product, like most wines. We needed a term that fit this style of products well and were not finding some other industry terms suitable. Other meaderies use the term “session” mead to describe this style, but we find that to be an inaccurate association since most of these products are not truly sessionable like a 4.5% abv session beer. If the market produced a 7% abv wine would they call it a session wine? We think not. Thus the birth of the term Bulamel. We may, in the future, produce a truly sessionable product and call it a session mead, but until then, please try our bulamels!
- Traditional mead – honey, water, yeast, generally still and mid to high abv
- Melomel – a blanket term for a mead made with fruits. Other terms exist for meads made with specific fruits.
- Cyser – a mead made apples
- Pyment – a mead made with grapes
- Bulamel – a carbonated mead with lower abv
- Symbee – a mead produced by combining Jun tea fermentation and mead fermentation.
At Blisspoint we can say that 100% of our products are 100% gluten free! Honey is naturally gluten free, as are the fruits we use to flavor our meads. The wine yeasts we use are also naturally gluten free, but this is an area where you need to be cautious. Some brewer’s yeasts come suspended in a barley malt based nutrient liquid that helps promote healthy yeast growth and fermentations. While the yeast itself is not a source of gluten, the barley malt used in the liquid suspension is. This may contribute an extremely small amount of gluten to some products on the market, but at Blisspoint this is not a style of yeast that we use. It always pays to ask if this is something you are concerned about.
- Honey bees must visit two million flowers to make one pound of honey.
- A typical glass of mead represents the life work of about 200 honey bees visiting about 500,000 flowers.
- A foraging honey bee will travel between 250 and 350 miles in her lifetime.
- A glass of mead represents about 60,000 miles of bee travel, or about 2.5 times around the earth.
- In a typical hive during the summer there can be up to 60,000 bees.
- There is one Queen per hive and 99% of the rest of the bees are female worker bees.
- The male bees are called drones. They fly to other areas to mate with virgin queens from other hives.
- A Queen bee will mate with about 12 drones. A drone bee dies after mating once.
- Drones get kicked out at the end of the season so they don’t consume precious resources.
- The Queen bee, once fertilized, never leaves the hive. She will lay up to 1500 eggs per day.
- After an egg is laid it takes about 20 days for a worker bee to emerge. It will only live about 6 weeks.