Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Thorvald's Mead

Mead (honey wine) has probably been around as long as mankind has roamed the earth collecting honey from wild hives and then later domesticating bees. Mead dates back to pre-history so we don’t know its exact origin but, we can take a guess. It is likely that is was discovered by accident. This has been the case with so many of the things we eat and drink today like cheese or Champaign. It was probably discovered when honey got wet and diluted enough to allow fermentation to start and then was refined over time.

The problem with mead making has been the natural preservatives in honey which can make fermentation challenging. Mead also took much longer than grapes to ferment with the yeasts of those times. Mead’s only advantage was the existence of honey everywhere while grapes were only in a few places. The spread of grapes around the known world and better ships and transportation systems left mead behind, but not dead.

Mead’s history is filled with stories of conquering heroes, villains, and intrigue. It was the preferred drink of Robin Hood’s merry men as well as the Knights of the Round Table. Regular folks as well as kings and queens have enjoyed mead equally. Mead has been forgotten by many but this ageless drink has not disappeared and will outlast us all. Its history is filled with intrigue and it has become a Hidden Legend. Thorvald (the Viking) is our connection to the past. He has fought in many battles for many different reasons but always drank mead. He has enjoyed meads from many lands and gotten to see the advancement of wine making technology to the point where we can now easily ferment honey and control the outcome. With age, Thorvald has put down his sword in order to enjoy the finer things in life. The evolution of mead to the point where it is comparable to the finest grape wines in flavor and sophistication is more exciting to him than storming the fortified towns of the Englishmen he tormented. While Thorvald remains a simple man, his pallet has evolved and he demands perfection. The ingredients in our mead are the finest in the world. From the honey that is produced in Montana with pride, to the wild berries collected from the mountains and valleys of the Rockies, only the best will do.

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