It is said that mead came into existence before mankind itself and was favoured in ancient times by Greeks, Romans, Germans, Celts, and Slavs. And it is even said that the ancient gods savoured the heady taste of mead on the top of Mount Olympus. How is it produced today, which types or varieties are available on the market and what can we expect from it? It is not just about alcohol!
A miracle of nature
Wondering how mead came about and who had the great idea? Nature itself - in times of the greatest droughts, honeybees occupied holes in baobab trees, and when heavy rains came, honey mixed with water and natural yeasts. The mixture then fermented, creating the world's first yeast (and alcoholic) drink - mead, which was later discovered and loved by man. It was allegedly discovered by the inhabitants of Africa tens of thousands of years ago.
Mead has always had the character of a beverage that was suitable for celebrations, which is confirmed by the fact that in ancient times it could be found mainly at the courts of rulers and family celebrations.
Its production is still quite alchemical and depends on many aspects - mainly the type of yeast, fermentation time and the quality of the honey. If you want a really good quality drink, it is necessary to choose mead that is not artificially flavoured, sweetened, and does not undergo heating during production. The unique taste of the so-called single-variety meads, formerly known as honey wines, stands out.
Popular all over the world
Mead is certainly not only popular in the Czech Republic and other Slavic countries. On the contrary, after man took bees from Africa to other continents, the popularity of mead spread throughout the world. There are therefore many types of mead. The base of mead is just honey and water, but it can be replaced with various juices and flavoured with various spices. The basic variations of mead are as follows:
mead – classic mead without flavour
metheglin – mead flavoured with spices (e.g., nutmeg or ginger)
hydromel – mead with lower alcohol content (diluted with water)
honey beer – quick-fermented mead with reduced alcohol content. Suitable for rapid consumption. You can also find this designation for classic beers flavoured with honey.
melomel – mead with fruit juice instead of water. Melomel is further subdivided into three other variants, according to the juice used. You can have cyser (melomel with cider), pyment (melomel with grape must) or hippocras – pyment flavoured with spices.
In our offer you will find besides our traditional Potštejn mead from the first spring blossom honeys and the popular single-variety meads, which are always made from only one type of monofloral honey (acacia, lime, sunflower, or forest honey), also unique meads. These meads are made by Milan Pleva mainly for pleasure and therefore they are only available in limited quantities and their offer is constantly varying. These are nature-inspired meads, enriched during the honey fermentation process with some fruit, an herb from the garden or other natural treasures. You will also find among them our specialty – young wild meads, which you can't usually get to taste, because it is a wild version of the fermented but not yet matured mead with a delicious, rather sweeter taste.
All our meads are purely natural; therefore, they do not contain any preservatives, dyes, are not acidified or sweetened. And because we want to preserve all the important substances in the honey, our meads are produced by a cold fermentation process - that is, honey is not boiled before the yeast is added.
Our tips on how to enjoy mead:
Mead is a drink of diverse flavours and aromas. Each mead tastes differently and their taste also varies according to the way they are served. With each heat treatment, each mead develops slightly different flavour notes, which mead lovers enjoy. And while mead itself offers many flavour experiences, it is also great for making all sorts of mixed drinks - whether for a summer party or for winter cosiness by the fireplace. So how can you enjoy mead?
The taste and aroma of mead can be fully enjoyed with quality glasses.
You can serve it at room at any time and enjoy all the flavour notes that any mead has to offer.
To warm up in winter, heat it up (to preserve the maximum of beneficial substances, make sure that it does not warm up to more than 50 °C; due to uneven heating and poor temperature control we do not recommend using a microwave oven) and serve it in a mug or cup pleasantly warm, for example instead of a traditional mulled wine.
Mead tastes great not only warm but can also be a great refreshing drink. The most common way is to leave the bottle in the fridge and serve the mead nicely chilled, possibly with ice, or...
...make yourself a wonderful mead ice chips: Pour the desired amount of mead into a plastic bottle and put it in a freezer. Water contained in the mead will freeze, but the alcohol will remain liquid. The result is a drink with the consistency of shaved ice, which will contain ice chunks and retain an exceptional mead-like taste. Perfect refreshment on hot summer days!
Experiment, taste, try and savour, and find your favourite ways and variations to best enjoy mead.
Why indulge in mead?
Mead is one of the oldest alcoholic beverages with a rich history; since ancient times it has been considered a source of life, wisdom, courage, and strength.
Apart from tradition and excellent taste, there is one more thing that is great about mead - its beneficial effects on our organism. When consumed in reasonable quantities (1 to 2 dl per day) „mead serves to maintain vitality and mental strength and has a positive effect on our immune system. It promotes the production of gastric juices and thus improves iron absorption. It protects blood vessels - arterial wall against arteriosclerosis and maintains its permeability. Procyanidins counteract the increase in cholesterol levels. Research has also shown antibacterial and antiviral effects. It is a drink that works well for people with heart problems. Moderate drinking of honey wine also reduces the production of fibrinogen, a substance that promotes blood clotting, which is responsible for many embolisms, thromboses, heart attacks, and strokes. The important fact, as the name implies, is that mead is made from high quality bee honey, whose beneficial effects on human health have been confirmed by numerous scientific studies.“1
In addition, mead is also referred to as a love potion, an aphrodisiac if you will. It warms the body and soul ;-)
1 Czech publication: Ing. Štefan Demeter, CSc.: Apiterapie: Léčení včelími produkty; Jaroslav Čadra, Olomouc, 2021, p. 168, 170 Back