Beer

Mead-Honey Wine the Drink of Love

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Posted June 24th, 2011 in Beer, Drinks, News, Posts

Redstone Meadery

Who knew that one of our esteemed customers, Redstone Meadery, was using our blackberry, boysenberry and raspberry purees to make Mead?Who knew that anyone still made or drank Mead? Not me, that’s for sure.

But when Bryan Brown our Export Sales Manager shared this story with me I knew it had to be told.

What the heck is Mead anyway? Well I am going to tell you.

It is a lovely honey wine that has been made and shared since ancient times. Redstone’s mantra is “Good enough for Zeus, Good enough for you”. “It is so ancient a beverage that the linguistic root for mead, medhu, is the same in all Indo-European languages where it encompasses an entire range of meanings,which include honey, sweet, intoxicating, drunk and drunkenness. For this reason it has been suggested that fermented honey may be the oldest form of alcohol known to man.”-Mikal Aasved, 1988.

Mention of it evokes images of heroes and romantic tales, of castle feasts and chivalry. Legends surround it, that of golden nectar, swirling in a goblet chased with silver, with the heady, erotic aroma of honey caressing the senses. Legend has it that the word honeymoon is derived from an ancient tradition of sending a newly married couple off to seclusion for a month with much mead, to ensure their best chance to start a family quickly. Mead has been, and still is, considered the drink of love.

It is associated with Renaissance Festivals and medieval dinner theatre. I had it for the first time in a castle in Ireland in my early 20′s.

Redstone Meadery Tasting Room

 

Redstone is a very cool story and it is located on Pearl Street in Boulder, Colorado, a place that I would love to live. Pearl Street and Boulder has it all; a pedestrian street of shops and great restaurants, B&B’s, cool people, a bike trail close by and access to some of the most beautiful mountains on earth. When I first traveled to Boulder on business I started thinking about buying a B&B on Pearl Street.

David Myers, known as ‘Chairman of the Mead’, founder of Redstone Meadery, is a romantic and wants to see mead once again enjoying the glory days of yesteryear. He started the Boulder, Colorado company with the ‘natural philosophy’ that he produce the highest quality honey wine on the market. In keeping with the ‘natural’ approach, Redstone does not add any sulfites, a known allergen, as honey is it’s own natural preservative. And, in keeping with the theme here, Madoko Myers known as “the Countess of Mead” was introduced to Redstone as a customer and wound up marrying David.

Maybe there is something to that “Nectar of Love” thing.

Fruit Beer-does that count for my 5-a-day?

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Posted November 5th, 2010 in Beer

Howdy! My name is Bryan, and I am the Ingredient & Export Sales Manager for Oregon Fruit Products Co. and this week’s guest blogger.  If you’re like me, you occasionally (or in my case frequently) tip a few quality brews.  Since I in live in the State of Oregon which is a hot bed of craft brewing, this is easy to do.  As you might expect since I work with fruit on a daily basis, I am partial to the fruit beers

At the 2010 US Open Beer Championships 7 of the top ten brews were made from berries and that is good news for us at Oregon Fruit. Craft Beer is an American term generally refers to beer that is brewed using traditional methods brewed for distinction and flavor rather than mass appeal. The interest in beer styles in the US has increased steadily since James Robertson’s encyclopedic “Great American Beer Book” was published in 1974, and later, when Michael Jackson’s 1977 book The World Guide to Beer was published in America. Additionally, the enactment of laws clarifying the legality of homebrewing in 1979 encouraged an increase in hobbyists who contributed greatly to the trend. Pioneer breweries such as Anchor Brewing,  Samuel Adams and Sierra Nevada, along with many others brought the concept of craft beer to a wider audience and provided the foundation upon which today’s market is based. (wikipedia)

One of my customers is Mark Wilson, Brew master with Abita Brewers in Louisiana. Mark makes a fantastic product called “Purple Haze” made with our Aseptic Seedless Raspberry Puree.  If you don’t know what aseptic is, think of the wine in a box.  The same flexible metal package that is used for boxed wine is what we package our aseptic fruit puree in.  The brewers like this packaging because the product can be shipped and stored in ambient (dry) conditions.  Most brewers would rather use their coolers for finished beer!  Back to Abita, Purple Haze is their #2 selling Beer Company wide and #1 outside of the state of Louisiana and is 20% of their entire beer production. What makes them different from other Craft Brewers is that they use the fruit in the bright tank.  The bright tank is where the beer is stored after filtration.  They add the puree here and then bottle.  This is why their product has some sediment in each bottle and hence the haze (not because of your vision after you drink a six pack).

Abita describes Purple Haze as a crisp, American style wheat beer with raspberry puree added after filtration. The raspberries provide the lager with a subtle purple coloration and haze, a fruity aroma, and a tartly sweet taste. They suggest serving this beer with salads or light fruit desserts or chocolate. Purple Haze also pairs well with certain cheeses, such as ripened Brie or any dessert made with Mascarpone. Consider enjoying Purple Haze alone at the end of your meal as a dessert beverage.

There is a whole cultish subculture around making home brewed beer and if you would like to get started check out craftbeer.com and for your fruit needs visit us at oregonfruit.com.

Well I hope you have enjoyed this diversion from the normal conversation and if you have any comments, send them to me at the email above.  Also, please support my friend and customer Mark at Abita.  You can follow the link above and use their find “Find Abita” to find there product in your local area.  Or, feel free to contact me at bryanb@ofpc.com. Cheers!

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