Mead's long, rich, and magical history rivals any other beverage currently being enjoyed throughout the world. And while its past may not be as interesting as they many flavors it can be crafted into, it comes pretty close.
Mead is thought by many to be the oldest alcoholic beverage. Although it’s beginning origins are not exactly known, it’s thought by many that its discovery was simply an accident.
Try it yourself: Take some honey that has been fermenting with rainwater, drink it, and enjoy it’s ‘magical’ properties. (On better thought, don't do that. Really.)
The ancient Greeks would use rain water that was aged for years and mix it with honey before leaving it near a hot fireplace for months before it was ready. It was used to honor the goddess Aphrodite, while also being consumed by prophets of the time in order to see their visions of the future.
The vikings and warriors of the Nordic nations considered mead a beverage of champions that was delivered to them by a beautiful maiden once they reached Valhalla, a great building inhabited by the gods whose great hall was reserved exclusively for those who died in battle.
According to myth, many norse gods also drank mead as a means to grow their powers including Odin, the king of the gods, and Brage, the god of poetry.
Meanwhile, the Celts had a river of mead that ran through paradise and the Anglo-Saxons thought mead could assist with knowledge, poetry, and immortality.
Hey, two out of three ain't bad.
In the same time frame, the term ‘honeymoon’ was coined. It comes from the belief that mead helped with fertility. So a month’s worth of mead, which was calculated by the moon cycle, was gifted to newly weds to assist with starting their family.
When mead’s popularity declined throughout the ages due to the discovery of ales and birth of taverns, among other factors, the spiritual connection to mead still remained. Kings still had mead cellars that were heavily guarded. And bees were still considered to be deeply connected with the gods, so mead was used in many spiritual ceremonies.
Now, mead may be the most prevalent and delicious it has ever been. Craft brewers have re-embraced mead for more modern purposes and have taken recipes to heights previously not imagined.
Maybe it’s just that mead magic that has been reimagined and reborn. So, take a sip of your own nectar of the gods and perhaps you too will feel a little inspiration for knowledge, poetry, or even just a little buzz of magic!