The Schlafly Beer Employee Blog

December 5, 2011

Augie's Blogie: Schlafly Brews Its First Mead!

honeyIn the coming week we will be tapping our first batch of mead at Schlafly. After reading that, you may have a few questions that immediately pop into your head. You may just be wondering what is mead, why is Schlafly making it, and what exactly did we make? Let’s see if we can answer those questions.

What is mead? Mead is an alcoholic beverage made by fermenting honey. We brewers use cereal grains and wine makers use grapes as sugar sources. Mead makers use honey as the base for their fermented beverages. Along with the honey, there are many other things that can be added to make interesting meads. You can add spices. You can add fruit. You can age it in oak, like wine. You can carbonate it or leave it still. Plus, you can do any combination of those things, plus even more that I didn’t mention.

augiecoveredbeesBrewer August “Augie” Altenbaumer gathers honey to brew Schlafly’s first ever batch of Mead.

On to our next question. Why then is a brewery producing mead? The very short answer is “because we thought it would interesting.” The slightly longer answer is something along these lines. There are a few of us here that enjoy making mead at home. We thought it would be a great idea to make some mead on a commercial scale. We also thought our customers would find the different flavors of mead interesting to experience (just like we do.)

So, what did we make? For our first batch, we made a mead with blackberries added to it. This would be referred to as a blackberry melomel, in mead speak. (We can have that lesson at some point in the future.) We kept the alcohol on the low side for this mead at about 7.3%abv. (Did I mention that meads can have alcohol contents ranging anywhere from 7% up to 15%+?) We also carbonated this mead to add a nice refreshing quality to it. This batch will only be available on draft at our brewpubs. That said, you never know, it’s entirely possible that you could see future batches available in 750ml bottles.

We all hope you enjoy our mead making efforts!