Mead Day is celebrated on the first Saturday of August every year. It’s a day to celebrate mead, a fermented, alcoholic beverage that has been produced since ancient times. Mead has been made across ancient civilizations and has played an important role in the mythologies of their cultures. The defining feature of mead is that the fermented sugars in the drink are derived from honey. To make mead, honey is fermented with water. Other ingredients like fruits, flowers, and spices were also added. Mead is also known as honey wine. There are a lot of different varieties of mead in the world — still, sparkling, sweet, and not so sweet.
History of Mead Day
Mead Day is celebrated by mead enthusiasts and brewers. Mead has been brewed across the ancient civilizations in Europe, Africa, and Asia for thousands of years and is still popular today. This alcoholic beverage is made by fermenting honey with water and other ingredients as desired.
Evidence of mead brewing has been found in pottery from northern China, as well as ceramic containers in Europe. Mead was also known to be by the people living in Ancient India and Ancient Greece.
The process of making mead is similar to the process of making wine. Wine yeast can be easily used to make mead, and honey ferments at around the same temperatures as grape juice set aside for wine.
Unlike wine, mead involves a process of primary and secondary fermentation. The first fermentation happens fairly quickly. Then, when the process starts slowing down, the mead is moved into another container through the process of racking. Racking involves moving alcoholic beverages from one container to another using gravity rather than a pump, so the beverage is undisturbed. The second, slower fermentation happens in the second container.
The primary fermentation takes place over a month to two months, after which the mead is left in the second container to age over a period of six to nine months. The fermentation time is influenced by the quality of honey, the composition of the honey, the other ingredients used in the recipe, and the temperature of the surrounding environment.
Mead Day timeline
Remains of honey, rice, and organic compounds produced due to fermentation are found on pottery fragments from ancient China.
Mead is named ‘Soma’ in the “Rigveda,” one of the ancient books of the Vedic religion and modern-day Hinduism.
The Welsh bard Taliesin writes a poem about a great feast and feasting hall in the poem ‘Song of Mead.’
The American Homebrewers association set aside the first Saturday of August to officially celebrate mead.
Mead Day FAQs
Is mead stronger than wine?
Mead tends to have a higher alcoholic percentage than wine.
Does mead make you fat?
Mead is a high caloric drink, so if you drink too much, your health will be affected.
What is the sweetest mead?
Chaucer’s Mead is known to be the best sweet mead made with pure honey.
How to Celebrate Mead Day
Drink some mead
The best way to celebrate Mead Day is to head over to your local brewery and drink a glass or two of mead. Bottoms up!
Brew some mead
Mead, like wine, is easy to brew at home. Get some good quality honey and yeast, and get to brewing!
Organize a feast
Mead is traditionally associated with feasting. Put together a potluck feast with your friends and family, and make sure to serve mead with your food!
5 Important Facts About Mead
Mead was loved in Ancient Greece
During the Golden Age of Ancient Greece between 500 B.C. to 350 B.C., mead was said to be the preferred drink in the entire country.
The oldest recipe from 60 A.D.
A naturalist called Columella, who was Hispanic-Roman, wrote down a recipe for mead in his agricultural book, “De Re Rustica.”
Mead became obscure for a while
When taxation was introduced on alcoholic beverages, commercial mead became an obscure drink until very recently.
There are several types of mead
Mead can even be distilled to have the alcoholic percentage of a liqueur, in which case it might be called a whiskey.
Home meaderies made it popular in America
In the U.S., mead was introduced to the general public by small home meaderies and, eventually, commercial meaderies were established.
Why We Love Mead Day
Mead is delicious
Sweet, semi-sweet, fizzy, or flat — we love mead in all its forms and love the opportunity to celebrate it.
We want to drink mead
Finding mead isn’t easy, so with a day set aside to celebrate mead, we have an excuse to hunt down the best meaderies in our area.
More people should try mead
Mead is still an obscure drink, and we want people to know that people still brew and drink mead today!
Mead Day dates