Mead is a fermented beverage made from honey. It is believed to be the oldest fermented beverage, first made before the dawn of written history. There is accurate evidence of meadmaking more than 5000 years ago.
You can think of mead as a honey wine. It is not necessarily sweet, since
the honey is fermented. It can range from as sweet as a dessert wine to
bone dry. Fruits or herbs may be added to the mead as it ferments, producing
a fascinating variety of styles.
The Mead-Lover's FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) contains more information about the types of mead, ingredients, and especially methods for making mead. A copy of this FAQ is sent to everyone who signs up for the Mead-Lover's Digest.
Your local homebrew or winemaking supply shop is likely to have a few books on mead-making. If you're going to start making mead, you'll want to read with a critical eye, and preferably read more than one source. Some of the books available recommend techniques and ingredients that are questionable at best. Here are a few books we like:
Is mead-making strictly an amateur craft? No. While there aren't a lot of commercial meaderies, there are enough that you may be able to find commercial mead in a local shop or by visiting a winery/meadery. Click here for a directory of commercial meaderies compiled by Dan McFeeley.
talisman.com runs the Mead-Lover's Digest, which is an e-mail forum for mead-makers and mead-lovers to discuss all aspects of mead: recipes, ingredients, techniques, and history. Most of the day-to-day discussion tends to be about making mead at home.
The Digest is a non-commercial, strictly volunteer effort by/for mead folk. It was started in September, 1992 and handled for the first 200+ issues by John Dilley. Dick Dunn took over in October, 1993, and continues to maintain it. As of November, 2010, 1500 issues of the Digest had appeared. A typical issue is 400 lines (15 KB). There are currently about 1300 subscribers. Distribution is worldwide.
Brief commercial announcements of material relevant to mead appear from time to time, but blatant advertising and off-topic articles are summarily rejected. The list of subscribers is used only for e-mailing the digest; it is never made available to the outside world.
mead-request @ talisman.com
You may also send inquiries about the digest to that address. PLEASE be specific in the subject line of your message! Simple subjects such as "hi" or "hello", or blank subjects, are likely to cause the mail to be discarded as spam.
Note that the digest only appears when material is submitted (at least a few items). This means it may take several days before you get your first issue.
Digests from the current year are available here.
Compressed archives of past years are available here in two formats. For UNIX-like (Linux, Solaris, AIX, etc.) systems, or if you've got tar and gzip available, click here for .tar.gz archives. For MS-DOS/Windows systems or if you've got zip, click here for .zip archives. If you have a choice, the .tar.gz archives are preferable because they're substantially smaller. Each file contains the digests for one year.
You are visitor number to this page since March, 2002.