Colorado meadery brings unique flavors, product to craft scene | TheFencePost.com

Colorado meadery brings unique flavors, product to craft scene

BOULDER, Colo. — David Myers likes to say mead's popularity cycle is every 2,000 to 3,000 years, and right now its popularity is high.

Mead is a honey wine, which is known to be the first alcoholic beverage ever made.

Myers, who considers himself chairman of the mead, opened Redstone Meadery in June 2001. He started home-brewing beer in the '80s, and a friend introduced him to mead a few years later. After trying it, Myers started to brew mead from home.

"I always had a fascination with the craft industry," he said.

Myers' meadery uses honey from mostly Colorado and Arizona honeybees to make this ancient drink.

A BRIEF HISTORY

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Mead is traced back to a time before records could be written down. And at a tour of Redstone Meadery, you will learn mead was discovered, not invented.

Heather Caldwell is the newest mead ambassador, and during the tour told a group of five that mead was discovered during hunting and gathering times. Some folks found a light yellow, sticky substance and put it in their bags. When mixed with the water and fermented, people tried the drink and started to feel a bit different, you could say.

So they started to mix the honey and water to try and recreate the concoction. It also came with some praying to the gods, which is why mead is often referred to as the "nectar of the gods."

Eventually, though, mead became too expensive to drink because of the limited bee population, so it became a drink for the wealthy. In the meantime, beer and wine came into production because it was cheaper to make and the ingredients were easier to come by.

But, as Myers likes to say, mead comes back into fashion every 2,000 to 3,000 years.

FROM HOME TO REDSTONE

In June 2001, Myers started his meadery just as the craft beer and cider industries started to gain a lot of momentum.

"There was this wonderful culture," he said.

Boulder is home to him, so he decided to open Redstone there.

One of the reasons he pursued mead was the opportunity for variety.

Redstone Meadery offers three brands of mead: nectars, mountain honey wine and reserves. The website lists nectars as "light, crisp and refreshing." They're carbonated, unlike the mountain honey wines, which are "full-bodied and complex." The reserves take the most time to create, anywhere from six to 10 years, while the nectars take about three months.

Myers favorite mead is "the one I'm drinking at the time." He said different moments and food call for different types of mead.

A special mead Redstone produces is the winter seasonal. It's made with vanilla beans and cinnamon and it is made the day of the winter solstice.

Jasmine Thompson, who is the tasting room and events manager, started working at Redstone in August 2017. She said she was so excited when she walked into the meadery Dec. 21 and realized they would be making the winter seasonal that will be released for a limited time this fall.

TASTES AND HONEY

As a mead ambassador, Thompson does free tastings and gives tours of the facility.

"I really love introducing people to something they've never tried before," she said.

One misnomer about honey wines is the taste.

"Honey doesn't necessarily equal sweet," Myers said.

In fact, Redstone focuses on medium and dry styles, in particular.

Thompson said she asks customers what type of beers or wines they prefer and starts them with a mead similar to their taste complex.

She said people normally find what they like and are often surprised when the meads aren't as sweet as they imagined.

Most of the honey Redstone uses is from Colorado, with some from Arizona to make up about 95 percent of the honey used, Myers said. The rest comes from around the globe.

However, because of honeybee population declines, Myers said they've seen an increase in pricing.

"Mass colony collapse is of great concern, but it's a greater concern to humankind," he said. "I think people don't really often understand how vital the honeybee is to our food." ❖

— Fox is a reporter for The Fence Post. She can be reached at (970) 392-4410, sfox@thefencepost.com or on Twitter @FoxonaFarm.

To try Redstone

The tasting room at Redstone Meadery, 4700 Pearl St., #2A, Boulder, CO 80301, is open noon-6:30 p.m. Monday-Friday and noon-5 p.m. Saturdays. Tastings are free, and meads by the glass, bottle and can are available to purchase.

Redstone Meadery conducts tours at 1 and 3 p.m. Monday-Friday and a tour at 12:30 p.m. Saturdays.

Readtone’s mead can be directly shipped to a number of states and is avalailable in a number of stores across Colorado and other states. For more information go to restonemeadery.com.