Saturday Hades and I went to a preview tasting of the fall releases from Brothers Drake Meadery. I was a novice to mead, having only equated it with Vikings downing huge mugs after a well-executed pillaging.
The Drake brothers (Woody and Eric) brought me up to speed on its history as well as its production. This is a local beverage! As you know, Persephone loves local. Basic mead is three pristine ingredients: honey, yeast and spring water. So essentially, as the boys taught me, you could make it at home. You could. But why bother if you’ve got some talented locals with lots of experience doing it for you? The brothers source local Ohio wildflower honey and combine it with other ingredients such as apples from Hugus farms to make some really lovely tipples.
The new fall releases include Apple Pie, my favorite the Bergamot Blue (a blueberry and bergamot combo) and the VO (that local honey with a touch of orange zest, vanilla bean and Roobios tea). They are nothing if not creative with their flavor combinations.
We tried all of these meads with some really tremendous cheeses from Integration Acres. This New Albany company, perhaps most famous for its pawpaws and that fruit’s annual festival, makes some lovely French-style goat cheeses as well. I really loved the chevre and the ash-rubbed goat cheese.
But how to use a mead? And what to pair it with? The fall and winter holidays are fast approaching, along with all the celebrating and entertaining that is a part of them. A post dinner cheese course pairs really nicely with a mead. Or for a first course, pair Brothers Drake VO with a couple of generous spoonfuls of Stilton, a handful of toasted walnuts and to mirror the flavors of the mead, a lovely pool of local honey.
After opening a mead it will last – in the fridge, please – a bit longer than your average white wines. But then who leaves any wine left after you’ve opened it? The same goes for a Drake. Cheers!
Another great opportunity to taste a new Drake is at the release party on Wednesday, October 20th at Dirty Frank’s from 6 to 9. They’ll have mead and dog pairings as well as special mead cocktails. Have fun, kids!