We love us some fruity mead (melomels) here at Contrivance. I was close to ending up in an intervention about my berry buying habits prior to opening the meadery. I used to want to ferment everything I saw that had sugar in it. It truly was out of control. I went to the farmer’s market and was told I wasn’t allowed to buy any berries. I’ve always been one to ignore the “spirit of the law” in favor of the letter of the law, so I bought honey instead. Fortunately now that we have a commercial meadery the amount of fruit I have to buy is always irresponsible.
Basically that means that nothing has really changed, except now I can sell the mead to people after I make it.
When our blueberry mead turned out to be our first hit, I knew we needed to follow it with another big fruity mead right away, so the Raspberry mead was born. Several buckets of mixed berry blossom honey and a whole lot of raspberries merged to become what a few people have called “adult juice” with 12.5% Alcohol. It was aged with a bit of oak to round out that raspberry tartness. It is sweet but not so sweet as to drown out the acidity. The clarity was gorgeous and it looked incredible in the sunlight. It sold very well at the markets where people were buying the idea that it must be as tasty as it looks, and they were not wrong.
Once we realized how popular this mead was we started the next big berry batch which turned out to be the Blackberry Mead.
There was a brief window where we had both meads at the same time. Some people liked the blackberry better, and some liked the raspberry. Everyone has different tastes, which is why we make so many different meads.
What would I do differently next time? I’d make the batch far bigger of course (4x?). Maybe age it in oak barrels instead of adding oak to it at the end (knowing ahead of time that the oak made a big difference, so do it sooner).
It would be nice to have something long enough to see how it changes with age. There I go with needing a personal stash again. If you have a bottle hiding in your house, let me know how it tastes a year or two later!