What are the different types of mead?
There are many different types of mead, many of which have their own special name.
- Acerglyn: Mead made with maple syrup.
- Bochet: A bochet is a mead made with caramelized honey. Honey is generally heated to a certain temperature for long enough to bring out the nice toasted marshmallow aromas, but not so long or hot as to burn it.
- Braggot: A braggot is a mead made with malt and is more of a beer style than mead. In the U.S. a commercial meadery is not allowed to use the components from beer to make mead, so braggots must be made at a brewery. At that point it is more of a beer made with honey.
- Capsicumel: This is the name for a mead made with spicy peppers. There are a lot of peppers to choose from and they can range from mildly spiced, to extremely spicy.
- Cyser: Mead made with apple juice or cider. In order to be legally called a mead however the sugar source for the fermentation must be 51% or more from honey. Cysers can be either dry or sweet. Dry cyser is usually fairly high in malic acid which is found in apples, and may require quite a bit of aging in order to smooth it out to the point where it is enjoyable.
- Hydromel: This is the name for a low-alcohol mead that is more in the A.B.V. range of a beer. People call these draft meads, or session meads. They can be sparkling (carbonated) or still (non-carbonated) and are often found in cans.
- Pyment: Mead made with grapes. This can be wine grapes or non-vitis vinifera varieties such as concord (the famous grape juice and grape flavor variety). Grapes or grape juice is fermented along with honey. In the eyes of the US government that makes it “grape mead”.
- Metheglin: Mead that is made with botanicals or spices. Holiday Mulled Mead falls into this category.
- Traditional: A traditional mead (or sometimes called a show mead) is one that is made from just honey, yeast, and water. They can be dry or sweet or anywhere in between but are often considered the most difficult to make since you aren’t adding any flavors except that from the honey, so it’s difficult to hide bad meadmaking practices or low quality honey.
This is by no means an exhaustive list of the different types of mead that exist. These are just the common ones that you are likely to run into.