Why Georgia Mead?
Georgia Mead is the culmination of more than 10 years of promoting sustainable agriculture in this state.
For me, mead is the ultimate expression of a sustainable food ecosystem at work. Local farmers grow a diversity of specialty crops and pollinator-friendly cover crops, tend some bee hives, and sell the fruits of their efforts into the community. The meadery purchases honey year-round and works with those farmers to coordinate production based on what is being harvested. Unlike wine, mead production can take place in sync with any harvest, not just grapes.
Honey is diluted with spring water. Seasonal fruits and herbs are added. Yeast works to extract the aroma and flavor of the ingredients while converting the sugars into alcohol. All “waste” products are recycled back into the system and the mead is bottled up (or kegged) to sell back into the community.
This ecosystem approach makes honey bees and their products a vital part of the system. As a result, oases of diverse pesticide-free nectar sources start to spring up and support vital pollinator populations.
The mead ecosystem approach also provides Georgia with a more sustainable alcoholic beverage. The wine grape varieties (Vitis vinifera) that people prefer are tough to grow in our state without intensive pest management. Also, barley, the essential ingredient in beer (by volume), prefers cooler growing conditions than our climate can offer it. Apples fair a little better in our environment than vinifera wine grapes and barley, but cider doesn’t offer the same versatility as mead.
Honey is almost a byproduct of a well-functioning farming ecosystem. It is produced in abundance when conditions are favorable and can be stored indefinitely until it can be utilized.
Stay tuned for more posts about what we’re working on to support mead in Georgia.
I am not a health professional, nor do I pretend to be. Please consult your doctor before altering your alcohol consumption habits. Do not consume alcohol if you are under the age of 21. Do not drink and drive. Enjoy responsibly!