Mead from Viking Alchemist in Marietta.
Photo: Viking Alchemist Facebook page
Photo: Viking Alchemist Facebook page

Raise a glass to these Georgia meaderies

“Game of Thrones” might be coming to an end this weekend, but there are plenty of spots to keep the party alive by way of a 9,000-year-old drink.

Mead, an alcoholic beverage made with fermented honey and sometimes fruit and spices, is one of the oldest known alcoholic beverages, has seen a resurgence of late thanks to inclusion in popular fantasy franchises including “Game of Thrones”. Characters are often referenced drinking mead at parties and using it to welcome guests. 

A 2017 report released by the American Mead Makers Association estimated that a new meadery opens in the United States every three days and in the rest of the world every seven days.  

So where can you try the sweet stuff in Georgia? Read on to find out.

Etowah Meadery. Co-owned by Blair Boyd Housley, Scott Mabe and Jamie Belanger, the Dahlonega meadery hosts weekly special events while serving up flights and pours of their wide selection of meads including the traditional Got the Blues made with blueberry blossom honey and the Battle Branch, which won the 2019 bronze medal at the Mazer Cup International and is made with cherry, raspberry, blackberry, vanilla and cocoa nibs aged in chocolate rye whisky barrels. Etowah also sells its products at a variety of metro Atlanta retailers and bars including Green’s, Taco Mac and Hop City.

3003 Morrison Moore Pkwy East, Dahlonega. 706-864-MEAD, etowahmeadery.com

Bee Craft Mead Company. This Dawsonville spot specializes in “traditional meads on the drier side of semi-sweet, honey-forward spiced meads known as metheglins, and big fruity meads,” according to its website.  Meadmaker Derek Piper, who won Best of Show at the 2015 U.S. Open for his Dark Pearls mead, uses honey from Bee Craft hives supplemented by honey from beekeepers located along the Georgia Piedmont. The meadery also hosts many special events as well as mead making classes throughout the year. The tasting room is open from 5:30-7:30 p.m. Friday, 1-6 p.m. Saturday and 1-5 p.m. Sunday. Can’t make it out to Dawsonville? Buy online or find Bee Craft products at several local spots including City Liquor and Hop City. 

30 Industrial Park Road, Dawsonville. 855-GET-MEAD, beecraftmead.com

Monks Meadery. Started by Martin Key and Justin Schoendorf, high school friends and craft beer fans who moved to the Atlanta area after graduating from college, Monks Meadery was named as a nod to the role monasteries had in the initial production of mead. Mead names keep with the theme, including Stigmata, made with hibiscus, rose and elderflower and Peachin’ to the Choir, a peach tea session mead. Monks produces its products at Southern Brewing Company, though Georgia law prohibits customers from sampling mead on premises; visit sobrewco.com/ to get details on visiting the facility, or find it on tap at several bars around town.

231 Collins Industrial Blvd., Athens. monksmead.com

Southern Origin Meadery. Husband and wife Monroe and Karen Brown opened Blue Haven Bee Company in 2013 with their children, selling raw honey and other honey products. The family later developed Southern Origin with vintner Jabe Hilson, offering a selection of meads including a Wildflower mead and the Pollinator Pyment, the Wildflower mead blended with Noble Wine Cellar’s Petit Manseng. Enjoy the mead by the single taste, flight, or in a mead cocktail. Retail and tasting room hours are 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Tuesday-Thursday and 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday-Sunday.

2069 Bond Ave., Canon. 706-245-6586, bluehavenbee.com/meadery

Viking Alchemist. This family run meadery makes its meads using local honey, with rotating selections on tap including Bliss, made with pear and almond; Sonic Boom made with lime and cherry; and Canuck made with maple honey. Buy still mead online or visit the tasting room from 6-9 p.m. Thursday, 5-9 p.m. Friday, 2-10 p.m. Saturday and 1-6 p.m. Sunday. 

703 Fairgate Road, Marietta. 678-858-2813, vikingalchemist.com

Coming soon

5/4 Meadery. Once open in Roswell later this year, 5/4 will manufacture and sell a variety of unfiltered, still to sparkling meads and ciders with dry, semi-sweet, or sweet variations—both with and without fruits and spices. The meadery will include both production facilities and a public-facing storefront for tastings and direct-to-consumer sales. 

Five Hives and Vines. The meadery and berry farm broke ground earlier this year in Statesborough, with plans to sell a variety of honey products. Eric Van Otteren, who owns the farm with his wife Debbie along with their son and daughter-in-law Zach and Brooke and friends Wes and Ashley Vanmeter, told The George-Anne that the plan is to “grow the meadery in five years to a production level of 6,000 gallons of mead and cyser” as well as hold weekly events and serve as a space for weddings and other types of special events. 

Waldmet Cellars. The meadery is slated to open in Jasper later this year.

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