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Medieval Brew’s Resurgence Has People Clamoring For A Tankard Of Mead

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SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — An ancient drink is making a nationwide comeback that’s spreading to Sacramento

Mead is a drink that dates back thousands of years, and it’s now for sale at a local bar.

There are folk songs that date to the medieval times that mention mead, but you don’t have to take a trip back in time to get a glass. Local bars and restaurants are seeing a spike in sales of the honey wine.

Chris Porter got his first taste of mead at Capital Beer and Taproom. it’s one of the few places in the area that serve it.

A glass of mead may resemble a wheat beer, but its aroma is closer to a bouquet of flowers. And just like beer and wine, manager Eric Newell says, there are plenty of varietals.

“A simple mead, there is the honey wine, it’s nice and sweet and easygoing,” he said. “But you could work your way up to the big smoked cherry chipotle or the big Kurt’s Apple Pie that’s almost 17 percent, which drinks like a dessert.”

Like homebrewers, mead is attracting a do-it-yourself crowd. Dan Slort started making the drink eight years ago in his garage and just recently started selling it commercially.

“I take water and I mix honey with it, and then I add enough honey to get the alcohol content I want,” he said. “Then add what ever yeast I want to it and then let it go.”

It’s a recipe that dates back to 7000 BC in Northern China. Only the tools to make it have changed.

Beer and wine became popular choices as honey was hard to come by. But now mead is going through a renaissance. It was hard to find a bottle a decade ago, but now you won’t just find several on the shelf, but you might see it on tap.

“In one way or the other you should be seeing mead hit your palate soon enough,” Newell said.

Some of the biggest producers of mead are in Michigan, New York and Delaware, but drinkers believe Northern California is ready for its own resurgence.

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