Robert Bell's

Wines of Canada

Since 1992


Meaderies of Canada

working to expand our Mead pages.

Millefleurs Mead
Millefleurs Mead

Mead, often referred to as honey wine, is an alcoholic drink made by the fermentation of honey. Mead is, in all likelihood, the oldest alcoholic beverage known to mankind. Before agricultural techniques were developed, humans were traditionally hunters and gatherers. After gathering honey from the hive, the natural yeast and high moisture content would cause the honey to ferment, producing mead. It is no wonder mead is often referred to as ‘the nectar of the gods', as its appearance seemed miraculous.

The term "honeymoon" has been associated with drinking mead during the month long celebration following a wedding in pagan times. In addition to the health giving properties of honey; mead was thought by the Romans to lengthen life and posses unique healing qualities. The ancient Nordic people considered the drinking of mead as a most important aspect of daily life. Legends of great mead halls, feasts and celebrations abound in the cultural histories of present day countries of this area.

Mead (Honey Wine) is the oldest art of fermentation. Consumed by all, from kings to peasants, mead has gained a reputation as a giver of life, wisdom, courage and strength down through the ages. The traditional drinking vessel for mead is called a mazer and was generally bowl-shaped, made of wood and often inlaid with silver.

Festina Lente Mead

Festina Lente Estate Winery - Langley BC

  • Melomel: Mead made with fruit added
  • Braggot (or Bracket) Mead made with malted grain (usually barley)
  • Hydromel: This is the term for a weak or watered down mead
  • Pyment: This is mead made with grape or grape juice added. This is also the term for a grape wine that has honey added to it.
  • Cyser - A mead made with apples or apple juice
  • Metheglin: A mead made with added spices - often considered to have medicinal traits. Some common spices are cinnamon, nutmeg or cloves
  • Rhodomel : An ancient Roman term for a mead made with rose petals
  • Sack Mead: A mead with a very high honey content. It has a high density and is often sweeter than typical meads. This can be thought of as a dessert wine of meads.
  • Show Mead: This is a term that has come to define a plain mead with no spices or fruits added.
  • Short Mead : (Also referred to as a quick mead) this is a mead that is made in a fashion so it matures quickly. Short meads are often very similar to ales.
  • Great Mead: Kind of like the opposite of a Short Mead. This mead is designed to be bottled and aged for several years.
  • Sparkling Mead: A carbonated mead much like a sparkling wine. This is usually achieved by adding a small amount of honey or sugar just before bottling. This causes a small secondary ferment while in the bottle that will elevate the pressure and sweetness.
  • Morat: A Melomel made from Mulberries
  • Hippocras: A Pyment to which spices have been added
  • Omphacomel: mead made with verjuice which is the juice of unripened grapes. This is often considered to be a type of pyment.
  • Oxymel - Made with wine vinegar
  • Acerglyn - Mead made with maple syrup
  • Bochet - refers to a mead that was made with the honey caramelized or burned before it is added to the water. Creates several different flavours including toffee, chocolate or marshmallow.
  • Capsicumel - Flavoured with chili pepper
  • Black Mead - Made with Black Currants
  • Mulled Mead - This refers to a mead that is heated before drinking. Typically it has spices for flavouring.
  • Chouchen - which is a French Brittany mead... which sometimes contains apple juice:

Festna Lente - Photography by Teresa Townsley
Festna Lente - Photography by Teresa Townsley

Meads around the world:

  • Tej - Ethiopian mead
  • Acan - Native Mexican Mead
  • Acerglyn - Made with Maple syrup
  • Gverc - Croatian variety of mead
  • Dwojniak - Polish mead using equal amounts of honey and water
  • Poltorak - Polish mead made with two parts water and one part honey
  • Czworniak - Polish mead made with three parts water and one part honey
  • Sima - A Finnish mead seasoned with lemon
  • Pitarilla - Mayan mead made with the bark of the balche tree
  • Medica - Slovenian and Croation mead
  • Dandaghare - Nepalese mead made with Himilayan herbs and spices.
  • Medovina - Eastern European mead , Czech republic, Serbia, Bulgaria, and Bosnia
  • Medovukha - Eastern Slavic mead
  • iQhilika - South African

‘A drink I took of the magic mead..
Then began I to know and to be wise,
To grow and to weave poems.'
-Odin, from the Norse Saga Runahal 1200AD

Canada's Meaderies by Province

British Columbia






Nova Scotia

Prince Edward Island

New Brunswick

Songs About Mead

Drinking mead in the halls of Whiterun
The maidens and the men!
We swig our brew
Until we spew
Then we fill our mugs again!
You can keep your filthy Skooma
It makes our bellies bleed
Cause when we raise our flagon
To another dead dragon
There is just one drink we need...

When I come back from a mighty quest I have no need for sleep or rest I head to a tavern for a drink And get so drunk I cannot think A wench by my side and a jug of mead These are the things that I most need So I sit back and sing this song And drink and party all night long

A Poem

I WILL adore the Ruler, chief of every place,
Him, that supports the heaven: Lord of everything.
Him, that made the water for every one good,
Him, that made every gift, and prospers it.
May Maelgwn of Mona be affected with mead, and affect us,
From the foaming mead-horns, with the choicest pure liquor,
Which the bees collect, and do not enjoy.
Mead distilled sparkling, its praise is everywhere.
The multitude of creatures which the earth nourishes,
God made for man to enrich him.
Some fierce, some mute, he enjoys them.
Some wild, some tame, the Lord makes them.
Their coverings become clothing.
For food, for drink, till doom they will continue.
I will implore the Ruler, sovereign of the country of peace,
To liberate Elphin from banishment.
The man who gave me wine and ale and mead.
And the great princely steeds, beautiful their appearance,
May he yet give me bounty to the end.
By the will of God, he will give in honour,
Five five-hundred festivals in the way of peace.
Elphinian knight of mead, late be thy time of rest.

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