What is mead?
At its most simple, mead is a fermented beverage made primarily of honey and water. Mead is many things to many people, but our styles tend to drink like wine. Like wine made from grapes, it can be as sweet or as dry as you wish, and we aim to offer a range to suit every palate. If you’ve never had mead before, you’ll probably find it to be unique, but vaguely familiar. Ours are intended to be approachable even to people who have never had it before.
We’ve been making mead at home for nearly a decade, and it’s our dream to bring mead and all its possibilities to you. Mead is on the rise in the market, but a lot of people don’t yet know about it. Black Labs is our contribution to help change that.
In a more general sense, we feel that mead is an excellent base for all sorts of interesting beverages. Sort of like beer has dozens of styles and even more variations within them, mead is a very versatile platform that can be built upon to make beverages that are sweet or dry, fruity or earthy, chocolatey or peanut-buttery. The options are nearly endless.
Is mead gluten-free?
Yes*, mead is gluten-free by virtue of being made with only water, honey, fruit and other gluten-free ingredients.
* Note that, as mentioned above, mead can be made in a wide variety of styles. Some meads, most commonly “braggots”, are made with grains, and would not be gluten-free. We do not currently produce any such varieties at Black Labs.
What is the black raspberry flavor?
Ah, yes. The fruit that sounds so familiar, yet I rarely meet anyone that has any real experience with it! I must admit that it’s become a bit of an obsession of mine, and that spills over into some of my favorite meads that we produce.
Black raspberries are distinct from both (red) raspberries and blackberries, though the latter often makes its way into things claiming to be black-raspberry-flavored. For me it has a special place going back more years than it seems to my childhood, picking them in wild patches near our house and turning them into the best jams and cobblers I’ve ever had. When I left home I realized that the berries themselves were nearly impossible to find in stores, and it’s been a quest (obsession?) for me to find them and, if at all possible, bring them back.
The taste is a delicious mix of tart and dark-fruit jammy, and, I happily discovered, an excellent match for honey. These meads can drink like a firm red wine when made more dry, and when left sweeter can make a bold, fruity dessert wine at the other end. It could be the nostalgia in me, but I think these berries make for an amazingly delicious and versatile set of meads.