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Sunday, August 23, 2015

Crave Meadery

With only a few hours before work we decided to check out a local Meadery in Blackstone.  Located in a small building right on the town boarder with Woonsocket is Ken Tubman's Crave Mead. The building is nothing fancy and is clearly a working meadery that offered tastings to educate and encourage the community to try something differently instead of just a retail operation. As their slogan says "Rethink your drink!"  

Our tour began with a quick explanation of how Ken got into the mead making business.  As an avid bee enthusiast and keeper who enjoyed making wines and beer he thought what better thing to do then combine his too biggest interests and put his tasty honey to good use.

Our first sample was the paddy mead. The dry mead is made from roughly 1/2 lb honey, water, and yeast.  He uses 4 different yeasts as each yeast creates a different taste depending on what he is trying to create. It had a nice and sweet but refined flavor that I really enjoyed. The dry mead is also the base for all his other flavored meads and ferments for roughly 2 months before it's ready to be bottled and sold. 
As his business grew he stopped using his own wildflower honey and began sourcing it locally from a bee keeper in Bellerica, Ma. The honey is a dark wildflower honey and really adds a great flavor to his mead.   If he is making a flavored mead he then adds either juice or fruit and allows it to ferment for another month or two before bottling. 

We tried 4 flavored meads next.  The first flavored mead was a pear nectar which was dry and slightly bitter but lighter then the dry mead.  Neither Grace or myself cared for this one. It was good but the original dry mead had a more balanced natural taste. 

The second flavored mead we tried was a pomegranate sour cherry mead. The sweetness of the pomegranate was a nice compliment to the very sour cherry taste. This would be a great wine to mix with fruit to make a sangria. 

The third mead we sampled was the blueberry mead. This was a very balanced flavorful blend which received many nods of approval from those in the sampling group. It was a natural taste with a sweetness that complimented the flavors.

The last flavored mead we tried was a strawberry mead which was made with 1lb of strawberries per gallon of dry mead. This was my favorite by far. It was light and refreshing with a nice strawberry flavor that wasn't overpowering. As a lover of anything strawberry it was no surprise that I would pick this as my favorite. 

As a special treat he offers us a chance to taste his just approved blend of mead and wine called Pyment which is a mix of Cabernet and mead; 2/3's Cabernet and 1/3 honey wine. This tasted more like the Cabernet then a mead and had that bitter taste I don't like about many red wines. While I can see how some might like this I felt it strayed too far from what a mead is about. 

Before leaving we each picked up a bottle. I went for the Strawberry Mead and Grace picked up a bottle of the Blueberry Mead. The bottles are $16 a piece and because we used a groupon for our tour we were able to take home a small 8 oz bottle of the honey they use to make their mead. 

It was a cool experience and we got to sample a great product that I doubt I would have otherwise discovered. Having tried mead before I knew I would like it and Crave Meads unique blends were definitely a treat. 

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