Have you ever read that book “Beowulf”?
It’s a petty epic poem about “dripping with my enemies’ blood,” “hunting monsters out of the ocean and killing them one by one” and generally genociding all of the giants.
Because “death was my errand and the fate they had earned,” obviously.
But while that sort of life may be up my alley (it’d be a cinch if I put some effort in), it simply isn’t for everyone. So for those of y’all wondering what our protagonist did in his off time, he hung out in his awesome mead hall and drank with his friends until they couldn’t sing anymore. And in that mead hall, they drank a lot of mead.
Now, thanks to a few good men, at least part of the good ol’ life is achievable: the drinking mead until we can’t sing anymore part.
If you’ve been lucky enough to have mead at your average Medieval faire, you probably weren’t that lucky at all, because a lot of that crap tastes like it was made for breathing through your mouth and picking up high school girls. It’s thick, syrupy honey water. It’s gross, and definitely not for kicking back, “dripping with my enemies blood” in my mead hall.
But fear not, fearless drinker, because from Viking Blod to Redstone, mead is the fastest-growing booze industry in the U.S.A. Even faster than bourbon and craft beer. And one of the best meads we’ve had is Golden Coast Mead of Oceanside, Calif.
Golden Coast has a number of releases, ranging from the light, crisp and refreshing Orange Blossom, to the richer, fuller-bodied Savage Bois, to the more experimental, tart Sour Mead. All use California honey, all range from 10.5 percent ABV to 12 percent ABV, all sell for around $12 a (wine-sized) bottle, and most importantly, all are delicious.
“We’re trying to bring mead into the modern age,” said Joe Colangelo, the founder Golden Coast Mead. “The agricultural and industrial revolutions gave the gift of cheap wheat, barley, hops and grapes, and sophisticated fermentation techniques that lowered the cost of beer and wine production relative to mead. We think that humans have a soft spot for mead and we intend to reintroduce it to those who are most receptive. … It’s the fastest growing beverage category in the United States, we think people will be hearing a lot more about it in the future.”
And, Mr. Colangelo tells us, mead isn’t just for getting set to pillage some village: “In Indian culture, the god Vishnu’s footsteps would fill with mead as he walked across the sky.”
“The word ‘medicine’ comes from mead” too, he added; and “the word honeymoon comes from a tradition where the bride’s father would gift a month’s supply of honey brew (moon cycle) to the new couple.”
Now, thanks to Colangelo and like-minded historians, chemists and entrepreneurs, we modern Americans can join in on one of man’s oldest celebrations. So lift a glass to marriage, good health, dead enemies and/or booze-sharing gods: It’s a good day to be a drinker.