The Media shows up in under 3 hours! We have totally got this. Just... don't look behind the camera.
In which Ricky the Meadmaker is sincere as heck.
At the heart of every strong community, there’s a strong Mead Hall; a place that stands as the last bastion of Community and Civility.
Colchester’s Mead Hall is not merely a restaurant, brewery, or bar. Certainly, there is food and drink aplenty for those who desire it, but The Mead Hall is so much more.
The Mead Hall is not political. It is above politics.
The Mead Hall exists to be the heart-and-soul of the community it serves, and all are welcome.
We have turned to glowing screens and missed the glowing faces of our kith and kin.
We have sent texts when an embrace was called for.
We have given advice when our silence was demanded.
We have entrenched when we ought most to listen.
We have built networks but neglected our communities.
The Mead Hall is a place to turn back to one another, not only to those we already know and love, but also to newcomers and strangers.
A big part of Colchester’s Mead Hall’s mission is to support our local community with weekly and monthly events, and we need your help.
There are two ways you’ll be able to help us meet our goals of strengthening the Vermont community.
First, in the coming weeks, we will be releasing information about Community Nights. If you know an organization or non-profit that needs a place to meet every month, you can nominate them for one of the four monthly slots. Much more information coming soon.
Second, we are going to be offering new, awesome ways to support the Mead Hall and its mission. From customized tankards to wine clubs to the coveted title of Atheling, there will be numerous ways that you can participate deeply in our community.
What are the first steps? They’re simple.
Like Colchester’s Mead Hall on Facebook.
Get super excited about Feast Week which starts one week from today!
And Get Ready for Greatness.
Never before have we abused the coveted Triple Exclamation Point in a blog post, but Dearest Meadiacs, it may be an understatement of the magnitude of what we have in store for you.
Precisely two weeks from today, on January 26th, we are starting Feast Week at Colchester's Mead Hall.
Feast 1 - Media Night - Tuesday, January 26th, 4 - 7 PM
This is a special event for all of you food writers, beer bloggers, local newspapers, and avid tweeters out there. You'll get a first look at the new mead hall, try some of our special in-house only brews, sample the new food, and all you have to do is take notes!
This event is by invitation only. If you're in the media, shoot us a message on our contact form, and we can get your invitation right out!
Feast 2 - Community Lunch - Wednesday, January 27th, 11:30 - 3 PM
This is our way of thanking everyone in the local community who has been so supportive of us over the last two years as we've worked our way towards making the Mead Hall into a reality.
This is open to anyone and everyone who's local, whether a resident or a business! Check out the Facebook event for more info.
Feast 3 - Pint Club Party - Thursday, January 28th, 2 - 8 PM
This is a special event for all of our Pint Club Members. We would not be where we are without you, and this is just a tiny way of saying thank you. All day, pours of craft mead will be only $2, and pours of our new honey wines will be just $3. We'll also have a big selection of our new foods to try.
Open to everyone, deal is for Pint Club Members only. If you've been holding off on becoming a pint club member, today's the day to jump on the band wagon! Visit the Facebook page for more info.
Feast 4 - Nordic Food Fight - Friday, January 29th, 11:30 - 8 PM
We're going to have half price lunches and dinners all day at the Mead Hall. Come early, stay all day!
There will be cheese, herring, brats, and all of the Nordic Fare that you just can't get anywhere else!
Open to everyone. Visit Facebook for more details.
Feast 5 - Grand Opening with Live Music - Saturday, January 30th, 2 - 8 PM
This is it! The big one! Bring family, friends, loved ones, strangers; we don't care! Come to the Mead Hall and have a good time. Free live music all day! Open to all and sundry! More info can be found on the Facebook event page.
In which Ricky the Meadmaker answers questions about cloudy mead, carbonation problems, why fermenting at different temperatures produces different flavors, whether he has his own apiary, and more!
Is Mead Vegan? No. No it is not.
Mead is made from honey. Honey comes from bees. Although tiny, bees are, in fact, animals. So, no, mead is not vegan.
Well. That was a short blog post.
If you are not, yourself, vegan nor do you desire to become one, nor do you find that you know any, nor do you profess any interest in veganism or other restrictive dietary practices, then that really could be the whole story. Good bye! See you next Tuesday!
For those of you who do not fall into the above category of disinterested carnivore (or mere vegetarian), then this can actually be a very interesting question. Can something that comes from animals fulfill enough of the tenets of an animal-product-free diet, to pass muster?
The question is further complicated by foundational principals of any one individual’s veganism and the implications for the wider food system.
You see, without cows there is no milk and there are no steaks. Time was, that without cows there were no potatoes either. Having bovine assistants on the farm was not merely a luxury, it was a necessity. No plow oxen, no plow, no food. 
With the industrial revolution we have had an explosion of technologies which sequestered animals within the farm or removed them entirely. Our bovine friends were exclusively for more nutritive uses, and our equine companions found greener pastures; hogs were no longer required as four-legged disposals. Thanks to large tractors and devoted pioneers, Iowa could become the 56,272 square-mile corn maze that we know and love today.
But what if your tastes wax more nutritious and less... ethanol scam? What about oranges, apples, almonds, broccoli, avocados, tomatoes, zucchini, cucumbers, cauliflower, and all of the rest of the things your doctor says you should be eating? After approximately 12,000 years of technological advances in agriculture, y’know what we still can’t do without? Pollinators.
“No Bees, No Food.” It’s practically the mantra of the 21st century.  We can get away to some extent with wild pollinators, but crisis after crisis crossed with general human meddling means it’s getting harder to grow fruits and vegetables without the intentional help of our friends the honey bee. Honey bees who, in the natural course of making it possible for humans to eat almost anything at all, also produce scads of that golden sticky stuff.
Now, extracting honey presents a small risk to the bees, but a very slight one. It is possible to extract honey with almost no casualties and, as far as we can tell, very little discomfort to the denizens of the hive. This can also be done without negatively affecting the fecundity of the hive or its ongoing health.
There are many online who take a hardline stance on the subject of “enslaving bees,” and as mentioned before, the varying definitions and motivations of individual vegans complicates the matter enormously. If you are of the mindset of the author cited above who resists domestication in all of its forms and believes that bees are upset when a member of their hive dies, then there really is no wiggle room for vegans consuming mead. It also means allowing extremely large portions of the human population to die of starvation, possibly a near extinction. This is not included to be snarky or dismissive. There are many people who feel this strongly about their lifestyle and food choices, and we have included the hyperlink above to give a rebuttal to our position.
Furthermore, there are other things that can render a mead unfit for vegan consumption such as isinglass, a fining (clarifying agent) made from swim bladders of fish. It is rarely used in meadmaking, but is an allowable ingredient. It is also possible that other ingredients in a particular mead may come from non-plant sources. If you are concerned about these things, it’s just one more reason to reach out to your friendly neighborhood Meadmaker.
So what is our official position? We don’t have one. No one on our staff is a vegan who drinks mead, but several of our customers are. We have reached out to a few of them before writing this article and found that their general sense is that they desire to do no harm, or as little as humanly possible. They tend to see no negative impact whatsoever on the bees, and we pride ourselves on the quality of our sourcing.
In fact, one of the reasons we only use wildflower honey is that the transportation of hives for pollination can have an enormous impact on the health of a hive.
We all struggle to be good members of the interconnected web of which we are all a part. We genuinely appreciate the moral fortitude of vegans who forgo so many foods and beverages that the world has to offer.
Summing it up then: Is Mead Vegan? No. Can you be a vegan who drinks mead? Absolutely.
 This article will assume that you cannot feed large populations with hunter/gatherer techniques. For a fuller exploration of this question: Think about it for a little while.
 Or maybe it’s “No Farmers, No Food,” or maybe it’s “Hold on, I need to Facebook this” as if Facebook is even a verb. Wait, maybe it is, I’m going to Google it real quick.
 We use only vegan ingredients at Groennfell Meadery besides the honey (see entire article above), except for this one time that Ricky made a pizza mead and garnished the glasses with pepperoni.
Groennfell Meadery is Vermont’s premier craft meadery. Inspired by Old Norse legends, brewed with extraordinary ingredients, Groennfell’s meads are unlike anything you’ve had before. Crisp, clean, and astoundingly drinkable, the only way to explain any one of Groennfell’s meads is to try one yourself.