In which Ricky the Meadmaker answers questions about filling bottles from a keg, why we warm our honey to 102 degrees F, the oddest reason he's had a recipe rejected by the TTB, shows off the new Winter 2015 mugs, and more!
Are you traveling for the holidays?
Do you have guests you need to drown out?
Do you like to listen to multiple people you don't know talking about mead?
If you answered yes to any of these questions, then have we got great news for you!
We have not one, but two podcasts for your listening pleasure this week!
The first is an interview by TwoBrews NorthEast with Ricky the Meadmaker, Erik from Havoc, and Kelly the Boss. It was recorded a few months back, but came out pretty recently.
You can check it out by clicking here or clicking the logo!
The second interview is from the boys at Meadmakr.com. You can listen to that by clicking here or clicking their logo!
Ricky says that it's one of his favorite interviews he's ever done, so you should definitely check it out. Enjoy!
Several weeks ago, in an episode of Ask the Meadmaker, Ricky's word of the week was "Grayanotoxin."
A grayanotoxin is a naturally occurring toxin produced by plants from the family Ericaceae which, periodically, finds its way into honey via nectar from rhododendrons. This honey can, in rare cases, cause death in humans and other animals. Yet the risk of poisoning has not stopped many peoples throughout history from harvesting this honey and intentionally ingesting it for its hallucinogenic and intoxicating effects.
Well, obviously (retroactively) inspired by Episode 43 of Ask the Meadmaker, a documentary was produced several years ago about a tribe in Nepal which risks life and limb to collect this psychotropic honey in Himalayan Mountains. It's a fascinating little piece.
Check it out, then make sure to swing by the Meadery to see an alternative technique for making honey intoxicating. Warning: Video not suitable for acrophobes.
In which Ricky the Meadmaker answers questions about nutrient additions, krausen, "medical concerns," what he likes least about his work, and shows off his new favorite drinking vessel.
I lied to you.
Or, I think I lied to you. I’m not always clear on what I’ve said and I’m definitely not always clear on what’s a lie. But, the fact remains, I think I lied to you.
It was sort of like a Santa Claus lie. I lied to you to preserve the magic and wonder. I was afraid if I told the truth, you were going to figure out one of your Midwinter gifts and then it wouldn’t be a surprise anymore.
You see, I’m pretty certain I said that I don’t make honey wines and that I only make craft mead. But that’s not true.
The truth is that I almost never make honey wines because they take more time and they’re a pain to package and serve at the meadery. But you know what, Dearest Meadiacs? You all have been extra good this year, and I made one special for you.
This Friday and Saturday, for the first time ever, you can come to the tasting room to try a honey wine made by yours truly. It will be available by the glass and in squealers to take home.
But there’s more. Not to be outdone, Erik from Havoc Mead has also made a honey wine which he is going to be unveiling a week from Friday. He and I are having a friendly competition, and if one of the honey wines is really popular, we may make it a permanent fixture in the tasting room rebuild.
We only have a few kegs of each, so when they’re gone they’re gone. Come in, have a glass, and make your voice heard!
Sorry again about (possibly) lying to you.
Ricky the Meadmaker
Ricky the Meadmaker has been hinting for weeks about a Top Secret project. He has been dropping clues, sharing photos, and actually went on to his own Facebook page to make announcements about it.
To say that The Feast was a culmination of months of tireless work would be an understatement. The Feast represents years of planning, and it's only just starting.
The Feast is one small part of a new era at Groennfell Meadery which will include new products, new events, a tasting room redesign and - if Ricky has his way - pickled herring.
Starting with The Inaugural Feast, Ricky has a special treat planned for Vermont's Meadiacs every week between now and the New Year. Before we get into what some of those surprises might be, let's talk a little about The Feast.
The Feast is an ongoing, invitation-only event thrown by Ricky the Meadmaker with the blessing of Groennfell Meadery. Each one will have a different theme and location.
The Inaugural Feast brought together beer writers, craft beverage nuts, and drinking nerds from around Vermont and across the country. We went through forty-five pounds of pork shoulder and an incredible quantity of mead. There were no vegetables.
For the occasion, Ricky built a 40-foot-long ash wood and fir table with seating for up to sixty people. He even served the last known keg of the first batch of Valkyrie's Choice.
Oh yeah, and every guest received a linen invitation with the official Groennfell Seal.
Is all of this a little over-the-top? It sure is. But our Meadiacs deserve nothing but the best.
That's really the idea behind The Feast. There are plenty of drinks made for the end of a hard day's work, a swanky dinner, or Christmas Morning. Mead can be perfect for all of these things.
Yet Groennfell Mead can be even more: It is the drink of nights that are larger than life.
We are incredibly thankful to all of our guests who made the night a success, some of whom traveled as far as 700 miles to be there.
And, of course, Ricky could not have done this alone. Every single member of the Vermont Craft Mead family had a part to play in making The Feast a reality.
Then again, the actual event may have been more fantasy than reality, and that's how Ricky likes it.
So, prepare yourselves, dear Meadiacs, it's time to learn how to Feast again.
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.