Ireland’s first new meadery in many years, Kinsale Mead Co., opened last year in Kinsale, Cork, and this Saturday August 4, they are celebrating Mead Day! Have you ever wondered, ‘what is mead?’ Come and find out!
Mead Day started in America but is now celebrated in meaderies around the world. Kinsale Mead Co. is no exception. They have been open for tours and tastings for a while and tourists and locals alike are heading up the hill from Kinsale town centre to see what the buzz is. So, what is mead? A delicious, ancient drink made anew, it’s fermented from honey, water and sometimes with fruits.
The meadery ships honey from Spain, particularly the aromatic orange blossom honey used in their Atlantic Dry Mead, a traditional mead with a lovely citrus aroma, lingering honey finish and almost no sweetness. Their Wild Red Mead is a melomel style mead, where fruit is added to the raw honey, with zesty Wexford blackcurrants balanced with the sweetness of dark cherries; an enticing, fruit flavoured drink tempered with a hint of honey. Their new mead is Hazy Summer Mead, another melomel style with raspberries and strawberries upfront, followed by blackberries, blackcurrants and cherries with a smooth finish of blueberries and Spanish honey. A tumble of ripe berries for a Summer celebration.
Mead and meaderies have been a part of the Irish landscape for hundreds of years, so the legends and history of bees and mead in Ireland is a key part of the tour. They recently commissioned local artist, Fiona Boniwell, to create a Mead Map of Ireland, which capture some of the nuggets they discovered in their research. It hangs proudly on the wall in the tasting room, where the tour starts and visitors can take home a poster along with their bottles of mead.
The tour includes tasting some of the honey used to ferment the mead. Then they explain the process and share some stories of the trials and errors they’ve made as they set up. The final part of the tour is back in the tasting room sampling mead. The visitors sit at the bar made from a 300-year-old oak tree that fell in Fota Park and learn about food pairing with mead and also some delicious cocktails.
They must be doing something right, as the reviews are top notch. Tours can be booked online for 1pm, 3pm and 5pm or give them a call. Groups, corporate trips and hen parties can also be arranged. So, this bank holiday weekend, celebrate Mead Day with them, book a tour or come and drink a glass or two with them at Enniscorthy Rockin’ Food Festival!
Kinsale Mead Co.
021 477 3538