Where Mead Has Come of Age: Groennfell Meadery Brews Carefully Crafted MeadSep 30, 2021 02:02PM ● By Darian Kualahao
Mead is widely accepted as one of the oldest alcoholic beverages produced in human societies, with some sources claiming its history goes back 8,000 years, but the subcategory of "craft mead" (which is carbonated) is only about a decade old. The team at Groennfell Meadery offers the best of both worlds by combining this new type of mead with the millennia-old techniques that make mead so special to create something that is truly a beverage for the modern world. They are a family-founded, -owned, and -operated brewery that sells stylish cans of carefully designed craft mead throughout New England.
For anyone who doesn't know, mead is a beverage made from fermented honey, so it all starts with the bees!
"Our relationship with pollinators like bees uniquely enables us to use our line of products to have a positive impact on the wider environment," says Ricky Klein, co-founder of the Meadery. "We believe that all of our decisions as a company and as individuals can have an impact on the environment, so we educate ourselves and others to make sustainable choices."
In addition to supporting sustainability projects to help the world's little pollinators, Ricky and Kelly Klein also get the best, most consistent, reliably sourced wildflower honey to make their mead. New consumers' most common complaint with most meads is that it's too sweet. This is an easy mistake to make with a honey-based drink, but the Groennfell brewers know how to avoid it. As a result, their mead is some of the driest you'll find anywhere.
Their year-round meads—Valkyrie's Choice, Nordic Farmhouse, and Old Wayfarer—are complex, lightly carbonated, historically inspired drinks between 5.7% and 8.5% ABV. Certain meads come and go according to the seasons. This fall, look for Wild Hunt, a balanced blend of honey, cranberry, blood orange, and spice brewed in honor of the ceremonial meads of 18th century Northern Europe.
Groennfell Meadery wants their customers to know how every company decision is made with a conscious effort towards improving the community and the world as a whole. To that end, the "Drink Your Values" program was born, allowing consumers to learn about the business and brewing practices, community programs, and environmental efforts of the folks at Groennfell. They want the best for everyone involved, from the honey-producing pollinators to their employees at every level to the communities they serve.
This desire to support local communities is part of what informed Groennfell's decision to relocate to St. Albans when it outgrew its original space in Colchester. Ricky says the move to their current location "helped us in our mission to bring good work to Vermont's rural areas." The Groenfell team hopes to expand this community focus even further in the future by supporting local bars, restaurants, and stores.
The mead produced by Groennfell Meadery and the values they hold converge on the idea of "feasting." According to Ricky, a feast is "a space set apart from daily life where people feel that they are part of something bigger than themselves, surrounded by food, drink, and revelry. People must feel safe to be their full selves. You are welcome to the feast regardless of your age, sex, race, creed, gender, or ability."
Groennfell aims to protect and encourage the creation of such spaces in their communities—a goal that is understood and appreciated by customers. The Groennfell team believes that "it's our community focus and open-source mission that brings people to our company."
St. Albans, VT