Mead is an ancient form of a fermented beverage that uses honey as its primary sugar source. It’s believed to be the ancestor of all fermented drinks. Mead predates agriculture and has been found in every culture that has access to honey. Traces were found from around 7,000 BC in China with popular mentions in ancient Greece, pre Bronze Age Europe and Africa throughout history.
Modern meaderies in the U.S. have begun to put mead back in the spotlight. Drawing from ancient recipes, concocting new and evolving the process of mead making has produced a consumer drink that has bucked the system a bit on the old beer and wine standards.
Mead is available in endless styles from beer style Braggots, to sparkling or still wines. At Brothers Drake we craft a still, wine style mead. While we consider ‘wine’ to be made from grape juice, our meads do draw similar characteristics and flavors from solely grape and juice wines. Mead, however, with honey as its primary sugar source for fermentation has a history of all the flowers from which the honey was made. In fermentation, honey will express a myriad of notes and flavors. Honey becomes our ‘varietal’ in mead making and expresses the terrior of the area from which it was produced.
Our mead is simple. We use local honey and local ingredients whenever possible. Much of the work we do is to create an increasingly closer supply of raw materials from honey, fruit and spice to packaging and business partners.
Of course, using the best ingredients gives us the best taste. We work with suppliers that use organic farming practices, so nature does most of the work there. We minimally process our ingredients and never add sulfites. The equation is pretty simple – good stuff goes in, great mead comes out.
But what makes our meads, our meadery, our team and our customers great really comes more from the WHY we do this, rather than how.
The team at Brothers Drake is committed to building a business that begins to redefine all those ‘green’ buzzwords. Local and sustainable are thrown around a lot – we do it too. But to really build a new economy for community that preserves our resources and begins to create more equality and corporate responsibility, we need to act on these values.
The is one of the thought leaders for the new economy. Below is a description of key values they have outlined that guide our business strategy. We know we all live together and exist in a global community. If you’re going to really do something to make the world a better place learn more about what is going on around you. Unplug. Discuss. Ask. Delve into. Explore. Invest. Collaborate. Add value to your community first… Buy local, make local, sell local.
Business Alliance for Local Living Economies
With local ownership comes local accountability; when you live in the community where your business decisions are felt, you have the understanding to make better decisions. Having a larger density of locally owned businesses results in higher per capita income, more jobs, and greater resiliency in the local economy. Plus more people living in their true vocation, with meaning and purpose, is good for all of us.
Supply chain decisions based on choosing local resources — vegetables, energy, timber, finance, and other locally made goods and services — engender a natural respect for the environmental and human resources in a place. Also, preserving the diversity of our food and different cultures is not only smart, but so much more fulfilling!
We’re all better off when we’re all better off. With inequality, we miss out on good ideas and relationships, unhappiness increases, and eventually systems collapse. Rather than “everyman-for-himself,” we understand that real security comes from community. We need to rebuild the middle, engage in fair trade, and decentralize power and business ownership.
All wealth comes from nature. Without respecting natural boundaries and renewal rates for the animals, plants, soil and water on which we depend, we will not have wealth or health for our own species going forward. Part of the joy of being awake and alive is also to be in awe of the mysterious beauty of the inter-connected natural world.
WE MEASURE WHAT MATTERS
It’s time to start defining our contributions and success by what really matters. Our businesses need to be profitable, but we are motivated by knowledge, creativity, health, happiness, meaningful work, and the ability to provide opportunity to others.
RELATIONSHIPS MATTER MOST!
Only through cooperation will we be able to rebuild local food distribution or make renewable local energy affordable. We must re-connect eaters with farmers, investors with entrepreneurs, and business owners with the communities and natural places on which they depend. No one can do it alone. (And why would we want to anyway?)