Long before prehistoric humans understood the exact scientific nature of yeast, they were enjoying its effects. It must have seemed like magic when honey, exposed to humidity or mixed directly with water, began to bubble, fermenting into the beverage ultimately known as mead – one of the world’s most ancient alcoholic beverages. Even then, we bet it was pretty tasty.
Enamored of the science behind fermentation, amateur Arizona mead-brewer Jeff Herbert decided to go pro. Five years ago, the former Valley firefighter and his wife Jen moved to Prescott and started producing meads, ciders and wines, some fermented with less obvious fruits and exotic spices (berries, Spanish saffron, coffee), and hybrids across genres. Today, Superstition Meadery is one of the most decorated meaderies in the world, available in 35 states and even at the Copenhagen brew shop of Danish beer gods Mikkeller, a high honor.
We recommend you start with the Lagrimas de Oro (25.4 oz., $28), made in the traditional style with raw, local honey. The clean profile has a rounder, sweeter taste than most white wines, with pure honey flavor shining through. It’s slightly tannic and malty, with hints of vanilla from aging in bourbon barrels.
The mead is available at most Whole Foods statewide, as well as several liquor stores, including Gilbert Convenient Mart. Check out superstitionmeadery.com for a full list of retailers.
— Shelby Moore
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