Redefining Mead for the Modern Age

Slate Point Meadery is bringing mead out from its thick, overly sweet ancient origins to a lighter day.

Think of mead as this ponderously heavy, rib-sticking semi-meal that Jon Snow and crew used to drink after a Winterfell war council? Well, think again. Mead halls today look less like torch-lit medieval dungeons than they do modern-day pubs or breweries. 

Thanks to meaderies like Slate Point Meadery in Pleasant Valley, the honey-derived alcohol with origins dating back more than 10,000 years, is making a comeback and changing its reputation. (The number of US meaderies increased from a few dozen to 300+ in the last decade.)

“I would say about 75 percent of the general public still hasn’t heard of mead,” says Eric DeRise, owner of Slate Point,“although it is starting to pick up traction.”

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Since 2017, Slate Point has produced modern-style blended meads with all types of fruit, spices, herbs, and even vegetables. Among their offerings is the Queen’s Crown (9% ABV), a light, honey-colored mead made with dark maple syrup from Dutchess County-based Crown Maple. It’s smooth, semisweet, and best served at room temperature. There’s also Currant Rose (10% ABV), made from clover honey and black currants, with an added hint of rosemary that gives the sweetness another layer of flavor.

For those looking for a lower alcohol content, the session-style mead (6.5% ABV), served in a can, is light, carbonated, and much more drinkable than the traditional, cordial style.

At just an hour from White Plains, Slate Point is an easy day trip. Short on time? Grab a glass at The Green Growler in Croton-on-Hudson.


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