Meridian Hive Meadery is located in Austin and is owned by Mike Simmons and Eric Lowe. Mike is the head meadmaker (mazer) and Eric is the General Manager. Austin’s first meadery opened in 2012.
The meadery is very easy to find right off U.S. 290 on the east side of Austin. It is located in a set of warehouse buildings.
A tasting bar has been set up in the production area and that is where tastings are held. The tastings are complimentary at the moment and are poured from the bottle or what is on tap. The number of tastings included is as many as they have. You can also sample different types of honey to see what they use to make their meads, but you cannot purchase any honey. You can purchase mead by the glass, bottle, or growler. The growler is the best option for frequent customers as they can have their growlers refilled for a lesser cost.
Meridian Hive makes session meads and still meads which are more like traditional meads. These are meads which are lower in alcohol and drink more like a beer than wine. The rest of the meads are higher in alcohol like a wine.
These are the different meads which were available when we were there:
- Discovery (semi-sweet. Session mead and is the base for all the session meads.)
- Rhapsody (semi-sweet session mead adding blackberries)
- Aurora (semi-sweet honey cider using Texas High Plains apples)
- Huajilla (off-dry)
- Fireweed Blossom (semi-sweet)
- Meadowfoam (sweet, tastes like toasted marshmallows)
- Sage (dry, tastes like saké)
- Blackberry Blossom (dry)
- Wildfire (semi-sweet)
Huajilla is the only mead using local honey while the rest of the honey comes from either the Pacific Northwest or Florida. All their products are gluten free. For those wine lovers who are not mead fans, a lot of the mead does not taste like traditional mead. I asked Eric Lowe about this, and he said it is because they use varietal honey which doesn’t taste like the typical wildflower honey used in traditional meads.
Meridian Hive Meadery also pours their wines at local farmer’s markets, so you should check their website or Facebook page for locations. There is a small gift shop where you can buy logoed merchandise. Even though you can taste various honeys, the strange thing is you cannot buy them.
Later this year, Meridian Hive Meadery plans to start a mead club. The meadery has events such as live music and the morning of our visit, they held a yoga class. In 2015, they made about 2,500 cases of mead and this year they are planning on making three times that amount.
If you love mead and even if you do not, definitely try Meridian Hive Meadery as they provide mead for all palates.