AMA Schramm's Mead

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I went into Schramm's tonight and got my own personal AMA with James. I would recommend Schramm's to anyone. Both the meads and the staff are unbeatable. What a night!
Exact same thing happened to me. Showed up at midnight, had both available mead flights, and spent the hour talking with James and Allison. At "closing" they basically made it "last call", so I got a glass of Heart of Darkness and James showed me the meadmaking area and explained all kinds of stuff to me about the process while they were clearing up. Left around 2am. Great people, great space, great mead.
 
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i would also like some schramm's. do they have anything that is consistently available or is it all batch to batch?
 
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Paging Naegerbomb. I'm sure we all want to bombard you with questions.

First question:
  1. What is mead?
Mead is quite possibly the oldest alcoholic beverage known to man. Unlike grapes or barley (which need to be cultivated), honey can be 'hunted' or found ready-to-eat. Contamination of a hive with water and wild inoculate can result in ready-to-drink alcoholic beverage, making that lucky early man (or woman) a very popular person in the tribe. In modern times, it is generally agreed that mead is an alcoholic beverage with at least 51% of the fermentables coming from honey. Other than this cardinal rule, there are few rules that define mead. Mead can be whatever we want it to be.
 
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Royal Oak, MI
Mead is quite possibly the oldest alcoholic beverage known to man. Unlike grapes or barley (which need to be cultivated), honey can be 'hunted' or found ready-to-eat. Contamination of a hive with water and wild inoculate can result in ready-to-drink alcoholic beverage, making that lucky early man (or woman) a very popular person in the tribe. In modern times, it is generally agreed that mead is an alcoholic beverage with at least 51% of the fermentables coming from honey. Other than this cardinal rule, there are few rules that define mead. Mead can be whatever we want it to be.
Soooo..... You don't make mead?




Next question:

What mead would you like to make but can't?
 
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Soooo..... You don't make mead?


Next question:

What mead would you like to make but can't?
The answer to this label awkwardness is simple: the federal government doesn't know what mead is. The word "mead" doesn't appear in any CFR and so the word is sometimes not even allowed on labels (even though it's in the name of our business!! It's kind of like my last name getting banned from Xbox Live. Doesn't make sense.) Honey wine is an "other than standard" agricultural wine. From Ken's petition: "The Formulas tab of the TTB Online “Formulas Online” submission tool requires that all fermentable ingredients be listed as percentages by volume. For every beverage except some distilled products, water is, in fact, the largest volumetric ingredient. For meads made with fruit, however, the largest contributor of extract (honey), and the largest contributor of volume (fruit or fruit juice) are going to be different. Throughout the mead world, if the majority contributor of extract to a fermented beverage is honey, the beverage is mead."

And a link to Ken's petition, which I encourage everyone to get behind. Mead is the fastest growing segment of the craft beverage alcohol industry, and our labels are way too confusing for the consumer.


Commercially, I'd like to make a braggot. I've had some amazing braggots but to do this at Schramm's would require that we get a brewing license. Why can't we have "One License to Rule Them All"??? A small winery cannot have malt on premise. Lobbying and money are the only things that can explain these regulations, which inhibit creativity IMHO.

Personally and commercially, I'd like to make a traditional with Tasmanian Leatherwood Honey, but the largest quantity that we can find is these little cans (and they are SUPER expensive). If anyone can find us someone willing to sell us a 60# pail of it for a reasonable price, you'd be a hero. The honey is gd amazing. We have some cans at the meadery for honey tastings and educational purposes, so if you ever stop by Schramm's and want to try these, just ask.
 
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Just got back from the Meadery.

Heart of Darkness = 100/100
Statement Reserve = 97/100
Black Agnes = 95-96/100
Nutmeg = 94/100
Small Batch Ginger = 92/100

Using the Robert Parker 100 point system (not that bullshit BA/RB 100pt systems)
96-100:
An extraordinary wine of profound and complex character displaying all the attributes expected of a classic wine of its variety. Wines of this caliber are worth a special effort to find, purchase, and consume.

90 - 95:
An outstanding wine of exceptional complexity and character. In short, these are terrific wines.

80 - 89:
A barely above average to very good wine displaying various degrees of finesse and flavor as well as character with no noticeable flaws.

70 - 79:
An average wine with little distinction except that it is a soundly made. In essence, a straightforward, innocuous wine.

60 - 69:
A below average wine containing noticeable deficiencies, such as excessive acidity and/or tannin, an absence of flavor, or possibly dirty aromas or flavors.

50 - 59:
A wine deemed to be unacceptable.
 
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Aug 22, 2014
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I never got a honey tasting. :-(
Just ask next time you're in and I'm around or Ken is around. We have Florida and California Orange Blossom, tupelo, blackberry blossom, raspberry blossom, heather, honeydew, Mexican coffee blossom, meadowfoam, Tasmanian leatherwood, black locust, blueberry blossom, and an awesome basswood honey (all for educational purposes).
 
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Naegerbomb how long can your mead hold up after opening? i've heard that they can last up to 3 months post open with a recork without any noticeable change if stored in the fridge.



what temperature do you serve your meads at? ;)


how can an out of towner try the meads you don't bottle?


edit - and thanks for doing this!!!
 
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