Gert Smet, owner of Blacksmith's Meadery in Antwerp, in a GotMead hat6-24-21 Tonight we’re continuing our travels in Europe with Gert Smet and the Blacksmith’s Meadery in Antwerp, Belgium.

Gert is a reenactor – a living history nerd. His living history group, Ortus Phoenix, portrays the late 15th century, just after the death of Charles the Bold. Gert drank his first mead on one of the medieval festivals in 2011. Needless to say it was ‘high quality’ rotgut (some cheap German swill) that made his stomach dissolve.

He was sure that he could make something more palatable himself and got to experimenting. In retrospect his first mead must’ve been quite horrible – no technique, no Idea of fermentation management, no nutrients other than raisins (hey, it was the dark ages, right?). His very first mead was a JAO clone I got from It was abysmal, but compared to the “mead”  available at the festivals it was like amazing. Ortus Phoenix (his group) liked it instantly (doing the friend thing) and they got other reenactors to try it. They liked it as well. What ensued was not unlike the story of the bucket of mead with the bottle of aspirin on top.

Luckily Gert started reading (The Compleat Mead Maker among others), and discovered GotMead? This upped his game fairly quickly and some people started badgering him to go pro. Which he did in 2016.

The first official batch he made was for the wedding of a couple of friends. He’d been making mead in his basement but that rapidly became too small. This hindered the growth of the meadery in a big way. His batch sizes were limited to 120 liters at a time. This year they moved to a bigger location and the production took a huge leap. …and now the new location is becoming too small.. They used to produce drier meads, traditionals and melomels, and the occasional braggot (being a Belgian he had little choice there…).

Fairly quickly he got into the sweeter stuff -after tasiting some of Ken’s meads- and that’s now the main stay in their production. Every now and again they still make a dry traditional. He loves working with fruit, especially berries, apples and pears. A while ago Gert discovered the joys of barrel aging. Like there wasn’t already a problem space-wise. They’re continuing to grow, have some interesting collabs going on and on the docket, and their name is starting to get peoples attention. Interestingly, Gert’s son, Ares, (10 YO)  discovered their meads on a craft beer bar menu and promptly declared that he did like having a famous dad. Gert nearly shot a € 12 Lambic out of his nose.

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Upcoming Shows
  • July 13 – Frank Golbeck and Alyson Schramm-Neager – The Mead Institute
  • July 27 – Danique Staal- De Noordelijke Mederij, Netherlands
  • August 10 – Gordon Baron – Lancashire Mead, Great Britain
  • August 31 – Tom Gosnell – Gosnell’s Mead, Great Britain

It’s now mead slushee season, and we are celebrating with four rotating flavors. Each one is a dangerously delicious glass of heaven. Visit the state-of-the-art meadery and tasting room south of downtown Castle Rock, Colorado, in a converted man cave.  Mention the Got Mead Podcast this month for a free slushee taster!  They love visitors!

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Vicky Rowe
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