6-24-21 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 stormthecastle.com. 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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- 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! www.honnibrook.com
Show links and notes
- Top, Middle and Base Notes: A Comprehensive List
- The Herbal Medicine Maker’s Handbook: A Home Manual – James Green and Ajana
- Food Pairing website
- The Flavor Bible
- The Flavor Matrix – the Art and Science of Pairing Common Ingredients to Create Extrordinary Dishes
- On Food and Cooking: The Science and Lore of the Kitchen
- Closet of Sir Kenelm Digby Unlock’d – Historical mead recipes
- Wellcome Mead by Laura Angotti
- Let There Be Melomels by Rob Ratliff
- The Big Book of Mead Recipes by Rob Ratliff
- Take part in Kevin Meintsma’s Hydromel Study – email email@example.com and he’ll send you questions
- June 26 – Lazy Days Winery, Amherst, VA – Online Mead Release
- June 26 – Monarda Apiary – Online Mead Making Class
- June 26 – Islamadora Brewing, Florida Keys – Let’s Make Mead Online Class
- July 3 – White Winter Meadery, Cidery and Distillery, Iron River, WI – 25th Anniversary Celebration
- July 24 – Stardust Cellars and Taproom, Wilksboro, NC – Meadeival Festival featuring meads from Stardust and Moonjoy and Honeysuckle meaderies
- September 25-26 Metal and Beer Fest, Philadelphia, PA – Brimminghorn Meadery will be pouring at this festival
- You can buy mead online at https://shopmeads.com
Got an event you’d like us to mention on GotMead Live? Send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and tell us about it!
- 11-23-21 Stephen at Experimeads – SCIENCE of Meadmaking - November 23, 2021
- 11-9-21 Rohan Meadery – Wendy Rohan and Rosie Haines – Mead is big in Texas - November 8, 2021
- 10-26-21 Yancy Bodenstein, Manisha Eigner and Jacob Latour – Clear Skies Meadery – home mead going pro - October 26, 2021