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'Drink of the gods' reintroduced in New York.

`Drink of the gods' reintroduced in NY

One of man's earliest and most celebrated libations, mead, has not been widely available in recent centuries. To fill that gap on the shelves, Wayne Thygesen and Bob Stevens began producing the honey-based liquor at their small meadery in Greenwich, New York, in October 1989. According to Thygesen, the company has produced 4000 gallons of their Odin's Mead since its inception, and sales have been strong. "We've been barely keeping up with demand," he reports, "so we're expanding into another building to increase production."

Odin's Mead is packaged in 750-ml bottles and averages 12 percent alcohol by volume. The mead is available in two versions, one sweet and one dry. Thygesen reports the meadery will begin looking for wholesalers soon.

"We're not ready yet," he says, "but once we get up to 10-20,000 cases we'll wholesale it out."

As a historical footnote, honey-based liquors were used as a celebratory and sometimes sacred drink by many early cultures. The Norse used mead to drink toasts their gods and as a ceremonial accompaniment. The beverage also plays a role in the medieval epic poem Beowulf, composed in Anglo-Saxon dialect in 700 A.D.

When melted barley became widely available, this less expensive substitute was used in honey's stead, starting an ale-brewing tradition that supplanted its forebear.

An excellent history of mead was written by Lt. Col. Robert Gayre and Charlie Papazian. Brewing Mead includes commentary by Papazian on mead-brewing methods, and is published by Brewers Publications of Boulder, CO.
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Title Annotation:Odin's Mead produced in Greenwich, New York
Publication:Modern Brewery Age
Date:Jul 16, 1990
Previous Article:Coors, Stroh reach final agreement.
Next Article:U.S. barley crop 9.8% below 1989 figures, report indicates.

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