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Wild Mead: Traditional Fermented Honey Beverages

16 Sterling Drive
Craftsbury Common, VT

Join the wild mead movement! In this five day intensive course, students will learn how to make honey-based fermented beverages—both alcoholic and non-alcoholic—with techniques that have been utilized by ancient cultures since the first discovery of bubbling honey and its incredible effects. Using a small-scale approach suited to both homestead mazers and aspiring beverage entrepreneurs, students will learn the simplicity of fermenting their own honey-based alcoholic beverages using local, raw, unfiltered honey and ingredients harvested from the wild or their own gardens. This hands-on class features a woodland walk to gather wild edible botanicals, a session on preparing and caring for a wild mead starter, and opportunities for students to use their starters to prepare a variety of traditional and creative honey-based beverages. Interactive explorations of the history and mythology behind mead are interspersed throughout the course, providing context and connection. Students will also enjoy their mead like the Vikings through participation in Viking-era games and experiments with culinary uses of mead. The course culminates with a trip to a Vermont meadery and mead hall for a discussion of commercial mead making, behind-the-scenes tour, mead tasting, and feast of traditional Scandinavian foods. Though this course emphasizes wildcrafting and spontaneous-fermentation techniques, it also covers modern commercial mead-making practices; we will also touch on tips for producing and sourcing quality honey.