Our sour session mead made with fresh pineapple. Pineapple Pen is a crisp, tart, funky, refreshing, sparkling dry honey based beverage that’s definitely crushable. Full of dank Pineapple bromelain flavors, this delicious honey-based beverage is packaged in twelve ounce bottles and sixtel kegs. Coming in at 5% ABV, Pineapple Pen makes for a great warm weather refresher. Distributed in Florida by Cavalier Distribution, a Florida wine and spirits distributor and in Georgia by RNDC Distributing.
We’ve been working hard with our distributors to bring our quality meads to both Florida and Georgia. In Florida, you can now find our meads at finer vendors from the Panhandle right straight down to the Florida Keys. Of course, our flagship Key Lime Pie mead is a popular and natural fit to our region. With the help of Cavalier (Florida) and R&R Beverage (Georgia), our meads are reaching a thirsty market in bottles and on draft. If you’re interested in trying our meads, please click on this Where to Buy link to find a craft mead vendor near you.
New meads this spring include our limited production fresh blueberry mead Lusca. Lusca has been aged for a few months with Caribbean dark rum infused French oak staves. This is a limited production mead with a very short availability time (mead whale) which we enjoy producing when the fresh blueberry crop comes in during the winter and early spring.
Next, we have our new hydromels on deck. What the heck is a hydromel you ask? Of European origin, a hydromel is a lower alcohol mead made with water (hydro) and honey (mel). Hydromels are easy drinking session meads that you can drink with less alcohol than a standard strength meads. They’re perfect for the hot spring and summer temperatures in the extreme southeast and will be available on draft and in twelve ounce bottles. The first hydromel we’re bringing to market is a Tangerine Ginger mead and the second is a Pineapple Mango mead. We will add them to our mead portfolio when they go on the market.
Riverside Craft Beer Festival: Saturday, February 25th at 4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. 715 Riverside Ave., Jacksonville, FL. Located under the Fuller-Warren bridge at the Riverside Arts Market location, our mead will be available along with over 100 other brands on draft. Ticket price includes beer samples, live music from Grandpa’s Cough Medicine and food provided by Jacksonville’s finest food trucks (food not included in ticket price). This is a charity event with tickets available here. All proceeds will benefit: Community PedsCare® a nationally recognized program of Community Hospice which provides comfort, care, and support for children with life-threatening conditions, as well as the charitable causes of the Riverside Rotary Foundation.
Gastrofest 2017: Saturday, March 18, 2017 from 11:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. at Hemming Park Plaza, Jacksonville, FL. Gastrofest is Jacksonville’s premiere showcase of regional cuisine and beverages. Here, you will find a large assortment of tasty morsels and refreshing drinks to celebrate the tastes of the town. Educational classes for making your own fantastic treats and live music that will bring the house down, join us rain or shine in the park. Admission is free but if you want to partake, cash is king. Don’t forget to hit up your local ATM for some folding money as vendors won’t accept credit cards.
Our newest mead! The Cherry Raspberry Currant mead is made with fresh sweet & tart bing & black Morello cherries from Washington state. Brightened with fresh local red raspberries, dig in with each luscious sip and explore the deep flavors that only black currants and fresh local honey can provide. Lightly spiced with cinnamon and vanilla beans, this decadent dessert mead goes well with southern Barbecue, meaty Asian dishes and flavorful cheese trays. At 12% ABV, please consume responsibly.
Winner of the 2014 Jacksonville Green Lion festival, the 2015 Jacksonville Gastrofest Judges Favorite grand prize brewing competition and Bronze at the 2015 Meadlennium international mead festival, our signature Key Lime Pie Mead is dessert in a bottle. Made with locally sourced and hand pressed Key Limes, locally harvested honey and the finest spices, this bright and delightful dessert mead is a true southern treat. With notes of graham cracker crust and warm meringue, let our Key Lime Pie Mead find it’s way into your glass. Pairing well with fresh East Coast seafood dishes, Caribbean flavor profiles, our Key Lime Pie Mead can play well with your next dinner party or stand up all on it’s own as a nightcap on a warm summer’s day. Please enjoy this honey wine responsibly. We’re working hard to bring our signature meads to a retail location near you. Our Key Lime Pie mead comes in at 12.5% abv.
Spring Update: Where’s the Mead?
Here’s the latest news about Harris Meadery in our Spring Update for 2016. Good news folks, our brand new meadery has finished it’s construction. Located in Orange Park, our new meadery is a 900 square foot production only facility. This is where we will begin producing our flagship mead, Harris Meadery’s Key Lime Pie mead. Our Key Lime Pie honey wine is an award winning carbonated, dessert quality sweet mead and has been quite popular with mead beginners and experts alike. We will be packaging our meads in kegs and 750 ml. champagne bottles for your enjoyment. Expect to start seeing our meads this summer. Our meads will be found in finer bars, restaurants and bottle shops around town. Ask for us by name, and if you are a vendor looking for a quality local mead made from regionally sourced ingredients (whenever possible), please reach out to us.
Can we come visit the meadery?
As we are a production only facility, we do not currently offer a tap room. Visits to our meadery are strictly by appointment only. Please know that while we love showing you around the meadery, we are such a small company that we would actually have to stop production in order to accommodate a tour. To avoid production down time, we need to schedule outside visitors to our meadery when it’s convenient to do so and won’t negatively impact our operations. If you would like to schedule an appointment, please click on this contact us link and we will get in touch with you to schedule a time for you to visit. Please don’t assume you’re the exception to the rule and show up on our doorstep unannounced. You will be turned away. Please don’t test us on this. We have bee hives and we know how to use them!
Where can I try your mead?
Spring updates about a new meadery are always exciting times. We will be offering free mead tastings to our friends and local mead lovers throughout the year. Please visit our page often to learn more about where we’ll be raising our brand awareness by serving up our meads, or you can follow us on social media via the links on the left of this page. Once we have selected our distributor and our products reach the market, we will post a “find our mead” tab to the website. A launch party or two are also in the works. Please check back often for updates!
Let’s have an awesome fall, ya’ll.
Fall is finally here, and Harris Meadery is ready to pour samples for all of our friends. While we are currently involved in building the new meadery and working through the state and federal licensing process to bring our meads to a vendor or retailer near you, we are limited in our options to introduce you to our meads. We are allowed to give away limited amounts of our meads for free at organized events, tastings and contests but we are not allowed to sell it… yet. So, we’ve decided that our best course of action is to donate our time and meads to support great local causes, charity events and contests which not only raise awareness for the meads we make, but give assistance to organizations with causes we believe in. Here are a few of the organized events this fall where we will be giving away our meads.
Farm to Jax dinner
The Farm to Jax dinner is a fundraising event for non-profit community groups in the Springfield and San Marco areas of Jacksonville. All proceeds for this dinner are being donated in support of noble causes such as the Laura Street Community Farm Project. The Farm to Jax dinner is being hosted by the Kitchen on San Marco starting at 6:00 pm on Saturday, October 3rd, 2015. The Kitchen on San Marco is located at 1402 San Marco Blvd. The Farm to Jax dinner is a ticketed event, and you may purchase tickets by clicking here.
The Green Lion festival
The second annual Green Lion festival is a gathering of green initiatives, organizations, civic groups and businesses along the first coast. Sponsored by the U.S. Green Building Council’s North Florida chapter, you will find groups such as the St. John’s Riverkeepers, Eco Relics, local artists, locally sourced food & beverage vendors and so much more. Last year’s festival was hosted by Aardwolf Brewing on their grounds and parking lot. The 2015 Green Lion Festival has grown to not only include Aardwolf Brewing, but also a small section of Hendrix Avenue for a true street festival. The 2015 Green Lion Festival will be held on Saturday, October 17th from 11:00 am to 4:00 pm in the vicinity of Aardwolf Brewing (1461 Hendrix Ave.). Entrance into the event is free. Bring the whole family.
I can’t make it to these events, when can we buy your mead?
We’ve broken ground on our new meadery in Orange Park, Florida. God willing and if the creek don’t rise, we should be wrapping up construction on the new building by the end of the year. Once the building is complete, we can go ahead and have the building inspected and complete the licensing process. We anticipate being able to produce our first line of melomel meads (fruit meads) in the spring of 2016. At that time, our distributor will begin delivering our mead in bottles and kegs around the local Jacksonville market. All good meads require time and patience and we sincerely thank you for yours!
Our Teaches barrel aged whiskey peach mead is made with fresh first crop Florida Peaches from the Florida Sweeties farm in Dade City, FL. We’ve hand selected all of the baseball sized round plump peaches that are so juicy, you can taste them with your chin. Blanched to remove the skin, then halved and allowed to ferment pit-free with our wonderful gallberry honey and chardonnay yeast. After fermentation, we added back more sweet sweet honey and a blast of fresh natural peach nectar. A three week immersion in one of Florida’s famous Palm Ridge Whiskey barrels is all it took to bring this barrel aged whiskey peach mead to perfection. This is a fine sipping dessert sweet mead.
Awards: Gold medal, Best Mead, 2015 First Coast Cup. Silver medal, Best of Show, 2015 First Coast Cup.
Harris Meadery proudly presents Lusca; our limited production blueberry mead aged on Caribbean dark rum infused French oak staves. From the depths of the West Indies, the legend of the Lusca, the great octopus that would snatch wayward sailors from the safety of their ships, emerges for a new irie-irie generation. Bursting with fresh blueberry flavor and a subtle bite of dark rum, let the Lusca transport your palate to the windward islands. Lusca is a naturally carbonated semi-dry melomel (fruit mead) with an abv of 11%. Lusca pairs well with chicken and pork dishes and regional flavors of the deep south. Serve well chilled.
Harris Meadery Supports the Jax Beer Society
Orange Park, FL: Harris Meadery has announced it’s launch during the first brewer sponsored event of the Jax Beer Society. The event was held from 6:00 pm through 9:00 pm at Brewer’s Pizza located at 14-B Blanding Blvd. in Orange Park. As a special perk for signing up for membership in the Jax Beer Society, patrons were granted a free taste of local Florida mead including our wonderful melomels such as our award winning Key Lime Pie mead as well as our new Strawberry Key Lime Pie mead and Cherry Raspberry Currant mead. Our whole crew was on hand to answer questions about what it takes to start up a new meadery in Florida and what our future plans are for establishing our business.
What the heck is mead anyway?
Maybe you’ve heard about it but never have really known what mead is. You’ve seen it featured in television (ahem, Game of Thrones, ahem), seen it in movies or maybe considered it some sort of exotic, mysterious beverage that’s consumed by the gallon by Vikings before laying siege to the rest of the world. Mead is quite simply an alcoholic beverage where the majority of the fermentable sugar content is honey based. Honey + Water + Yeast = alcohol. It’s the world’s oldest alcoholic beverage with it’s earliest origins dating from the African continent from 8,000 b.c., likely from a spontaneous fermentation where a honey bee hive was flooded with rainwater. Well, somebody decided to taste that wildly fermented honey mead and the rest is history. The oldest archaeological fragments of purposeful mead production date from 6,500 b.c. in Northern China. In Europe, mead has been made since at least 2,800 b.c. and was considered the favorite drink from Ancient Wales in the west to Japan in the east, Scandinavia and Russia in the north to the southern tips of Africa, India and Indo-China.
What does mead taste like?
Just because mead has a honey base, doesn’t necessarily mean that it tastes like a spoonful of sue bee honey. Mead can be very dry like a dry beer, semi-dry like a white wine or sweet like a dessert wine. Mead comes in three standard strength levels which have to do with how much alcohol is in them:
- Hydromel: More water than honey. These are “sessionable” meads that are generally between 3% and 6% alcohol by volume (ABV). The alcohol level here is comparable with the majority of craft ales and lagers.
- Standard: Equal parts honey & water: These are average mead strengths in the 7%-14% ABV range. They pack about the same amount of punch as an Imperial ale or a glass of red wine.
- Sack: More honey than water. Sack meads are strong alcohol meads in ranges from 15%-20% ABV. These are generally strong drinking meads that are best sipped and savored in small servings and are close to being comparable with a shot of fortified wine or liquor without the fortification or distillation.
Now that we have strength out of the way and have investigated the gamut of dry to sweet meads, here’s a list of the most common varieties of meads and what flavors you can expect:
- Melomel: A Melomel is a catch-all name for any mead flavored with fruit. Strawberry mead, peach mead, citrus mead and prickly pear mead are all examples of Melomels.
- Cyser: A mead made from Apples.
- Braggot: A mead made with added grains, like barley malt, rye or oats.
- Methlegin: A catch-all name for meads made with spices, like cinnamon, star anise, hops or vanilla.
- Pyment: A mead made with grapes.
- Bochet: A mead made with burnt honey, giving it a marshmallow flavor.
So, meads can taste a lot like honey, or just about anything that has flavor that you can mix into it. They can taste like beers, wines, or something completely different from both. I like to think about meads as an intermediary between the flavors of a beer and wine.
Mead sounds pretty cool, when/where can I try some?
At Harris Meadery, we’re working hard on our federal and state licensing requirements at this time. If everything goes as planned, we will begin contract brewing our meads at Pinglehead Brewing in Orange Park by the end of 2015. At that time, we will be offering our meads into distribution for retail sale all around the north Florida area. Until then, under the Federal Homebrew Law of 1974, we’re obligated to give away everything that we’re brewing for free. Please watch this website or click one of our social media links to the left of this post to see where we will be serving up our meads next (especially Facebook). Rock on mead drinkers. Rock on.
Things happen fast in the craft brewing world. Click here If you missed last week’s update. Here’s the latest weekly Craft Brewing Update on what’s happening in our region and the craft brewing scuttlebutt and goings on around the country:
Harris Meadery Launch Party:
Orange Park, FL: Harris Meadery will be holding their business launch party at the Jax Beer Society’s first event on Tuesday, May 12th, 2015 from 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm at Brewer’s Pizza (14-B Blanding Blvd., Orange Park, FL). Fresh from Harris Meadery’s recent wins at the Green Lion Festival and Gastrofest 2015, John Harris will be on hand serving tastings of his award winning Key Lime Pie mead and new Cherry Raspberry Currant mead to Jax Beer Society members. John will be discussing his meads as well as his future plans for the first meadery in the Jacksonville area.
Munster, IN: EMERGENCY! Drop what you’re doing and get over to 3 Floyds Brewing today at the kiosk. Today only, 2014 Portuguese Brandy BA Dark Lord is on sale. 1 bottle per person limit. GO!!! GO NOW!!!! GET TO THE CHOPPA!!!
Williamsport, PA: Bullfrog brewing is releasing 5 new beers on May 9th: Le Roar Grrrz Kriek, Le Roar Grrrz Berry, Le Roar Grrrz Apricot, Le Roar Grrrz Aardbei Strawberry and Crime of Passion Barrel Aged Sour. All 750 ml bottles. $30 for the Grrrz variants, $25 for the Crime of Passion.
Boulder, CO: Avery Brewing Company has announced the imminent release of it’s 22nd anniversary beer, Avery Twenty Two. This beer is a Brett fermented wild ale and will be available in 22 oz. bombers this June, 2015. No specific word on an exact release date or a bottle price/limit yet.
San Diego, CA: Alesmith brewing is releasing the next beer in it’s Hall of Fame series, Tony Gwynn Imperial .394 San Diego pale ale. This is a nod to Tony Gwynn, the Padres baseball Hall of Famer with a portion of the proceeds of the sale of each bottle going to support the Gwynn foundation. This beer is a 6.8% straight up pale ale and will be available in large format bottles. We’re not sure what exact size yet but certain to be above 12 ounce (it looks like 750 ml. but don’t hold us to that).
On Our Radar:
- 3 Floyds: Dark Lord Day is tomorrow. Everybody stock up on the diabetes because it’s great.
- Avery Brewing: Avery’s raspberry sour hits distribution starting now. Look for it.
- Lawson’s: Sip o’ Sunshine and Triple Sunshine are currently shelf turding up in New England. These IPA’s > Yours.
- Great Raft: Just released Barrel Aged Old Mad Joy Baltic Porter.
- Oxbow Brewing: Oxbow is offering up it’s Crossfade, a funky bottle conditioned hoppy blond saison.
- Bells Brewing: Next in it’s Solar System series, Bells Saturn, has hit. Rumor is this one is actually good.