Golden mead, made from fermented honey, is humanity’s original mind-altering beverage, with at least 7,000 years of history. Maybe that’s why people associate it with Ren Faires where they’ve tasted it as a sweet, rich, novelty elixir—but there’s so much more to mead. Expand your mindset at Slate Point Meadery’s new tasting room in Pleasant Valley, set for a soft opening April 13.
Where the ancient art of mead meets the cutting edge of craft beverage, connoisseurs are discovering and falling in love with mead all over again. Following the trend for breweries and distilleries, the state has just begun issuing farm meadery licenses to small-batch makers using New York honey. These licenses allow producers to have onsite tasting rooms where they sell by the glass and to go, as well to wholesale through beverage distributors.
“A lot of people don’t even realize what mead can be,” says co-founder Eric DeRise. “Our session-style meads are a whole different experience. It’s lower alcohol, carbonated, a draft mead that’s a pleasure to sit and drink, not sugary. It’s more akin to a hard cider than a cordial.”
Slate Point (formerly Salt Point Meadery) will be offering several tasty session meads in cans: Revolution, made with blood orange and locally grown cascade hops; a lemonade-style mead, and mead infused with jasmine green tea. Slate Point meads are made with honey sourced from a Seneca Lake apiary, currants from CurrantC in Staatsburg, syrup from Crown Maple in Dover Plains, and many other local ingredients.
You can find Slate Point Mead at four Dutchess County wine shops and a dozen Hudson Valley restaurants, listed on their website Expect that number to increase as vendors start to leverage the new law to bring this oldest/newest beverage discovery to their clients. But DeRise is hoping you’ll come check out the tasting bar. “Getting with us on Facebook or Instagram is the best way to know exactly when we’re open,” DeRise says. “Come try a tasting flight and see if you’d like to take some home. We might just have your new favorite beverage.”