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Would the Patron Saint of Beekeepers Like Mead?

Meads at Orchid Cellar Winery in Maryland

Mead is a delightful alcoholic beverage produced with honey. We made a 5-gallon carboy of mead a few years ago. My brother is a beekeeper in New York State and provided us with some delicious honey that we decided to experiment with making a mead. In addition to learning the protocol of making mead, we also learned patience. Initially the mead in the carboy was very cloudy. A few days went by, then month after month passed by and the mead remained cloudy. Then about a year later, the mead cleared in just a few days. So if you try to make your own mead, remember patience is needed; however, you are likely to be rewarded with a yummy mead.

While enjoying a glass of mead, think St. Ambrose of Milan whose feast day is celebrated on December 7. St. Ambrose of Milan is known as the patron saint of beekeepers. According to an article about St. Ambrose, (a church in Baltimore is named for the saint), “Legend suggests that when he was an infant a swarm of bees settled on his face while he was lying in his cradle and left behind nary a sting, but a drop of honey. This prompted his father to declare it was a sign that his son would become a sweet-tongued preacher of great significance.”

Since there are a wide variety of mead styles from light to heavy-bodied meads, a wide variety of foods can be used as complementary foods. Consider cheese, meat, seafood and desserts. If you have a heavy, sweet mead on hand, on a cold day – plan to sip it by a warm fireplace to help keep the chill away.

Wine Trail Traveler has visited several meaderies. One of the first was Orchid Cellar Winery in Maryland. The owner introduced us to several different types of meads and explained that he was using mead recipes that had been used in his home country of Poland. The recipes were from monasteries and dated back centuries. Read the review we wrote after visiting Orchid Cellar.


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