26 E 5th Ave
Columbus, OH 43201
1. Apple Pie Mead
2. Sour Paw Paw Mead
3. Chocolate Raspberry Mead
4. The Perley Cocktail
5. Wild Ohio Mead
Confession: until not long ago, I thought I didn’t like mead. I had tried a few brands here and there, but was not at all impressed. Then something shifted: I tried Brothers Drake Meadery. I went to the taproom and took a behind-the-scenes tour for the first time recently, and loved every second of it.
In case you didn’t know, mead is a wine-like drink made from honey, which is fermented and turned into a delicious adult beverage. This is one alcohol market that has been slow to grow, but is slowly making its way to the forefront. In fact, Brothers Drake is a major player in the mead industry, and is working to expand production to keep up with demand. The meadery is also home to a small stage, and hosts live music of all genres almost every day.
The original flagship mead is Wild Ohio, a light and refreshing wildflower honey version. This signature mead gets repurposed for a number of other meads, such as Hopped Ohio, which is the Wild Ohio that has hops added, or the Honey Oak, a barrel-aged variety. Fruit lovers will be smitten with the Peach Rush, or my personal favorite, the Apple Pie mead. Apple Pie tastes like fall in a glass, cinnamon-heavy and sweet.
Definitely do yourself a favor and do the meadery tour, even if you have previously sampled many of the brand’s offerings. It costs $10, and trust me, you get your money’s worth in mead tastes. Plus, you often get to try rare varieties of the mead, which are not available to the public. We got to try a bit of the mouthwatering Chocolate Raspberry flavor, and it was perfect – all the savory notes of cocoa without being overly sugary. Other limited releases like the Brioso Coffee-infused Mead and the Sour Paw Paw Mead should be snapped up if you see them too.
You would think that a place with such tasty mead options might slack in the cocktail department, but not so here. One of my favorites, recommended to me by a reader, was The Perley. This concoction is made with Ginger Verve mead and pear juice, and is named for Angela Perley, a favorite local musician. It recently left the seasonal menu, but catch it when you can! The new menu’s Sweet Blueberry Tart (Bergamot Blue mead, Fifth Element Vodka, elderflower liqueur, blueberries + fresh lemon juice) is a good substitute. There are also local spirits and craft beers on tap as well, if you just can’t be convinced that mead is for you.
If you feel burnt out on beer and wine tours, be sure to check out Brothers Drake! I can promise you will have a good time, and that you’ll become a mead convert like me.