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Meade Ale versus Honey Beer

Most beer drinkers don’t know the difference between Meade Ale and Honey Ale or beer. A brewer can add a small amount of honey to a batch (even without fermenting it) and call it a “honey beer”. The generally agreed upon modern definition of “meade ale” (historically known as BRAGGOT in the 13th century) is a fermentation wherein at least 50% of your fermentable sugars are derived from honey. The other 50 % are primarily derived from malts and some fruit sugars or other adjuncts such as rice syrup, for example. Due to the higher cost of honey as opposed to malt and malt extracts…Meade Ale as a finished product naturally cost more than Honey Beer because you are getting a completely different end product with innumerable enhanced health benefits if it is brewed correctly.

Natural Carbonation Versus Forced Carbonation

Today I am bottle conditioning my first 7 litres of meade ale for the first time in 18 years of brewing. (I have previously never carbonated by any method). I find that when I go to my local craft brewpub (where they have a daily cask-conditioned beer), drinking the cask ale leaves me less bloated and gassy and generally happier than if I drink the force-carbonated variety. (One can especially be sensitive to this with advancing middle-age!). Last year I had a glass carboy of Rosemary meade ale explode on me just before I was going to bottle it! The natural carbonation was fantastic (I had already consumed 2 carboys’worth) with smaller bubbles and a great mouth-feel with no ill-effects the next day. I don’t believe in pasteurizing ale, as that destroys the health-giving properties, especially when there is honey involved. I like the yeasty taste and that is added B-Vitamins, but can be reduced by racking and time. Ale is best made the natural way with patience — to me the force-carbonated, pasteurized and mass-produced stuff is just alcoholic soda-pop!

% ABV of Meade Ale

Meade Ale was brewed in the Middle Ages and before, using malted grain sugars and honey. We have no way of knowing what the % of Alcohol By Volume was of these beverages. That would depend on the amount of sugars available to the brewer (ISG or Initial Specific Gravity of the Wort) and the alcohol tolerance of the yeast being used.

In today’s terms, we can brew a meade ale that finishes from roughly 4 to 10% in conjunction with most common ale gravities — or produce a barleywine-like meade ale using high-tolerance yeast that finishes from roughly 10 to 13 % ABV.

“Braggot” (Bragot) becomes “Meade Ale”.

Responding to the modernization of a medieval beverage re-imagined — General Meade Company has decided to switch the term “Bragot” to “Meade Ale” in a bid to offer consumers a more readily recognizable product. “Meade Ale” perfectly describes what “Braggot” actually is and was — in antiquity as well as today. Recent findings from the Danish Journal of Archaeology have vindicated the processes, ingredients and adjuncts used by GMC for the past 18 years in attempting to re-create the historical medicinal and health-giving “grog” of our ancient Germanic Ancestors — going back to 1500 BC in Scandinavia. 

Forced Carbonation of Beverages…

We all know that Carbon Dioxide is a product of respiration. Now what we are doing is to force this gas into our beverages such as beer and soda-pop. Is this a natural thing that we should be putting into our bodies? What are the consequences?  (Thanks to the Dalai Lama and Chrono Sphere).

News Flash!: General Meade Company website up and running!

The very first General Meade Company website has been created and is online! Go to:

“Is there ever a day when we don’t want Meade?”

“Is there ever a day when we don’t want Meade?” (Scandinavian Cultural Centre – during the meetings to build the Viking Ship Replica)

Comments on my Meade/Bragot…

To all of you who have tried either my Blueberry Meade or any of my Bragots — I welcome your comments and criticisms here. Please be honest, people: Room for improvement? Always. POST A COMMENT!

I finally broke down and bought a stylus and tablet. It came with a Corel Painter program, and here is the result of monkeying around during the Canucks/BlueJackets game…

He goes into battle behind the Spirit Wing...

Trying to survive as an artist in Canada entails maximizing your flexibility.  I always maintained the traditional approach of utilising Trades as my “Bread & Butter” source of income to fuel my passions and dreams as an artist. The problem being that as one ages — the physical body suffers the process of entropy.  Coming back to Vancouver in 1995 marked the end of an era for me as “The Wandering Poet” who travelled the border regions of  Canada, often on a Wing and a Prayer. Physical and health issues brought me to the end of a long road — wherein I had to lay down and shift my priorities and focus in order to survive. This is where the seed of an idea was born — in that time where I was searching for answers through medecine that no living or current practioner of healing could provide. Through the process of “Divining” — an ancient word entered my consciousness and ancestral memory — lodging itself into my living spirit in a way that set me upon an intellectual quest to rediscover it…