For the last five years, I've predicted that mead will be the next big thing. I've expected it to lure craft beer and wine drinkers alike.
But damn, it hasn't happened. Few people know what I'm even talking about – if you're one of them, mead is a super-tasty beverage made from fermented honey. It can be tart, it can be sweet, it can be dry, it can even be sour. It can be knock-you-on-your-ass strong, or far gentler than a typical wine. It's arguably the world's oldest fermented beverage, too.
Am I discouraged? Nope. Because, if Superstition Meadery in Prescotthas anything to say about it, the Age of Mead is finally at hand. Besides having a mead named Best in the World, Superstition Meadery has also opened what might be the perfect tasting room in the basement of a row of buildings on Gurley Street.
I didn't take any photos – I didn't have a decent camera. Here's the picture: It's dimly lit and comfortable. It's a perfect place for conversation. You can get flights, glasses and bottles. The menu is absolute perfection: small snacks like charcuterie, cheese platters, a chocolate platter and what amounts to a gourmet grilled ham and cheese. This is exactly what I want with mead. I wish every craft beer bar had items like this.
The staff is knowledgeable and opinionated, steering mead first-timers and longtime fans equally well. I had a delicious flight of five: the lightly hopped and saffron-infused OM; the dark, hard-hitting Safeword; Maple Stinger; my favorite, the stupifyingly delicious Sweet Mesquite; and one whose name I don't remember. Unfortunately, neither the Superstition Meadery website nor Facebook page list what's currently being served. Sweet Mesquite is so good that it gives my personal previous favorite mead, Viking BlÃ¸d, a pretty good run for its money (I just love the slight note of cola I always taste).
This brings me to two minor quibbles. The first is about the Superstition Meadery website. I would love to get into that thing with one of my designer friends to team up – one of us to re-write the content (first, purging that page written in all caps) and the other to make a consistent, easy-to-read look and feel to each page. Oh, and there should always be a list of what's being served in the tap room – for reference, if nothing else. I also see there's occasional live music in the tasting room. I'm one of those who believes in separating music from enjoying beverages with friends. When I want to listen to live music, I'm rockin' hard, and I am not in a frame of mind to enjoy the nuances of a fine beverage and a plate of chocolates. So if you're like me, visit early in the evening.
These complaints are super-minor. And consider this: No other city in Arizona has a meadery. And this is by far my favorite tasting room. It has atmosphere, excellent service and super snacks to go along with award-winning mead. Go to Prescott, and be sure to visit Superstition Meadery.
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