You might be curious to know what exactly mead is and why a beer blog would care that a maker of an alcoholic beverage close to wine is opening up a tasting room in our fair city. Well mead (or honey wine as it is sometimes referred to) is made from honey and water via fermentation with yeast. Its alcoholic content may range from that of a mild ale to that of a strong wine. It may be still, carbonated, or sparkling; it may be dry, semi-sweet, or sweet. Some mead varieties even include the addition of hops to change the flavor. The American Homebrewers Association sponsors a National Mead Day in August each year (this year it's on August 7, 2010). New Day has a stronger focus on the dry varietals with four dry styles of mead; one semi-dry and two semi-sweet varietals. They also have a dry hard cider that is made from over 20 different apple varieties. It's nothing like Woodchuck either, being a still variety and extremely dry. It is nice and crisp with a little acidity on the finish. It's very refreshing on a hot July day though!
The tasting room has a great vibe and you can tell that Brett, Tia and the rest of the New Day crew put a lot of thought into the sunny space that focuses on clean design. When first walking in you find yourself greeted by lots of information on local businesses, other Indiana artisan products and local events. Beyond that is a small gift shop area, where you can customize a gift box, and a large selection of all of their different mead varieties. There are couches to relax upon, a cooler for non-alcoholic drinks and a few local Indiana snack foods available for purchase.
We started out with a flight of each of their eight offerings and from there each picked out a type we enjoyed for a whole glass. By doing the flight we were also given a little background and history on each style; it was great to learn a little more about mead and the different styles that New Day produces.
The pricing at the tasting room is extremely reasonable, with a full flight of all eight of their offerings for $5 and individual tastes for $1. You can also get a glass of the hard cider for $3 and a glass of mead for $5. These are very generous pours and I highly recommend the Dry Peach Honey Wine for those who like a crisp, slightly tart refreshing drink in the summer months.
Tasting Room Hours: Tues-Thurs 11-7, Fri-Sat 11-9, Sun 12-4, Mon Closed
New Day Meadery is located at:
1102 Prospect Street
Indianapolis, IN 46203