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Mead gone wild

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In DRAFT’s current issue, we looked into the budding trend of kombucha ales. If you’ve tried one, you know these pungent beer-tea hybrids aren’t for the faint of heart. Often marked by vinegarlike sourness, earthy, herbal tea and funky barnyard notes, they’re essentially a marriage between the ancient tea and Old World Belgian lambic traditions.

Last week, we received a new spin on the kombucha trend, courtesy of New Hampshire’s Sap House Meadery: Kombucha Style Mead. The verdict? It’s pretty amazing.

Whereas kombucha ales tend to knock you over with overt, pungent character, this mead tempers the wild tea notes with sweetness. Vivid orange peel and sugar-sweet honey splash down first, and then pick up light earthiness and gentle tartness; drying tannins emerge mid-sip. In the back, hints of lemon accentuate the tart mouthfeel for a finish that’s bright and slightly puckering.

Overall, this mead’s extremely balanced, showcasing the best of both fermenting traditions. For those unfamiliar with kombucha hybrids, this is a perfect place to start.

What’s the best kombucha hybrid you’ve recently sipped?

 

Author
Chris Staten is DRAFT’s beer editor. Follow him on Twitter at @DRAFTbeereditor and email him at chris.staten@draftmag.com.

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