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About the Products
Classic Mead
Sweet Melissa
Stinging Rose
Ancient Mead
Harvest Cyser
Paonia Peach

   Summer Solstice


Sustainable Agriculture
The Rest of the Local Story

Think Global, Act Local.  OK, it's dated but still good, really good.  For example, most people are now aware of the benefits of eating locally produced foods. Local foods likely to be fresher and therefore more nutritious and healthy. Globally, the increased consumption of local foods means less transportation and that translates to improved global carbon footprint. That being said, we can take the sustainable consumption a step further. Locavores can not only eat local, but they can also drink local.

Imagine enjoying a beverage that is produced locally with a very small carbon footprint and made from a raw material that is produced by 100% sustainable agriculture. I am speaking of mead, or honey wine, which can be made from three simple ingredients: honey, water and yeast. The honey bee should be the poster child for sustainable agriculture because it produces a perfect food that never spoils and it does so without using a plow, pesticides, fertilizer or irrigation. The honey bee has set a standard for sustainable agriculture that is not likely to ever be surpassed.

As most are aware, the honey bee is currently under enormous stress. Pollution, parasites, stresses resulting from commercial pollination methods, poor nutrition and a limited gene pool are all contributing to the largest global bee die off in modern times. One could argue that the honey bee as a feral species has already gone extinct. It is only the efforts of beekeepers and their managed colonies that bees are still alive in America. Bee losses have brought many commercial beekeepers to their financial knees. We now have less than 600 commercial beekeepers in America that produce 75% of all the honey produced in America. Just a few short years ago we had over 3000 viable commercial beekeepers. This is an alarming statistic. One third of everything we eat depends upon the pollination efforts of the honey bee. Although Americans eat only an average of 1.25 pounds of honey per year (contrasted by 50 to 150 pounds of sugar) most would certainly be amiss if their food selection was suddenly reduced by 33%!

Can the average person help? The answer is yes. Everyone can make an effort to eat a little more pure, local, raw honey. This will increase demand and help the bottom line of the struggling beekeepers. For those who enjoy an alcohol libation now and again, consider this: By consuming just 2 bottles of honey wine per year, you will be almost doubling your annual consumption of honey because one pound of honey produces about 2 bottles of honey wine. The ripple effect of the growing mead or honey wine industry is astounding. More honey consumption, better bottom line for beekeepers, more bees, better pollination, and finally a more stable, sustainable selection of foods for our dinner tables. Honey wine is the only mechanism by which we as a country can significantly increase consumption of domestically produced honey and therefore secure the future of the very backbone of our agricultural industry in America. This is no hyperbole, this is simple math.

And so we have arrived at a point where an alcohol beverage that is some 38,000 years old can play a major role in securing our future food supply. I am an optimist. I believe the honey bee will survive. I believe that honey wine, one of the fastest growing segments of the domestic wine industry, will be a vital player in the survival of the honey bee. I believe that honey wine IS the libation of the new millennium. It is the rest of the story of being a locavore. Help the honeybee --- eat and drink more honey products.

Mark Beran,
Medovina Meadmaster and Beekeeper

P.S. There is more. Honey wine can significantly decrease the carbon footprint of the domestic beverage wine industry and its consumption but that is a story for another occasion.