I have long been keen on mead because I like the idea that I could theoretically keep a hive and brew with honey collected from my own back yard. Several years back, my friend Jay did just that — while living in my same downtown Washington D.C. neighborhood no less. Ever since, I have known that I would someday keep a hive of my own.
Unfortunately, my first few tastes of mead from various homebrewers did not enamor me of the beverage. It wasn’t until I moved to Ethiopia, where t’ej (mead) is the national drink that I learned to enjoy it. T’ej is normally quite a bit sweeter than American and European meads because it is consumed much fresher, before all the sugar has been converted to alcohol.
Well, now I have acquired a taste for mead and lo and behold! Jay just moved into the same neighborhood as me again, this time in Silver Spring, MD. And he said he’d be glad to add an extra hive in his own back yard so we could share caretaking duties.
So, it is with great excitement that I have just downloaded the enrollment form for the Montgomery County Beekeeper Association‘s spring course in beekeeping.
Some more reasons I like the idea of beekeeping and mead drinking:
1. Bee colonies are in global decline and we need them to pollinate all sorts of shit;
2. Drinking mead fermented from honey produced by local bees is a natural innoculation against allergies;
3. Mead is strong as hell – I like that because on the one hand it’s a cheap buzz, but on the other hand with a virtually endless supply of strong drink in the house, I may never go to bed sober.
The Norse believed heaven, Valhalla, was a great beer/mead hall in the sky. Ask me this time next year and I’ll let you knw if I’ve reached it yet.