It’s Not Just An Ale

by CM Jenkins

I’m an eater and a pretty prolific drinker. I love flavors and combinations that make my toes curl and have me break out in a sweat from how good the taste is. Black Girl in the CLE, has done some events in a place called “Western Reserve Meadery” and I sadly was not apart of the team then. So I decided to go on a hunt of the delicious kind to the meadery. Now this is when I let you know this post IS NOT sponsored. That Black Girl doesn’t pay me to talk about places they like. I’m free labor and I go to places I LIKE. Which is why I went here.

Tucked away on what is now called “Duck Island” (it’s just Ohio City to me) you can find this hidden gem. You can take the red line to it if you know you are going to be drinking downtown and don’t want to drunk plow into the hottest police officer you’ve ever seen...or maybe you do if you catch my drift.

Not an RTA’r? There’s plenty of parking in front of this joint. I took the RTA option. I’m not in a rush to get there but also I’m not interested in having a DUI.

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Upon arrival you’re greeted by one of two gentleman who own the meadery. I was lucky enough to catch both as the were passing the torch of who’s closing to each other.

I sat down and was approached about 20-45 seconds in the door. Which is great customer service. I’ve always been told that if you don’t say “Hello” within 30 seconds of someone arriving you’ve already lost their money.

I was asked if I had mead before and what type of flavors I liked. With the price of $2 a sample pour I decided I didn’t care what type of flavors I liked in my wine. I then ordered two flights and enjoyed myself, after all I didn’t drive remember.

The Hopped Apricot is one they are pretty proud of but hops aren’t for me. It’s even won a few awards which they have on display. If this one came at me at a bar I’d have pushed it to side and asked for something else BUT if you don’t try new things you are your own worst enemy.

The Hopped Apricot surprisingly did not have that horrible IPA after taste of an unshowered skunk. The apricot seemed to balance out the hops and offer something intriguing.

I’m all in now and begin to work my way down the flights. Service stays on par as I try each one and if I have a question this guy is eager to answer.

I hit one that I LOVE “The Oaked Wildflower”, is both warming and sweet. It’s like being handed the finest chocolate cake slice in the world. The Buckwheat Orange and Cherry are the same level of delicious. The question just becomes are you a summer or a fall person. The Cherry offers that splash of summer and the Orange makes you want to read a book in the park.

I need a change of flavor though because I sampled out of order. I went for what gave me the prettiest color not from light to sweet. I went light once and then all sweet after. I take a step back and ask for a suggestion. I’m given a glass of water and told to try the Strawberry Basil or the Oaked Star Thistle. I go for the Strawberry Basil. Which is crisp and refreshing. It’s not warming nor is it sweet. It’s a classic dare I say it “White Wine”?

At this point I need a bit more perspective. I ask the owner what mead classifies as because Vikings drank it and called it “Ale”. He laughs and says “In Ohio? It’s wine. We are a winery.”

Oh my, learning things today aren’t we? I finish my flights and if there is one thing I wouldn’t try again it was the “Cucumber Mint”. It’s flavor profile wasn’t strong enough in either direction to be considered stand out.

I walk out with a bottle (or two) and make my way towards Ohio City proper. Time to get some food.

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