Rediscover the World’s Most Ancient Fermented Beverage at Silver Hand
This is another in a series of posts highlighting The Williamsburg Taste the Trail Package that offers guests at Wedmore Place an opportunity to explore multiple award-winning wine, craft beers and even mead.
Most guests who spend the night or the weekend at Wedmore Place prefer a certain style of wine, though many leave after finding a new favorite. Our guests can choose from among several spots at Wessex Hundred to enjoy a flight or a bottle of wine. On a seasonal day, the Duck Pond and the 1619 Wine Pavilion are perfect spots to relax or converse with friends over wine.
We invite anyone interested in trying mead to sign up for our Taste the Trail Package, which includes several Williamsburg Winery amenities along with tasting passes to three nearby craft breweries and Silver Hand Meadery.
Williamsburg’s only meadery opened in November 2015 after its founder and owner Glenn Lavender opted to turn a hobby into a career. His passion is for mead, which dates back to Ancient China in 7000 BC. Just as wine is characterized by unique grape varietals, mead is defined by the fermentable sugars found in honey. Mead is typically three ingredients — honey, water and yeast.
A tasting at Silver Hand Meadery starts with sampling several different honeys. This isn’t the honey found in most retail stores. It’s Bourbon Barrel-Aged Honey, Cinnamon Whipped Honey, Mesquite Honey, Raspberry Blossom Honey and so forth. Lavender is also a beekeeper; the meadery makes its own honey.
“For most of the folks who come in, it’s an educational experience, and we start by walking them through the various styles of honey,” Lavender said. “We find that we’re introducing mead to most guests. Those who come here from The Williamsburg Winery are perfect for this because we find they’re usually eager to experience what’s cool and unique, and they like the learning part, too.”
Patrons can choose from a variety of honeys in Silver Hand’s retail shop to take home.
From there, the tasting transitions to mead. Guests taste at least six and often 12 different kinds of mead. As the meads at Silver Hand are produced in extremely limited quantities, the flights come from reserve stock, test batches and specialty produced batches generally reserved for Insider Club members.
Guests usually choose to also experience what’s on tap. Silver Hand has plenty of indoor and outdoor seating with fire pits. While the meadery doesn’t sell food, pretzels and peanuts are available to snack on during mead tastings.
While guests can buy a Silver Hand Meadery glass, none of the mead is offered on a to-go basis unless they decide to become club members. Enjoy your mead on site and return to The Williamsburg Winery for dinner at the Gabriel Archer Tavern followed by a nightcap at Wedmore Place.