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Sweet Surprises at Charm City Meadworks

Story by Bryen Glass

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Has anyone ever heard of or tasted mead? Well, you're in for a sweet surprise! Located in the Baltimore metro area is Charm City Meadworks. This local business is a self-contained meadery that makes, sells on site and distributes mead. For all the newbies who were obviously deprived of this delicious beverage, let me explain.

Mead is an alcoholic beverage made by fermenting honey with water, often with the addition of various fruits, spices, or grains for flavor. It is one of the oldest alcoholic beverages, with evidence of its production dating back thousands of years. Mead can range in flavor from sweet to dry and can be still or carbonated. It is often compared to wine or beer but has a unique flavor profile all its own. Mead is enjoyed by many people around the world and has experienced a resurgence in popularity in recent years.

The rich history of mead is 20,000-40,000 years old with roots in Africa making it one of, if not, the oldest alcoholic beverages. These early African dwellers gathered honey and accidentally wildly fermented mead. The theory goes those bees made hives inside hollowed out trees and when it rained the honey and water mixed, became stagnant for some time. As it sat, natural wild yeast introduced itself and in a matter of days a basic alcohol/mead was produced. As hunters and gatherers feast on what they thought was just water were pleasantly surprised at the intoxicating qualities. As these people left Africa to explore other corners of the world, they took with them the knowledge of mead and how to make it and upon reaching far-away lands they began to share their know-how with other civilizations each adding their own unique touches.

Now that you're an expert in mead, let me tell you about Charm City Meadworks. Closely located at 400 E. Biddle Street in Baltimore City, this meadery (call it a brewery or winery we don't care), is a very welcoming business, with friendly and knowledgeable staff, a wide selection of delicious drinks to make your soul sing.

For those who are unfamiliar with the taste, you can purchase a sampler box of four selections to satisfy your inquisitive nature. As one who enjoys sweet wine, the selections range from dry, semi-sweet and sweet with an alcohol content from 4.7%-12% ABV. Although some beverages are considered dry, how dry can it be with honey? We had to find out, so we ordered three samplers, for research purposes of course.

We selected Wildflower, Basil Lemongrass, Flying Rye, Charm City Iced, Cherry Lime, Mead Is Murder, Saltbox Sunrise, Dark Waves, Black Currant Red Raspberry, Original Dry, Sweet Blossom, and Hydra. They ranged from 4.7%-12% ABV. We initially would've given an individual rating to these selections but that went out the window because we couldn't decide which were our favorites. They were a variety of robust flavors of honey and fruit, but I'll say my most favorite was Saltbox Sunrise. It had the flavors of honey, mango and pineapple. Charm City Meadworks is not a restaurant, but they do allow outside food in. They offer in house pizza, which considering it was frozen pizza, it was surprisingly good. We ate two whole pizzas.

Of course, at the end of the night, we were feeling full, fat and happy. As responsible adults we had our wait time before driving, so we had some interesting jovial conversations with staff and other customers and learned a few new things. It must have been a great conversation because they didn't put us out.

Overall, it was a great spot, great beverages, great place to visit and learn a few things. We purchased some to go, because you never know when an emergency will arise. For those who do not care for alcoholic beverages, there's also a selection of nonalcoholic drinks and frozen drinks. If you would like to join us on a short bus trip with food & libations, email us at For more information on Charm City Meadworks, check out their website at CHARM CITY MEADWORKS.

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