On Sunday, November 13th about a dozen of us ventured out to Water Valley area for a tour of Fallentimber Meadery. When we first arrived, we did a tasting of their different styles of meads. These ranged from dry to sweet to a Sack style mead. Also in their offerings was a melomel style mead with Saskatoon berries & in production is a mead with crabapples.
The Cinnamon mead ( unfortunately ) is sold out, but some could still be available in certain liquor stores that carry their product in the Calgary area.
After the tasting, we were ushered downstairs where it all happens! The 3 brothers, Nathan, Colin, & Dustin Ryan, who are owners of the Meadery, showed a great deal of enthusiasm in explaining their operation. The tradition started with their father being a hobbyist beekeeper. They got their inspiration from him and decided to go one step further with all this honey! We learned a lot about the process of collecting the honey – bears being a problem – different influences on the honey, and their process for turning honey into one of the most ancient wines known.
We learned about fermentation, bottling, shipping, aging, bee mites, how the hives behave – they even had a model of a hive with live bees – which showed the importance of the queen bee – as they stated, ‘The queen bee has an aura about her” in the interaction in the hive. Upon looking closely, you could see what he meant!
This is a company to keep an eye on with their research and experimentation. We feel that these young entrepreneurs are going to have some very interesting offerings in the future. We all agreed they produce excellent mead, and the time touring here was very well spent! Our “one hour” tour quickly turned into a two hour tour – there was so much to see and so many interesting questions we had for these extremely knowledgeable young men.
We all purchased quite a few bottles – Paul & I chose the Oaked Traditional Mead, as well as some honey and beeswax candles!
A member of our Guild took a Gold Medal in National competition this year for his Mead. Any of those interested in making Mead, we suggest you track down one of Fallentimber’s Meads as an excellent example.
Some of us then drove to the Water Valley Saloon for a beer to cleanse our palates, along with a bite to eat, to finish off this fun day.
Check out Fallentimber’s website @ www.fallentimbermeadery.ca & see our Facebook Page for all the pictures!