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But to the Grande Place, Arras,
Came, too, the hum of bees,
That suck the sea-pink's sweetness
From isles of the Hebrides,
And in Iona fashion
Homes mid old effigies:

"Our cells the monks demolished
To make their mead of yore,
And still though we be ravished
Each Autumn of our store,
While the sun lasts, and the flower,
Tireless we'll gather more."

(from) Pipes in Arras Neil Munro

Basic Information

Mead is an alcoholic drink made by the fermentation of honey. Since fermentation1 is mostly about turning sugar into alcohol, and honey is almost pure sugar, mead can be pretty strong (and frequently pretty sweet as well, since they yeast is still going to die before it's consumed all of the sugar). There are various modifications, to do with the addition of herbs and what have you, but at the bottom of it, you are still left with a sticky, sweet, wine like substance with a significant alcohol content.

A popular drink amongst many North European cultures, possibly because the higher latitudes played hob with fruit growing and they felt like something stronger than beer.


1. full source reference

Game and Story Use

  • Vital to Norse and Saxon sagas.
  • And to prestige dining in Anglo-Danish culture generally, to the extent that a Lord's hall could also be referred to as a mead-hall. Warriors in general - and hearthguard in particular - would expect mead and meat from their lord, not just bread and ale.
  • What happens when you make and/or sweeten a batch of mead with mad honey? Probably nothing good…
  • In the Dresden Files the descendants of Grendel require mead as part of their reproductive process … this makes them essentially parasitic on humanity as they possess neither females of their species, nor the technology to make mead. They're not much fun to have around.
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