A Complete Guide To Homegrown Mead Brands In India

A Complete Guide To Homegrown Mead Brands In India
(L) Moonshine Meadery ; No Label Mead (R)

India loves its alcohol –– from its pride in beer to the incessant fan-like behaviour over Old Monk, we have never shied away from a drink or two. However, for the longest time, we placed our focus on mainstream alcohols and spirits and made do with what was available. Beyond the trifecta of beer, whiskey, and rum, not much seemed to exist in or for the Indian market.

Of course, the onset of the gin revolution, or the ‘gin-aissance’ as we like to call it, set in motion a drive for us to give more types of alcohol a try. Soon enough, we were introduced to mead. In fact, India as a country was perhaps re-introduced to this beverage as it was the first alcoholic beverage ever made here. A fermented honey drink, meads make for a great substitute for something like beer, in case you are bored of the latter, or simply want to give something new a try.

Several homegrown brands give us various types of meads and here’s a handy list of some of them.

I. Arkä by Hill Zill

Named after the Sanskrit word for ‘extract’, Arkä presents to you dessert meads with the inclusion of Wildflower Honey, Rose, and Jamun Berries. The honey comes from the Sahyadri Ranges and is converted to this beverage with the utmost respect for the natural ingredients. They are allowed to maintain their integrity while imparting the most flavour possible.

Hill Zill was founded by Shrikant Save in 1985 as a hospitality destination, which later forayed into alcoholic beverages, and in 2018, Arkä was born.

Find Arkä here.

II. Cerana Meads

The Cerana meadery is located in the Sinnara region of Nashik, Maharashtra, and Indian flavours are of much importance to them. With a ‘farm to bottle’ philosophy, Cerana’s co-founders Yoginee and Ashwini have translated their love for nature into this beautiful beverage.

Their flagship meads include Jamun Melomel, Pomegranate Melomel, and Chenin Blanc Pyment. Seasonaly, Pinot Noir Pyment and Yule Spice.

Find Cerana Meads here.

III. Moonshine Meadery

Born in 2014, Moonshine is India and Asia’s first meadery. Founders Rohan Rehani and Nitin Vishwas have been at the forefront of the mead movement, and Moonshine’s experimental nature with a focus on Indian flavour profiles leads us to think of them as the face of mead in India.

They offer a comprehensive range of meads but #HGLoves Apple Cyder Mead and Guava Chilli Mead.

Find Moonshine Meadery here.

IV. No Label Mead

No Label by Bored Beverages is the brainchild of Vinayak and Anant, two childhood friends that found a mutual love for alcohol as they grew up. The brand is driven by the idea of meads providing everyone with the same experience of joy, laughter, and creating memories. Co-founder Anant explains, “The idea behind No Label came from how as humans we all tend to give each other labels on the basis of either our genders, sexuality, race, ethnicity, sex, caste or physical appearance. Not only do these labels lead to discrimination but they also impact people on an individual level. As a brand, we are founded on the philosophy of celebrating the uniqueness and equality of all.”

Find No Label Mead here.

V. Portside

A product of the COVID-19 lockdown in 2020, Portside comes from the inspiration of sea travels and expeditions. With a will for people to move past the usual beer or expensive spirits, the brand created a solution that landed in the middle.

Their flavours Something Berry (juniper and berries) and Straight Up (caramel notes), both make for perfect beverages for any time of the day.

Find Portside here.

VI. Stump

A relatively recent brand, Stump meads comes in two variants, apple and coffee. Founder Himavanth Hasaganur plans to introduce a lemon variant soon too.

It is currently only available in Bengaluru.

Find Stump Meads here.

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