Celebrates a blend of honey and other tasty ingredients to create one of the oldest beverages around
By Steve Oviatt
Mead—a blend of fermented honey and other ingredients—is one of mankind’s oldest beverages. Gardiner Mulford has turned his love of this ancient beverage into the first local meadery.
Mulford’s interest in mead began when he stumbled upon a fragment of an old stone tablet while serving with the 101st Airborne Division in Desert Storm. Over the years he gradually deciphered it, and discovered it contained a recipe for mead.
His interest piqued, Mulford returned to his farm in Culpeper where he began a beekeeping operation. With the honey he produced, he started playing with the old recipe and produced several types of mead before opening Maidstone Meadery last May.
Located between Barrel Oak Winery and Blue Valley Vineyard, Maidstone Meadery is producing four different meads, along with supplying an education about this ancient beverage.
Gold Standard is an unfiltered, citrusy mead with low acidity made with local clover honey.
Wild Times, made with local wildflower honey, has a sweet nose and big taste.
Bragging Rights also has a sweet nose but a fruity taste. It is made from clover honey, barley and hops.
Whiskey Barrel Select with its bourbon overtones is the newest offering, having aged 12 months in a whiskey barrel. It is made with wildflower honey.
The meads are naturally effervescent and have a nice, clean finish. Mulford proudly boasts that none of his meads have sulfites or artificial ingredients. As for pairing suggestions, Mulford suggests, “breakfast, lunch and dinner!”
Families and picnics are welcome, although the location is a bit rustic. Leashed dogs are also welcome.
If you’re a fan of meads or looking for a different drinking experience, Maidstone Meadery should be included on your list.
ADDRESS: 9364 Justice Lane, Delaplane, VA 20144
HOURS: 11AM – 6 PM Saturday and Sunday or by appointment