VALPARAISO — A new craft winery that offers wines made with honey is ready to open downtown.
Misbeehavin' Meads will be the first meadery — a winery focusing on the production of mead, which is a wine made with honey — operating in the northern half of Indiana, said owner, Clint Wadsworth.
"Everything has been coming along really well," he said.
Misbeehavin' Meads, at 65 Franklin St., opens its tasting room on April 2 and plans initially to serve and sell at least four different meads. One of the meads will be barrel aged and another one will be experimental. At least one mead will be on tap.
Mead will be available by the glass, and bottles can be purchased to go. Customers also can buy small samples.
Throughout the year Wadsworth said he will make around 48 different types of mead. Some will highlight different varieties of honey, while others will incorporate fruits, vegetables, herbs or spices. Many of the meads will be aged on wood or in barrels.
Wadsworth said he's also making a mead with dates that will be aged in rum barrels.
"My aim is to make mead that both defines and defies the style," he said. "I want to show people what mead is and then to challenge those definitions. That's how I will explore mead's versatility with them."
Wadsworth said to show people what mead is, he is making a batch of mead each month that explores a different type of honey.
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"Last month I made mead with buckwheat honey," he said. "This month, it was star thistle honey. These honeys taste and smell very differently, and so do the meads that I made with them."
Wadsworth said other than orange blossom mead, he does not plan to make the same mead twice any given year.
"I want to give my customers something new to think about, as well as to enjoy," he said. "I want also to show how honey and different fruits, vegetables, herbs or spices can make for a tasty drink."
Wadsworth may ferment pineapples, orange blossom honey and chili peppers together.
"It's delicious," he said. "Carrots and walnuts? Let's make carrot cake mead. These are the sort of experimental meads that excite me, and I'm sure people will find them exciting, too."
For mead pairings, Wadsworth plans to sell platters of meat, cheese, honey and bread. He is also making cider that will be available on tap and believes Misbeehavin' will be the first in northern Indiana to make its own cider and have it available on tap.
Merchandise also will be available for purchase in the tasting room.
Doors will open at 11 a.m. April 2 and stay open until about 11 p.m. For more information visit www.misbeehavinmeads.com.