The Meadery at Planet Bee, in Vernon, earned two medals last month at the competition which sets the North American standard for mead quality and judging.
Meadery operators Ed & Taosha Nowek returned from Boulder, Colorado in March with medals for their Honeymoon Mead entries in the 2012 Mazer Cup International Mead Competition.
Planet Bee's 2009 Blueberry Bliss earned a silver medal in the Varietal category and its 2010 Oak & Honey Rapture claimed a bronze medal in the Specialty-Open category.
Ed Nowek says, "We were very impressed with the integrity of the competition and the quality and variety of the entries." This year's Mazer Cup included 197 commercial entries from 47 commercial meaderies in the U.S.A., Canada and eight other countries.
"It was an excellent opportunity to learn from some of the world's finest mead masters and to exchange notes and information about the resurgence of this ancient 'beverage of love'," Nowek adds.
Planet Bee is a honey farm and interpretive centre open year-round. It offers educational programs for schools and a summer schedule of daily presentations to inform and entertain children, adults, families and tour groups. Its country store and gift shop is laden with the healthy treasures of the hive as well as bee-themed gifts and souvenirs.
The manufacturing of mead or honey wine can be traced back at least 9,000 years. It uses honey in place of grapes or fruits and adds yeast cultures to stimulate the fermentation process. A variety of meads can be further refined by using honey from unique floral sources such as blueberry, blackberry, cranberry and raspberry blossom honey, by adding fruit concentrates to produce a melomel, herbs and spices to get a metheglin – and then can finished to a dry, semi-sweet or sweet traditional style or even a sparkling wine.
The Meadery at Planet Bee currently has seven releases of Honeymoon Mead including Okanagan Delight, Apricot Elixir, Colossal Cranberry, Marnier Metheglin and the Parad Ice Berry Mead. Information is available at www.planetbee.com.