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Yelp Cleveland’s Mead Holiday Social



This December, Yelp Elites adventured to Western Reserve Meadery in Ohio City for a cozy and intimate night of mead tasting. Located in the Duck Island neighborhood, Western Reserve Meadery is a tucked away treasure in Cleveland’s bustling culinary and craft beverage scene. Western Reserve Meadery’s Co-Founder, Doug Shaw, is a master of mead making. He crafted mead at home for nine years before going pro and opening Western Reserve Meadery two-and-a-half years ago.Upon arrival, Elites stepped into the warm and inviting environment of a 1915 vintage industrial building, part of a recent community re-developmental project. Original wooden beams and brickwork gave an industrial feel, while Amish country handmade wooden wine racks, tables, and chairs added a natural touch.

To begin the night, Elites toured the distilling room, where Co-Founder Jason Andro explained the mead making process, particularly the company’s attention to creative flavoring. During the process, Elites sampled the delicious honeys Western Reserve Meadery uses to craft their meads. All honeys used are high-quality, sourced locally in Ohio or imported from neighboring Michigan, including clover, blackberry, buckwheat, and caramelized cranberry. As Yelp Elite Danielle S. explained, “After diving into the science behind the process, we were able to try little spoonfuls of the honey itself… Being able to pull the robust flavors out in advance really enhanced and explained those tastes when we got them in a mead sample!”In between honey tastings, Elites indulged in accompanying charcuterie spreads from Old Brooklyn Cheese Company featuring cheese, almonds, dried fruit, whole grain mustard, crackers and mead jelly. Elites then tasted four different meads, including the Hopped Apricot, Oak Star Thistle, Spiced Pumpkin Mead, and their flagship mead, the Buckwheat Blossom Honey Cherry.Mead is created through a process of fermentation. While wine is made from fermented grapes, mead is made from delicious and sweet fermented honey. Different honeys give different flavors, along with any additives such as spices and berries. Mead is thought to have been the first fermented beverage in history, dating back to prehistoric times. It has been written about in history, is symbolic in religion, and is said to be the equivalent of nectar, the choice drink of the gods. Mead has historically been very popular in both Germanic and English cultures, but fell out of popularity once wine, beer, and other distilled drinks rose to popularity. Thanks to Western Reserve Meadery, mead is currently back on the rise in Cleveland.Co-owners Doug and Jason are passionate about their standards of high-quality ingredients and thoughtful crafting. Yelp Elite Richard T. summed up the experience by writing, “A great evening spent at Western Reserve Meadery in Cleveland, Ohio! It was a light rain outside, but a warm and cozy pouring of mead inside. The festival spirit of the season rang harmony among the Yelp Elites in attendance! We were so glad to have attended. We highly recommend you visiting this business… It is likely you will buy a few bottles yourself!”

Check out the outstanding reviews and photos here. For more information about the Yelp Cleveland Elite Squad, visit yelp.com/elite.

Special thanks to our sponsors:
Western Reserve MeaderyElizabeth Sturm Photography

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