When most people think of Meads, they think a sweet, honey, fermented beverage. Not so at Hunters Moon Meadery!! While they produce Meads of the traditional varieties, they are also producing Meads (although they can’t call them that) using lemons, cloves and huckleberries. These are their “standards.” Their Mountain Berry (a 2012 International Silver Medal winner) is made from Colorado chokecherries and huckleberries obtained from Northwestern Montana, where owner Kim Bowdish’s family resides. For those that eat ham during the holidays, their “Kim’s Clove” is an delicious pairing. And Kim says her “favorite summer drink is our Lunar Lemon Melomel over ice, which is very refreshing on a hot day.”
It is husband, Greg Bowdish who provides the honey, and as President of the Northern Colorado Beekeepers Association, he is well versed in making honey! He currently has 50 hives near their home in Severance (east of Ft. Collins). During the summer he will have around 60,000 bees per hive making honey. That number drops somewhere between 10-20,000 during the winter months. I found it fascinating that 1 bee, which lives about 6 weeks, produces 1/10 of a teaspoon during its worker bee life!
The one thing I found fascinating about the Bowdishes, is their experimentation. As you can see from the picture below, they have lots of “testers” going. These “testers” include small batches of Mead infused with tea, chocolate, coffee, ginger and mangos. In fact, their experimental coffee mead, Howling Moon, was a bronze medal winner. Fortunately we don’t have to wait around too long for a new Mead…their Touch of Gold (a saffron Mead) was just released, and their Trappers Cask (a Mead aged in a Chardonnay oak barrel) should be released soon.
Here is a little factoid….most Meaderies have moon in their name. And so, Hunters Moon Meadery was named from the October full moon, called the Hunters Moon. Since the Bowdish’s family history is full of hunters, it seemed the perfect name for their company. The Meadery is open by appointment only, so give them a call to stop by and taste their delicious and unique Meads. And while you are there, ask Kim about her “bee art,” its a fascinating story!