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Mead makers find enthusiastic market in Michigan

Scott Henderson

UPDATE: This story was updated at 2:35 pm on 10/21/2014.  

Ever wonder where the term "honeymoon" came from? Back in the 5th century, newlyweds would drink mead for the first cycle of the moon after their marriage because it was believed to be an aphrodisiac.

Michigan has its own growing mead scene. Brad Dahlhofer, owner of B. Nektar Meadery in Ferndale, is one of the pioneer mead makers in the state.

Dahlhofer notes that he started as a home beer brewer, before moving on to mead because honey, a main ingredient of mead, is rather expensive.

Dahlhofer says he made mead for his own wedding. "We planned our own wedding, we did our own designs, we had the iPod DJ, so why not also make our own sparkling mead for the toast?"

At the wedding, Dahlhofer joked about going into the business of making mead. It wasn't until a year later when his wife was laid off that the Dahlhofers decided to start a meadery. 

Dahlhofer prides himself on the variety of meads B. Nektar Meadery has available. When customers ask which mead is his best, Dahlhofer says he asks about their tastes, and offers dry meads, sweet meads, cherry meads, and spiced heavy meads. One of Dahlhofer's most popular meads is the Zombie Killer, an all-Michigan product made with fresh pressed cider, tart cherries, and honey.

*Listen to Brad Dahlhofer discuss mead brewing above.

CORRECTION:  An earlier version of this story referred to "brewing mead" which was incorrect. Mead is not brewed.

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