If you think of meads as sweet and syrupy expressions of honey, you’ll be surprised by the relative dryness and complexity of Bos Meadery’s products, with a favorite variation on offer for every palate.
Bos, Madison’s only meadery, launched in 2012 and now boasts a pop-up mead hall every Thursday and Friday 5-9 p.m. and Saturday 2-9 p.m., inside Tamarack Studio & Gallery, 849 E. Washington Ave. Among the art (usually photography) are scattered a number of high tables and chairs.
The full Bos lineup is on offer, with tasting flights available, $12 for four samples. This includes limited-edition meads such as the delightfully floral Equinox — based on clover honey and rosé grape juice, finished with lavender. The use of lavender is judicious, and the mead tastes like a refreshing and welcome return to spring and the outdoors.
An equally compelling cherry session mead boasts lower alcohol and the rich fruity tones of Door County cherries. It’s vaguely reminiscent of a Belgian Kriek lambic beer in the best possible way.
A flight will expose tasters to the wide variety that Bos produces, all the way from its award-winning and delicate Pomegranate Pyment to a heavy buckwheat version that’s hearty enough to bring out the earthy flavors of a Scotch ale.
A black pepper mead could be a bit too close to the flavors of an oyster mignonette for some, but a sparkling hibiscus ginger rings with a fine sourness and zip.
The Bos production facility is located in the same building, and tours are available hourly; just ask the bartender.
Whatever else you do, don’t miss a taste of the Pomegranate Pyment — it may well change the way you think about mead.