Bee Well Mead & Cider, Bellaire
Michigan has already built a solid reputation for producing some of the best craft beer in the country, and in the past few years we’ve also seen the addition of top-notch producers of mead and cider. One place in Northern Michigan that is doing everything the right way is Bee Well Meadery (Bee Well Mead & Cider), which we were able to visit August.
Bee Well Meadery operates out of a small taproom in a somewhat off-the-beaten-path location in Bellaire, just a few miles from Short’s Brewing Company. They only serve cider and mead, and most of their offerings are available in flights and full glasses or in howlers and bottles to go (they’re also in close to 100 retail outlets in Michigan). Keep an eye on Groupon for occasional deals on flights and howlers, this was one of the ways we heard about them.
The first sample on our first flight was Antrim Apple Pie. Bee Well describes it as: “we combined our delicious local apples, vanilla beans from Madagascar, cinnamon from Sri Lanka and honey from Antrim County, Michigan. The result is our version of apple pie in a bottle. The warm flavors will surely bring back memories of pies baking in Grandma’s kitchen.” Apple pie in a bottle (or glass)? This is an incredibly accurate description of what ended up being my favorite drink of the day. The rest of our flight included a tasty Ginger Peach mead, a delicious Cherry Vanilla mead, and Passion of the Sice (a passionfruit cider).
Our second flight included King’s Hard Cider and King’s Cherry Hard Cider, both of which use local apples and cherries from King Orchards. Both ciders were sweet, for me the cherry was a little more appealing as it was tart as well. We finished things up with Bargy’s Blend (sweetened with honey) and Feral Perry (wild pear cider). Bee Well describes this unique drink as “conceived in the early fall of 2016 from wild pears foraged from old abandoned homesteads and abandoned trees throughout the back roads of Antrim County, Michigan. Opal in color and slightly hazy, bone dry with medium acidity, this ferment is a true celebration of forgotten feral pear varieties native to the Chain-O’-Lakes region. Hand-picked, hand pressed, and limited to 60 cases, this unique batch of perry is the kick off to Bee Well’s ‘Foraged Series’. Our never ending quest to reconnect with forgotten, heirloom trees.”
We really enjoyed our visit to Bee Well Meadery, and there wasn’t a single mead or cider we didn’t enjoy. If you’re looking to try something new and support a Northern Michigan business that is doing things the right way (quality product, local sourcing) be sure and visit Bee Well in Bellaire – hours and more information available below:
Bee Well Mead & Cider contact information:
3533 S. Derezny Rd., Unit F, Bellaire
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