Posted: 24/09/2019

Mead to bring ‘Game of Thrones’ tipple to modern drinkers

London’s first and only meadery for 500 years has created a range of flavoured mead in cans as it looks to offer a modern take on the medieval drink.

Peckham-based Gosnells of London launched the line-up – which comes in four varieties – last month and is pitching them as a lower alcohol alternative to wine. 

The 4% ABV drinks’ flavours include: Hibiscus (fruity and tart), Hopped (IPA-inspired), Sour (honey and sour notes) and Citra Sea (honey, lemon, tarragon & hops). They are available to the trade via Matthew Clark (RRP £2.90/can off-trade).

Popularised in recent years by the hit TV series Game of Thrones, mead is produced by fermenting honey and water with added fruits, spices, grains or hops. 

It traditionally has a high alcohol content but the brand is hoping to offer a lighter, fresher version as it looks to open up the drink to a wider audience.

“Many people think mead is something from the dark ages, strong and sickly sweet,” said owner and founder Tom Gosnell speaking to FFD about the launch. 

“These new meads reflect our place as a London brand based in Peckham – complex, on-the-pace, multifaceted and fun.” 

Gosnells of London, which began in 2014, is targeting both the on- and off-trade with the 330ml cans, a format the brand decided to use for its retail-friendly and environmental qualities. 

“Cans are a great format,” said Gosnell. “They’re easily portable, lighter than bottles which means less transport CO2, chill quickly, stack cleverly and are more recyclable.”

In response to whether the brand is looking to attract craft beer drinkers with hop-led flavours and colourful labels, Gosnell said he hopes the mead will appeal beyond the craft beer sector. 

“Those who appreciate Champagne, prosecco or English sparkling wines are starting to see our new meads as comparable in complexity of flavour but much lower in ABV,” he said. “Mead has a longer history than wine or beer and there is a big opportunity to explain it. Sampling is key.”

This story appeared in the September issue of Fine Food Digest. You can read more on the digital edition here.

Read more of the latest news from Fine Food Digest here

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