Four to Nil, I Win or Our Trip to the Summer Mead Fest

I am a huge fan of just about everything that B. Nektar Meadery makes. I am extremely fortunate that the meadery is practically in my backyard.1 B. Nektar consistently comes up with new flavors which make stopping by for a taste3 a wonderful way to pass an afternoon.

My two favorites are Necromangocon (made with mango, black pepper, and honey) and Zombie Killer Cherry Cyser (apple cider with honey and tart cherry juice). Now before you start nodding your heads and smiling your mocking smiles, know that I would like these two beverages even if their names weren’t spoofs of iconic horror images. They’re just damn good.

For the last few years, B. Nektar has been hosting a Summer Mead Fest in their parking lot. OK, for the sake of clarification I should say that they host the Mead Fest in Ferndale, since saying “parking lot” might confuse people. The tap room moved to a new location a few years ago, but the festival is still held at the old warehouse location. Every year they release some new concoctions at the festival. Some are brand new, making their debuts. Others are limited releases which are only available at Mead Fest or until the bottles run out. There is also music
5, and an assortment of food trucks.

I make it a point to stop by at some point during the day to sample the new wares.

Today I had to earn my way out of the house, as The Mrs woke up in a “cleaning and pitching shit out” mood.
6 We both spent the bulk of the day cleaning. Granted, my day didn’t start until much later than hers because I was at the Redford Theatre for an 11pm showing of Carrie last night. Still, we earned our time away from the freshly scrubbed house.

There were a number of new brews to try. I was looking forward to seeing which way I fell on the Dread Pirate Paul vs One Eyed Ian debate. Both were limited release meads aged in rum barrels. I preferred Dread Pirate Paul which was a bit heavier and had a flavor reminiscent of mulled wine. The Mrs disagreed, natch, appreciating the sweetness of the pineapple and coconut in One Eyed Ian. There were also a number of other concoctions I wanted to sample including the Electric Blue which turned out to be the one we both liked best. It was a mead mixed with “your favorite powdered drink from childhood.”

Pardon me, I have gotten a bit ahead of myself. In order to understand the title of this post, I need to back up to when we arrived at B. Nektar.

We parked
8 one street over since the parking lot was not only full but had circling vultures in the form of minivans and smart cars.9 We showed our IDs, got our rubber ducky arm-bands, and purchased our drink tickets. Then we spent a good five minutes figuring out what we wanted to try and where it was.

B. Nektar did a great job of organizing the taps this year. They expanded the number of pour areas from three to seven and limited the number of meads available at each area to only a few. This way instead of standing in a long line to get one of six meads on tap, if you wanted a particular sample, you went to that specific line. It almost completely eliminated the waiting and made it easy to get your samples.

I think we started with the coconut IPA. That’s when the amazing thing started happening.

I saw someone I knew.

One of the people running the tap was another of the Track Heads for
Penguicon. We introduced The Mrs.10, exchanged some small talk, then got out of the way so other people could get their drink on.

We sampled a few more flavors, then while waiting in line ran into two people I knew from the
Motor City Haunt Club. A few moments later we met another Penguicon person. In the span of about twenty minutes, I talked to four people I knew. Four!

More importantly, The Mrs encountered
no one that she knew.

In order to understand how momentous this is, you have to understand that we are constantly bumping in to people that she knows. Old classmates, people from church, ladies from the Armenian organizations, ex-coworkers. When we went on our cruise to Alaska she found the one Armenian lady on the whole ship. When we went to the Upper Peninsula, where both sides of my mother’s family settled when they got to this country, we chanced upon one of her old school chums.

We never, ever, meet someone that I know unless it is someone that we both know or we had planned to meet them at a given place and time.
12 The only exception to this is the Renaissance Festival, but we both see a lot of folks we know there so it is usually a wash.

I’ve never bothered to keep score before. There was simply no reason. It is a run away win for her every time.

So you can understand why, upon reaching the car, I had to do the “Four to nil” hand gesture
13 along with accompanying song and obnoxious dance. Fortunately for me I had done enough cleaning and she had sampled enough mead that she let me get away with being an ass.

Four to nil. That’s almost as sweet as that parking job.

  1. Not really, but it is within walking distance.2

  • 2. Well, if I am willing to walk two miles there and back with a case of mead propped on my shoulder.

3. The tap room is open on the weekends. You can indeed try a number of different flavors before deciding what you want to order a glass of. Or you can order a number of bottles and enjoy them in the comfort of your own home.

4. Honestly, if you haven’t tried them, you should. B. Nektar’s products lack the over-honeyed sweetness you sometimes encounter with meads. Both Necromangocon and Zombie Killer are lightly carbonated beverages that are perfect on hot days, much preferable to beer. Fortunately, B. Nektar’s products are available all over the country now. Check the
Where To Buy page to see if there is retailer or bar which carries the meads near you.

5. In previous years they have had different bands play (including local Celtic band
Stone Clover). This year they had a DJ.

6. I’ve trained Tesla and Titus to hide when she gets like this, just in case.

7. Although they did both have to suffer through baths today. They didn’t hide well enough, I guess.

8. I did the best job of parallel parking in my almost 3 decades of driving. Seriously, that may be the highlight of the weekend. If I had known I was going to do such a great job I would have had The Mrs film it.

9. This is Ferndale, after all.

10. She’s not much of a Con attendee.

11. Technically this happened on the ferry to Mackinac Island, but still.

12. Because I am essentially anti-social AND I’m a writer so I spend a lot of time indoors.

13. Based loosely on MC Hammer's "Too Legit Too Quit" hand gesture. You know what I am talking about.