Simplifying the Mead Classification Process

Here’s some mead trivia for you – how many different types of mead are there? If you guessed single digits, you’d be wrong. We shared a post late last year that detailed twenty popular varieties of mead. If interested in the run-down, check it out here.

Today, we’re asking a different question: How can we simplify the classification process?

Mead’s History

It’s safe to deem mead the world’s oldest alcoholic beverage. Sorry beer, sorry wine – mead wins. It traces back to thousands of years ago when it was busy being made by accident via honeycombs, rainwater, and airborne yeast.

At its simplest, mead is just that: honey and water, fermented together to form the delectable nectar of the gods. But humanity bares its fangs at monotony, and there’s just too many creative people in the world to warrant a singular style of mead. Hence the variety.

To understand how we can make mead classification simpler, though, let’s first take a look at beer and wine.

One? Try “Many”

To list every beer and wine available to those willing would be an exercise in what it takes to slowly drop into insanity. There’s too many!

However, we can categorize individual varieties of each drink into larger, umbrella-like terms, correct? Absolutely.

Beer: Lager, Pale Ale, India Pale Ale (IPA), Porter, Stout

Wine: Riesling, Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Grigio, Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon, Zinfandel, Syrah, Pinot Noir, Malbec, Merlot.

Do these umbrella terms cover everything? No. Do they help prevent “Way-too-many-options-oh-my-word-I’m-freaking-out-itis?” Yes.

Let’s simplify the nomenclature even further:


Light – Lager, Pale Ale (mostly), IPA (sometimes)

Heavy – Pale Ale (sometimes), IPA, Porter, Stout


White (often lighter body, sweeter taste) – Riesling, Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Grigio, Chardonnay

Red (often heavier body, richer taste) – Cabernet Sauvignon, Zinfandel, Syrah, Pinot Noir, Malbec, Merlot.

What About Mead?

Just like its younger counterparts, there are simpler ways to classify mead. Granted, we highly recommend exploring the subtle complexities that come with such a longstanding drink, but we also favor your sanity.

Unflavored meads: sweet, dry, semi-sweet, semi-dry

Flavored meads: Melomel (made with fruits), Metheglin (made with herbs and spices), Braggot (mixed with beer).

Chances are, whether you’re early on in your mead drinking career or a seasoned veteran, you’ve tried a mead that falls into one of the above categories. See? Simple as that!

We have several category qualifiers on sale right here. While we may not be able to share a glass with you in-person, we’re happy to give you a batch of mead to sip on at home. Check out our supply today!