Who Are They?
Kinsale Mead Co is an independent, family-run meadery founded by Kate and Denis Dempsey. They wanted to revive the ancient art of mead making and bring it bang up to date with modern techniques in the historic Cork habour town of Kinsale. The Irish have been making and drinking this natural, honey-based alcoholic drink since around the 5th Century. But this is the first new Irish mead in a very long time, possibly centuries.
What are they best known for?
Reintroducing refreshingly delicious meads to the Irish market. They work closely with food experts to discover great food pairing and with mixologists to create exciting, new mead cocktails.
How Do They Do It?
Fermented from honey, Mead is the oldest known alcoholic drink. It was the choice of ancient Irish chieftains and their people on high days and at great feasts. Kate and Denis carefully source raw honey, mix it with the local water and let the yeast turn the sugars into alcohol, maturing to finish off dry, not sweet, and at a light 12% ABV.
Have They Been Successful?
Their first bottle was on the shelf last September and they are now in around 90 outlets all over Ireland. They were thrilled to receive the recognition of their peers with a gold medal win for their Atlantic Dry Mead at the International Mazer Cup, known as the World Cup of mead.
What Is Their Philosophy?
From the bee to the bottle, they handcraft their Mead in small batches. The quality of the ingredients is crucial. Their orange blossom honey comes from sunny southern Spain and their blackcurrants in their Wild Red Mead from Wexford in the sunny south-east.
What Does The Future Hold?
Lots of experimentation, collaboration and new mead recipes with increased distribution around Ireland and abroad.
Can I Meet The Maker?
Yes, they have just opened up the meadery in Kinsale for tours where you can learn about Mead's long and glorious global history. They talk about the bees and then walk you through the production area. They have honey to sample and you can see where their meads are fermented, matured and bottled and then they finish in the tasting room where you can taste some of the finished product and buy some to take home.
Are They On Social Media?
Yes, Twitter, Facebook and Instagram @KinsaleMeadCo
And Finally, What’s Their Pro-Tip When It Comes to Food, Drink or Entertaining?
Kate and Denis suggest pairing chilled Atlantic Dry Mead with olives or a light goats cheese salad, fresh seafood or a raspberry and white chocolate sponge. The Wild Red Mead is best at room temperature paired with any dish that would go well with a fruity sauce such as lamb, duck or sticky barbecue ribs.
And if you are feeling extra indulgent - mead is divine, sipped with rich, dark chocolate.