WILLIAMSBURG — Silver Hand Meadery found state-wide success in 2021 with its fermented honey.
This year, the meadery, located at 224 Monticello Ave., took home six gold medal awards at a state-wide wine competition called The Governor’s Cup. They won gold for their meads called: “Soak up the Sun”, “All Blues”, “Strawberry Swing”, “Raspberry Passion”, “Dream By The Fire”, and “Black Velvet”.
“We just had an incredible showing this year. Six of our meads won gold which is shocking to us,” said Owner and Founder of Silver Hand Meadery Glenn Lavender in an interview with WYDaily. “Winning six golds was kind of a shocker to the whole Virginia wine industry because there was only one winery that had more golds than us. So that had a lot of people wondering about what are we doing in Williamsburg with honey.”
Lavender says that as long as you have a sugar source and yeast, you can ferment. So when you’re making wines, the sugar typically comes from the sugars of the fruit. When you’re making beer, the sugar is extracted from the grains in the brewing process. When you’re making meads, the sugars come from honey.
“So whatever flavor you have in your initial ingredients really highly contributes to the final product. So we like specializing in varietal honey. The varietal is a monofloral [produced from the nectar of only one plant] honey,” said Lavender. “Like if you have bees collecting nectar from orange trees down in Florida you’ll get like Orange Flavor honey. It has a really distinct flavor. There’s also blueberry flavor, and there’s avocado. There are all sorts of different flavors of honey based on the nectar sources. So we like to play with those, but we also add different ingredients like fruits, herbs, and spices.”
Silver Hand Meadery has been operating in Williamsburg for about six years. Lavender feels like they are just finally starting to hit their stride. He says that winning the awards is “pretty awesome not just for Williamsburg, but for the whole mead world.”
This is because they have inspired more meaderies to enter the Governor’s Cup and share their creations with judges and others in Virginia. The competition has never awarded gold to a Meadery before. Silver Hand Meadery was the first. Just recently the competition added one or two other categories that are more in line with other mead competitions. Now there are categories like “fruit mead” and “cider mead”.
As the local business prepares for 2022 Lavendar says that they’ll “just try and keep making good products.”
For more information on Silver Hand Meadery, you can check out their Facebook page, or their website.