WILLIAMSBURG — Local Silver Hand Meadery took home five gold medals and six silvers for its various flavors of mead at the 2022 Virginia Governor’s Cup hosted by the Virginia Wineries Association.
The Virginia Governor’s Cup is one of the most stringent competitions in the U.S.. The competition is hosted by the Virginia Wineries Association in partnership with the Virginia Wine Board and the Virginia Vineyards Association.
After 10 days of preliminary judging, the selected bottles are compared in a final round lasting another 3 days, where Silver Hand Meadery was awarded the gold and silver medals based on the competition criteria.
“We’ve been open since 2015, and the first year we entered [the Virginia Governor’s Cup] competition we had judges sheets come back to us with no score saying, ‘I don’t even know what this is.’ Like, that was written on a judge’s scoring sheet,” Glenn Lavender, owner of Silver Hand Meadery, said.
“Part of the success, I think, is just that the industry has gotten to understand what this beverage is better,” he continued.
The meadery prides itself on taking the historic beverage and bringing it back onto modern shelves, but they haven’t been doing it by recreating the mead of old. Instead, they are constantly innovating and perusing to reimagine the once common drink.
Thanks to the creative and innovative efforts of their brewmaster, Sam Straight, Ph.D., they have been able to create brews year after year with various types of honey from the many bees the meadery employs.
They have seen so much success they have moved their main production facility to Toano in order to make more mead to keep up with demand. They are currently working on setting up a smaller fermentation system to keep in the meadery itself, but most production is happening at the new facility.
“All the recognition has just been really, really cool,” Lavender says.
In the future, the meadery will be releasing several new flavors with their Mead Day celebration on Aug 6. Additionally, there will be a dedication ceremony for their mural on Aug. 20. Those interested in attending events at the meadery can RSVP on its website.