My introduction to mead wine began while I was in college at Indiana University (I really did learn a lot there!) on the day I discovered Oliver Winery and their mead. For years I would love this wine, even after graduating college and moving away I would make a point of stopping at Oliver to grab a bottle or two if I was ever in town. When I moved to Chicago, a bar in my old neighborhood- Hopleaf, a place reknown mostly for their beer, also offered two versions of mead on their menu, one of which was a Polish variety that resembled a viscous cough syrup, and less than the refreshingly sweet version of mead I once grew to love.
Over the years, my palate has changed, and while I may enjoy a glasss of Oliver’s Mead as an attempt at nostalgia, I find it too sweet for my palate these days. More often than not, if I am drinking wine, I tend to stick with a glass of dry red or rose in the summer.
Fortunately, there is a place in Fountain Square that has bridged the gap for this dry-loving oenophile. New Day Meadery . The owners Brett and Tia have been at this a long time, beginning with beekeeping, to production of mead, to the grand opening of New Day Meadery in the Fountain Square neighborhood in 2010. They are masters of their craft, and it clearly shows in the final product. The Mead that New Day produces is far more refined and suits a mature palate, more so than any I’ve ever had.
On my first visit to New Day I was blown away by the pristine interior, and intimate setting, marrying the old and the new, the sleek white tables and chairs, exposed brick, the white tin fleur-de-lys ceiling, and well-worn wood floors, that (mostly) appear to be original to this building.
The second we walked in I knew I was going to really like this place, and they certainly didn’t disappoint. The staff and owners are some of the friendliest people in all of Indianapolis, and masters at their craft.
In addition to mead, New Day also produces amazing sparkling Ciders, that are readily available for sample and sale in a growler at their tasting room.
SPARKLING CIDERS AND HONEY WINES
Growlers are an initial cost of $4 and a Fill or Refill on your next visit ranges $12-$15
Gold Rush: Crisp, refreshing hard apple cider made from 2 varieties of heirloom apples from Wabash, IN.
South Cider: Hard apple cider slightly sweetened with honey; notes of fresh apple and a creamy finish.
Johnny Chapman: Hard apple cider sweetened with Indiana sorghum; caramel and malt notes with a sweet cider finish.
Washington’s Folly: Light and refreshing with hints of cherry and a smooth honey finish.
ReThinker: Fill Lightly hopped aroma with fresh blueberry notes and a lingering bitter citrus finish.
Snap Dragon: Apricot & honey wine fermented with orange peel, coriander, Hallertau hops & Belgian Wit yeast.
Paulding Light: Fill $12/Glass $5 5% Sugar, 6% ABV: Cranberry & honey wine with fresh lime juice added.
Breakfast Magpie: Heady coffee aroma with notes of black raspberries mixed with chocolate and coffee.
Live Currant: A sweet-tart in a glass, made from tart black currants and sweet, local honey.
STILL MEADS AND HONEY WINES-Available by The Bottle($16-$26) or Glass($5-$6)
Dry Mead: Soft, dry, white wine. Honey notes with hints of clove and mineral with a smooth finish.
Dry Blueberry Honey Wine: Light bodied, dry red wine. Floral and tart, cherry notes with a subtle spiced finish.
Semi-Dry Mead: Lightly sweet, honey noted white wine. Honey and spice notes followed by mineral and a smooth rich finish.
Semi-Sweet Plum Honey Wine: Sweet and spicy blush wine. Top notes of bing cherry and plum with undertones of cinnamon, mace, and fig.
Semi-Sweet Black Raspberry: Rich, sweet red wine. Rich bramble fruit front with notes of smoke, juniper and cassis with a smooth finish.
(Descriptions are courtesy of New Day’s Website)
By far my favorite is actually the Breakfast Magpie, available in the winter months, it’s coffee and chocolate flavors are like nothing I’ve ever tasted. I also really love the still Dry Mead as well as The South Cider, great for sipping in the summer! If you are not sure where to start, begin with a flight.
New Day Meadery is available at various locations throughout the Indianapolis area, but do yourself a favor and check out their tasting room in Fountain Square.
New Day Meadery is located at 1102 Prospect St. Indianapolis, IN 46203
Hours are:Tuesday-Friday: 2-9PM, Saturday:12-9PM, Sunday: 12-6PM