Mead is having a renaissance at these local meaderies.

Thinking of mead, you might visualize sweaty Viking hordes raising a glass after a good old-fashioned pillaging. If that’s the case, it’s time to modernize that image.

Made by fermenting honey with water, mead is incredibly versatile, and no one knows that better than these area meaderies whose products are a far cry from the cloying beverage of yesteryear. From a braggot (half mead, half beer) to a melomel (mead that contains fruit) to a cyser (mead mixed with cider), there are countless varieties on the market.

Leaky Roof Meadery

Mead’s versatility shines at Leaky Roof Meadery in Buffalo, Missouri, where a team of passionate brewers cranks out a wide variety, including Gandy Dancer, its flagship mead. Made with only essential ingredients – honey, yeast and water – Gandy Dancer’s depth and flavor is derived from organic wildflower honey, which Leaky Roof uses as the foundation for many of its products. Also available is High, Dry & Dusty, a classic methoglyn made with ginger – reminiscent of an extremely dry ginger ale – along with a seasonal green tea and mint mead and several barrel-aged berry melomels, or fruit meads.

Leaky Roof Meadery, 1306 S. Azalea St., Buffalo, Missouri, 417.345.1233,

Four Brothers Mead

Tradition reigns supreme at Four Brothers Mead, an old world-style meadery known for its commitment to sourcing local honey for its products. The brothers behind the meadery take pride in their Norse-inspired brews, including Odins Hrafn, their flagship mead dubbed the “nectar of the Gods.” Also on offer are fruitier options such as Ironsides Reign, a bold mead tinged with blackberries. For an at-home mead experience worthy of Thor himself, order a hand-engraved drinking horn on the meadery’s website.

Four Brothers Mead, 124 E. Main St., Festus, Missouri, 636.638.1170,

Black Labs Craft Meadery

At Black Labs Craft Meadery in Olathe, Kansas, it’s all about pushing the envelope. The Black Labs team focuses on defying the stereotypes that surround traditional meadmaking, attracting new mead enthusiasts with creative brews such as Social Deduction made with citrus, sweet basil and habanero. Other concoctions include Seven In Dog Years, a bourbon barrel-aged mead with notes of coffee, cocoa and maple syrup, and Black Raspberried Treasure, the meadery’s flagship melomel made with black raspberries that give it a deep red tint, a hint of sweetness and the flavor of a bold red wine.

Black Labs Craft Meadery, 15833 S. Mahaffie St., Olathe, Kansas,