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The newest oldest beverage: Give in to the mead | Under Rocks Podcast

Photos: Mike Lundgren

What do you think of when you hear the word "mead?" Vikings, Renaissance Faires, a cloying sweet nectar? The Under Rocks team discovers the joy of modern mead during a visit to downtown Elburn.

A beverage once drunk from chalices in great Viking halls is now elbowing its way back into your neighborhood bar.

Mead, or honey wine, is considered the world’s oldest booze: Now new generations are discovering it as meaderies begin to pop up in Illinois. WNIJ’s Under Rocks podcast team followed the sweet smell of fermenting honey to the Kane County village of Elburn. That’s where Obscurity Brewing has added craft meads to its beer and cider repertoire. We met with co-owner Luke Goucher and brewmaster Carson Souza.

Mike Lundgren

Have a seat while Luke and Carson walk us through the mead-making process, celebrate the magic of honey bees, and explain fermentation in ways a five-year-old can understand.

Mike Lundgren

Then they get to the part we’ve all been waiting for: how to taste and appreciate mead like a pro.

Mike Lundgren

Feeling inspired and ready to DIY a jug of your own? WNIJ Blues Host Harold Brown gets an assist from Austin Cliffe as they brew up three very special meads: pawpaw, banana, and mystery flavor!

Harold Brown

Thanks to everyone who pitched in on this sweet-but-not-cloying adventure: The staff of Obscurity Brewing and Mead, Claire Buchanan, Jared Ortega, Mike Lundgren, Harold Brown, Austin Cliffe, Dan Libman, Spencer Tritt, and Susan Stephens. Did we forget anyone?

Mike Lundgren

Under Rocks is produced at Northern Illinois University by WNIJ. If you know about something odd, interesting, and unusual here in northern Illinois and southern Wisconsin that deserves our spotlight, let us know at rocks@niu.edu or head to wnij.org/youask.

Dan Libman is an author, teacher, correspondent, and adventurous host of the WNIJ podcast Under Rocks.
Spencer's creativity shows up in a variety of spaces on-air and online for WNIJ. He graduated from Northern Illinois University with a degree in Communications and Digital Media Production. Spencer's interest in multimedia comes from a mix of his love for arts and music with an interest in technology.
Susan is an award-winning reporter/writer at her favorite radio station. She's also WNIJ's Perspectives editor, Under Rocks contributor, and local host of All Things Considered.