Make us your home page
Instagram

St. Bart's meadery to launch in Palm Harbor

The craft beer craze continues unabated, with cider nipping at its heels. Hops, wheat, even apples — these ingredients have to be shipped into Florida from far away. What does the locavore drink, then, beyond orange juice? Soon the answer will be mead.

St. Bartholomew's Mead (St. Bart was the patron saint of the honey crop) will debut early in 2014 in Palm Harbor. This hobby-turned-business is the brainchild of Bob Lasseter, who started making batches of mead several years back on Wednesdays and Sundays while his wife was at church.

Forbes Magazine has recognized mead as one of the year's biggest culinary trends, with artisan honey also making the list. So Lasseter has a double-whammy on his hands. Dozens of craft brewers have tried their hands at the ancient honey-water-yeast alcoholic drink, and it's likely the recently closed Roosevelt 2.0 in Ybor City will be reborn as a cider and mead bar.

Lasseter remains unimpressed with many of the commercial efforts, saying that the honey-to-water ratio is often off and that these products aren't aged long enough. He takes local, unpasteurized honey, heats it to remove bacteria, then mixes it with liquid (water, grape juice, cider — but the ratio is 3-to-1 honey to liquid), cools it and adds the yeast. Beyond the traditional ones, he makes metheglin versions spiced with things like cinnamon sticks and cloves, and melomel styles made with fruit. Think combinations like cherry chipotle. Then he ferments for three to four weeks, ages for six months, bottles it, and ages it for another six months.

Because it is made from an agricultural product and the finished product is 14 to 16 percent alcohol (twice as strong as most craft beers), St. Bartholomew's has to be licensed as a winery. His aim is to debut one a week starting in February, with availability from a tasting room, online (visit blackfoxmeadery.com) and through Pepin Distributing.

While Lasseter thinks most people are still a little fuzzy on exactly what mead is, he thinks its future looks bright.

"There's been a renewed interest in mead because of craft beer, but here's something that's 100 percent different. People want to try something new."

Laura Reiley can be reached at lreiley@tampabay.com or (727) 892-2293.

St. Bart's meadery to launch in Palm Harbor 11/14/13 [Last modified: Thursday, November 14, 2013 6:45pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Top things to do in Tampa Bay for Sept. 24

    Events

    Zac Brown Band: The country, folk and Southern rockers embark on the "Welcome Home" tour in support of the album. 7 p.m., MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheatre at the Florida State Fairgrounds, 4802 U.S. 301 N, Tampa. $27.50-$77.50. (813) 740-2446.

    Handout photo of the Zac Brown Band, performing at the MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheatre in Tampa on 9/24/17. Credit: Shore Fire Media
  2. Top things to do in Tampa Bay for Sept. 23

    Events

    Smithsonian Museum Day Live: Museums across the nation partner with the Smithsonian to offer free admission for one day. Among them are Florida Holocaust Museum, Leepa-Rattner Museum of Art in Tarpon Springs.Cracker Country in Tampa, Ringling Museum of Art. Note: Dalí Museum is free for Pinellas County …

    The Museum of Fine Arts in St. Petersburg is among the museums participating in the Smithsonian's Museum Day Live, offering free admission. (LANCE ROTHSTEIN   |  Special to the Times)
  3. Tampa Repertory's 'Flying' soars in some places, sputters in others

    Stage

    TAMPA — Tampa Repertory Theatre has always insisted on putting on plays that mean something. Several shows over the last couple of years have zeroed in on the social and cultural baggage that comes with being female (The Children's Hour, Silent Sky and Grounded come to mind). None of those …

    The Southeastern premiere of Flying, Sheila Cowley's play at Tampa Repertory Theatre about veterans of the Women's Air Force Service Pilots, includes (from left) Holly Marie Weber, Rosemary Orlando, and Becca McCoy. Photo by Megan Lamasney.
  4. After 22 years, it's last call for beloved Ybor venue New World Brewery

    Music & Concerts

    YBOR CITY — Steve Bird spreads his tools across a patio table. He has awnings to unbolt and paraphernalia to unpry, from the busted Bop City neon by the stage to the Simpsons "El Duffo o Muerte" mural in the courtyard. He'll uproot a fountain and dismantle a roof and attempt to keep his bar intact. The …

    Various decor and memorabilia fill the walls and shelves at New World Brewery in Ybor City.
Long time music venue and hangout New World Brewery in Ybor City will be closing it's doors and moving locations. Patrons enjoy one of the last events before New World Brewery changes its location to Busch Blvd in Tampa.  [Photo Luis Santana | Times]