Sunday, August 11, 2013

Millstone Cellars

Adam and I have been diverging a bit from out typical consumption and love of beer and wine. Don't get me wrong, we still thoroughly enjoy both, but we have been venturing into the ciders and meads lately, especially with Adam delving into making his own meads and I have been making true ginger beer. For his graduation present, my parents got Adam a bunch of supplies needed to start making mead at home and he is LOVING it. The first batch was a strawberry mead, apricot mead, and a plain honey mead. The strawberry mead was just bottled after months of fermenting and it is delicious. He wanted me to have a "brewing" project as well, to share the experience, so I took up ginger beer. This is not the stuff you buy off the shelf that is the equivalent of ginger ale, but packs quite an alcoholic punch and is amazingly delicious. I am currently on my 4th batch and I think that I am finally getting the process down and the flavoring fine tuned. It really is a lot of fun!
So, back to the point. We have really become interested in meads and small operations that are doing the same thing we are doing. We first came across Millstone Cellars at the Wine Festival at Pimlico in the Spring, and then again last month at a mead and cider tasting event we went to. Each time we came away with a couple of bottles because they are so tasty. Their location is a bit north of Baltimore, just far enough that it was slightly annoying to venture to just on its own, but when we found ourselves up there for Adam's Ferrari driving, we knew we had to go. GO HERE, IT IS AWESOME.
It is a small operation that just started up a couple of years ago run by a father, his son and daughter, and a daughter's friend from high school. That's it, and they produce 7000 gallons of mead and cider a year. The building they are housed in is literally an old millstone (thus the name) and is absolutely BEAUTIFUL. We were given a private tour (we were the only ones there) by the daughter, Sarah, and had an awesome time. We wandered throughout the entire building, her sharing both the history of the building and location, as well as their personal history in the business. After the tour, we did the complementary tasting (the entire experience is FREE), and ended up hanging out and just talking with her and the high school friend for a while...just a relaxing afternoon. While they are still up and coming, still working on renovating the building, you can completely envision them growing with their success, and the tasting room expanding. We told them that they needed an outdoor seating area with some charcuterie boards and fruit trays. Seriously, we could have easily spent all day there.
If you are ever in the area, and this intrigues you, please let us know, we would LOVE to accompany you!
The awesome building

Where the old water wheel use to be

Meads in the making, the old tasting room

Testing mixes for possible future production

So much cider and mead...happy place

Adam learning the trade