New Product Announcement… coming soon

I’m very excited for an upcoming product announcement that will be a departure for Bardic Brews. In the past, all of our work has been about fermentation in general, and mead in particular. However, despite my love of mead and fermentation, it was never my intention to keep the focus of this website so narrow.

Herbalism is a big part of my meadmaking strategy; I have incorporated herbs into my concoctions from the very beginning. And indeed, herbalism has been an increasing part of my life since this website began.

This new publication, which will be released in the coming days, is also near and dear to me personally. I’ve had asthma since I was a small child, and have struggled throughout my life to keep it under control so that I can live the life I wish to live with minimal impact from the asthma.

For this new, upcoming product, I am teaming up with Sean Donahue, to bring you a packet of information called Herbal Asthma Strategies. Sean, who deals with asthma himself, has used these strategies to improve his own health, and to help many other people — including me.

I can’t tell you how excited we are to bring this information out to the public. For people like myself who have struggled with asthma their entire lives, being reliant upon the steroid-based products of the pharmaceutical industry, this information is a life-changer, empowering us to increase our health naturally, affordably, and sustainably.

This publication will consist of several high-quality audio recordings (in mp3 format so you can put them on your portable player), where Sean discusses the nuances of his strategies in detail, as well as a more concise booklet summarizing the information in the recordings.

Best of all, this information will be extremely affordable. It will cost less than most other asthma remedies commonly in use, and the information contained within will never run out, it can be used for the rest of your life. And, because we want to make this important information available to everyone, we will be offering it on a sliding scale.

Watch this space for the official announcement and launch coming later this week!

Blackberry Cyser

For much of 2011, I’ve been experimenting greatly with herbal meads. Some of them have been fantastic, others powerful brews yet perhaps not the best tasting. There have been quite a few complex brews this year as I experiment and hone my meadmaking craft with the herbal skills I am also gaining.

I wanted to make a simpler mead that celebrated the local season. In Maine during autumn, this means cyser. We also had some blackberries floating around from earlier in the  year (love our new freezer), so I thawed a quart of those to put into the batch. Simple: blackberry cyser. Just the ticket.

I started with 3 gallons of fresh, nonpasteurized, non-UV treated cider from the orchard around the corner:

3 gallons of fresh-pressed, non-treated or processed apple cider

I added 2 cups of organic black tea:

And I whizzed up a quart of thawed blackberries in the blender:

Mixed it with enough honey (about 3/4 gallon) to get to 18% alcohol potential:

And the result is a cloudy but beautifully-colored must:

Definitely a seasonal brew. Can’t wait to try this one in a few months!

UPDATE, 20 Feb 2012

Just racked this brew. Wow, delicious! Needs to age a bit but it’s very well-balanced, semisweet at 3% remaining alcohol potential, 15% alcohol, and a lovely tartness from the apples balanced with a nice blackberry layer of flavor.

It’s still cloudy, though clearer than the Perry Cyser. Not much blackberry coloration, it looks pretty much like a plain cyser:

Already tastes very good, should get even better given a few more months….