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They’re Turning Honey Into A Tasty Adult Beverage
As more folks taste and discover mead, which is alcohol made from honey, more meaderies are opening up throughout the country. Prairie Rose Meadery owners Bob and Susan Ruud may have an advantage. Their Fargo, N. Dak., business is in the state that produces the most honey in the U.S.
  “It’s a hobby gone wild,” says Susan, who happens to be a microbiologist that loves mead and loves fermenting it.
  After tasting mead made by a friend, she started home brewing in 1996. With her meads winning awards from the American Homebrewers Association, the Ruuds officially opened Prairie Rose Meadery in May 2015.
  Ruud deals with one honey producer to provide mostly clover honey and some basswood honey for the several mead varieties she makes.
  “The process is similar to making wine; no heat is involved,” Ruud says. “Mix honey and water and add yeast and nutrients. After a few days add fruit and spices. Let it settle out, filter and bottle it.” Mead is generally ready in 8 to 12 weeks and is about 12 percent alcohol.
  “I use all fresh ingredients and real fruits,” Ruud says. Many of them, such as mint, plum, chokecherry and rhubarb are from North Dakota. She used red grape juice for Pink Rose Grape Mead recently.
  Though North Dakota leads in honey production, Prairie Rose is currently the only meadery in the state. It is one of the hundreds of meaderies listed on www.meadbuzz.com which includes listings by state and country.
  “It takes some education to get people to understand what mead is. That it’s not your grandmother’s mead; it’s not thick and syrupy. We make mead more wine-like and easy drinking,” Ruud says.
  “I get a lot of tourists coming to Fargo who seek out meaderies,” Ruud says. The Ruuds’ tasting room is open Thursdays-Sundays, and they offer samples as well as glasses of mead, cocktails with mead, and sell bottles of mead.
  Working with a shipping company they are also licensed to ship bottles to 35 states.
  “I love the process of making mead and seeing people’s faces when they first try it,” Ruud says. “There is a lot more variety with meads than wine because you can add any flavor or spice.”
  Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Prairie Rose Meadery, Susan and Bob Ruud, 3101 39th St. S., Suite E, Fargo. N. Dak. 58104 (ph 701 356-7706; www.prairierosemeadery.com; meadmkr@far.midco.net).

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2019 - Volume #43, Issue #1