When Shane and Alexandria Fox realized the mead they were making for family and friends was becoming more than just a hobby, they remodeled their Aurora garage, got permits, and started a commercial mead business, Dragon Meadery, out of their own home in 2014.
Both former chefs, the Foxes got into brewing the fermented honey beverage in 2004. “Shane was telling me about this drink called mead and that he had everything to make it from scratch,” says Alexandria. “I said, ‘We’re chefs, let’s do this,'” she recalls.
The two began by making mead in their 700-square-foot apartment, but the first bottles ended up exploding. Not willing to give up, they made a second batch. That mead went on to win a silver medal at the International Mead Festival for a traditional mead.
The Foxes age all of their meads for at least one year. Shane compares the alcoholic drink to craft beer, since there are so many flavor profiles possible, from dry to sweet, and eclectic ingredients like fruit and herbs. But there’s more to mead than meets the eye, he explains. Bochet, for example, is a type of mead in which the honey is caramelized. “You can get honey that’s clear and sweet or as black as a Guinness,” he explains. Fox sources his honey from a third-generation beekeeper in Fort Collins.
When talking mead and food, Shane and Alexandria agree that the possibilities for pairings are endless. Full-bodied meads, such as their Paul’s Plagiarized Potion — with notes of smoke, dark cherry and spice — could pair nicely with a steak. “The Blueberry Lemon Melomel would go nicely with citrusy salads, appetizers and seafood,” Shane recommends, while Alexandria suggests reducing the sweeter varieties, like their Raspberry Melomel, with butter and pouring the resulting sauce over ice cream.
The Foxes point out that the Colorado mead scene has been expanding recently. “A few years back, there were only about four throughout the state. Now there are seven or eight opened and a few more finalizing plans,” Shane says.
Dragon Meadery is the first in metro Denver and is doing the city’s mead scene justice with a plethora of international medals.
You can visit the meadery by appointment or purchase bottles at Chambers Wine & Liquors, Total Beverage, the Proper Pour and other specialty liquor stores. For a complete list of the meads and where they are available, visit the Dragon Meadery website.