Arpad László Kovacs combined his desire to make wine with his family’s experience in beekeeping to open Miracle Stag Meadery in Loveland, where he creates a wide variety of meads with Rocky Mountain water and local wildflower honey. “Honey is obviously the most important part of the product,” he explains, so he uses natural and organic ingredients, with no preservatives, whenever available.
One of his most popular small-batch meads, Dragonblood, is inspired by Game of Thrones. “It gets its wonderful red color from cherries, raspberries, blueberries and blackberries,” Kovacs notes, adding that Dragonblood has a rounded character from oak aging, but the fruitiness still comes through in the finish.
Honeymoon, which is also oak-aged, is made with raisins and dates. “The oak flavor makes it perfect for making mixed drinks with whiskey or bourbon,” the mead maker points out. “In general, meads tend to have a bit of a sharp, boozy quality initially, which smooths out with oxygenation. It’s something not far from what you’d experience in whiskey or bourbon."
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Just in time for fall, Yule Lad is a spiced mead similar to apple cider. “It’s the flavors you’d find in an apple pie,” Kovacs says. Saucy Wapiti is his most classic mead style, made with just honey, water and yeast.
“People are realizing it’s another gluten-free option,” Kovacs notes of mead's recent increase in popularity. He adds that he has seen an increased interest from bars that want to offer mead to customers.
Because mead has the potential for aging well, Miracle Stag's bottles are labeled with a "born on" date, and they're also marked dry, semi-sweet or sweet to help you pick the right mead for your palate.
Currently, Miracle Stag Meadery is available by the pour at Brix Brew & Tap in Greeley, Loveland Tap & Tavern, and The Barrel and the Wapiti Colorado Pub, both in Estes Park. You can also buy it by the bottle in liquor stores throughout northern Colorado, including Argonaut Wine & Liquor in Denver, Boulder Wine & Spirits and Wyatt’s Wet Goods in Longmont. For more information, visit miraclestagmead.com.