Sweet taste of success

25 Sep, 2002 10:00 PM
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THE age-old tradition of making alcohol has been embraced by one Denmark local in its original formula ‹ mead, or honey wine.

Forming part of the Great Southern District and Denmark Guest Town displays at this year's Perth Royal Show, Bartholomew's Meadery will exhibit the world's oldest known alcoholic beverage.

As WA's only producer of honey wine, Bartholomew's Meadery joins just six others in Australia and 40 around the world to make the ancient drop.

Despite its age recovering the recipe was no easy feat for founder Bart Lebbing, who admits he almost began believing those who said he was crazy to go into the mead business when he first attempted to get the venture off the ground in 1987.

Different climatic conditions and honey varieties made producing the wine more difficult than he anticipated.

But persistence and some encouraging words from a visiting European mead expert ensured Bart did not give up.

Today he produces a dry, sweet and medium mead as well as a honey liqueur and an ancient spiced drink, known as metheglin, which is served much like a mulled wine on a cold winter's eve.

The meadery also produces a range of unprocessed honeys, which are produced from the wide variety of trees in the Great Southern region to capture the flavours of the natural flora.

Business partner Barbara Thayne adds ice-cream production and self-produced artworks to the enterprise, which has captured the interest and taste buds of passers-by since its inception.

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