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We had a Mead, Cider, Kombucha Tour...

...and some beer showed up.

Schramm's Mead makes people smile.

Our inaugural "unbeer" tour took place Sunday in Fashionable Ferndale. Kombucha, mead, cider, melomel, cyser, metheglin - a booze by any other name would taste just as sweet.

Our eager crew of brew tourists kicked off the tour at Urbanrest Brewing Company, sampling two different kombuchas and - GASP! - a beer (their lovely Maatilalta Rye Saison). Owner, brewer, Cicerone®, and repurposer extraordinaire Zach gave us the grand tour, explaining that the kombucha scoby is not to be feared, but revered. I still think we're all in trouble should the scoby become self-aware...

A little charcuterie, then off to our second stop: Schramm's Mead. Ken Schramm really did write the book on mead and it shows. Professor of Meaducation Shawn masterfully guided us in all things mead, melomel, and methiglin, including providing us with samples of a variety of honeys, which was super fun for yours truly.

The tour and the guide, forever linked via photography.

The tour wrapped up at B. Nektar Meadery with a flight of cider and meads that made it clear why their products are loved worldwide (no joke). A special look behind the curtain, led by our knowledgeable and hospitable guide Joel, was a real treat. Learning how B. Nektar has grown over the years highlighted the increasing popularity of quality, non-beer, craft beverages like those we sampled at all of our stops on the tour.

A special thanks to all our brew tourists and all our gracious hosts for making this, the first of hopefully many mead/cider/kombucha tours in Ferndale, a rousing success!

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