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New British mead launch aims for on-trade

Published:  23 November, 2016

New start-up Crowded Hive has partnered with Denbies Wines Estate to launch a honey wine in the UK.

Initially targeting the on-trade, Crowded Hive is made using Spanish orange blossom honey. It is fermented off-dry and oaked and has an abv of 12.5%.

It has been created to serve as a substitute for Vermouth in cocktails such as martinis or negronis, and can also be served on its own or as a spritzer, half-and-half with soda water and a twist of orange.

Crowded Hive is being launched today, Wednesday, at Beach Blanket Babylon in Notting Hill, and has already won listings at The Blind Pig, Bart's and Gordon's Wine Bar.

Honey wine - also known as mead - is beginning to attract the attention of young sommeliers looking for something different.

It is the fastest growing sector of the alcoholic drinks market in the US in terms of production growth, albeit from a low level.

Crowded Hive is the brainchild of Cambridge science graduate Alex Rice. A percentage of profits from the sale of Crowded Hive will be donated to the Friends of the Earth Save the Bees Campaign.

Future events planned include a mead and cigarette-pairing evening at Ladies and Gents, Kentish Town.