The Show Bear is a traditional show mead from House Bear Brewing out of Amesbury, MA (not to far away from me). It is a varietal mead made from blueberry blossom honey and took home the Gold medal in the 2014 Mead Free Or Die International mead competition – a fact that is prominently displayed on the front of the label.
The mead really caught my eye on the shelf at my local liquor store. For one, I hadn’t yet heard of House Bear Brewing – shame on me since they have been around since 2013. And primarily since the label was so unique…more on that later.
It pours light, translucent yellow with a slight greenish tint. The aroma is quite unique. There are notes of waxy honey along with what I can only describe as fresh green sapling leafiness – nice description right? That green leaf freshness melds with citrus notes as well.
The first sip is a bit harsh and astringent at first, which gives way to some tart apple and citrus, then a little booziness with some more astringence (is that a word? If not, it should be). It drinks light and smooth but feels a little waxy as it coats the tongue. It’s not too sweet, but the lack of sweetness allows the alcohol to play a bit too much of a starring role. It finishes tart, fruity and tannic like nibbling on a grape peal.
The label is almost one of those so-bad-it’s-good designs…almost. The illustration itself could work if everything else around it was more refined. I do like the choice of color – it definitely pops. The teal and purple band of color (bear scarf maybe?) on the white background grabs attention on the liquor store shelf. It along with the bear provide some nice movement across the bottle that stops at the awkwardly placed piano. Speaking of awkwardly placed, there’s the medal. Is the bear wearing it?
Is that Times New Roman I see making an appearance on the mead description? I guess it’s in keeping with the theme. It must be a hipster thing.
On a different note, House Bear Brewing has a mead cocktail recipe on their site using the Show Bear, which should really intriguing:
Flip the Script (from Meaghan at Booze Epoque)
- 1.5 ounces Show Bear mead
- 1 ounce gin (batch 10)
- 0.5 ounces grand marnier.
- 5 ounces fresh orange juice
- 1 ounce heavy cream
- 1 egg white
Dry shake all ingredients. Add ice, shake until frothy. Strain into glass.
If you’ve given this a shot, let me know what you thought of it.