I recently finished reading a great little book on mead – and by finished, I mean only a couple hours after I started it. It was sent to me a while ago by Ayele Solomon – author and founder of Bee D’Vine (Thank you to Chrissie Manion Zaerpoor of Kookoolan World Meadery for connecting us). It took me a while after receiving it to actually start it, but when I did – It went by quite quickly. The Celebrated Story of Honey Wine is a great primer for those looking to get into drinking and making mead.
Ayele’s conversational style of writing keeps the discourse informal, playful and light. The color illustrations throughout carry the same friendly feeling. The illustrations and writing style are a good deviation from the cover which is a little more formal. This is a bit of a shame. I think most of the books out there about mead have a more traditional feel to them. For example, look at the meadmaker’s bible – The Compleat Meadmaker by Ken Schramm.
The cover has a similar feel to that of Ayele’s book. It would be great if the cover of The Celebrated Story of Honey Wine portrayed the same feeling as the pages behind it. It would differentiate itself from the other ones out there. Though the prose is casual and easy-going, Ayele’s appreciation for mead is undoubtedly strong. You can tell it is written by somebody who is truly passionate about honey wine.
Throughout every page of the book, Ayele celebrates his cherished drink – almost to a fault. With lines like “No wine looks as divine as honey wine” and “The best way to experience honey wine is to drink it with reverence and knowledge. To help with the knowledge part, read below. As for reverence? That will come naturally.” Chrissie Manion Zaerpoor mentions in her review on amazon,
Consider this the Cliff’s Notes guide to mead, the bootstrap guide to mead. No long boring discussions of Vikings and Mesopotamians here. This is the quick modern guide to high-quality, modern American craft meads. It’s a winner! Drink more mead!
I totally agree. Overall its a solid account of the history and current consumption of mead, geared more toward a novice mead drinker but can be appreciated by experts as well. And the drink more mead part – absolutely! Support the Mead industry and buy the book on amazon – Only $10: The Celebrated Story of Honey Wine or, Ayele offers a digital version of his book for free on his site beedvine.com