“Mead me!” she said, as she walked through the doors of Honey Moon, Bellingham’s only meadery. For it had been told that deep within this magical place, pure, golden honey is mixed with water and yeast, and then fermented into an elixir fit for the gods. And so it was.
Honey Moon is located in the alley (also the South Bay Trail) between State Street and Railroad Avenue in Bellingham. It’s easy to spot from Maple Street—just look for the brightly colored murals, a semi-smiling (Mona Lisa-esque) moon and maybe a bicycle built for two.
It’s an easy wander up the street from Boundary Bay Brewery, or down the alley from the Bellingham Farmers Market and Depot Square. Honey Moon is open every night except Sunday, so if you’ve ever wondered what mead is like, you’d best get with the program—after all, the cool kids have been drinking it for eons.
It’s true: humans have been making, drinking, writing and singing about mead since around 9000 BCE. All the classic cultures refer to it in their hymns, sacred texts and epic poems (Beowulf, anyone?), including the early Greeks, Romans, Aztecs, Egyptians, Persians, Scandinavians, Slavs, and Hindus. (And you thought Coca-Cola was a global phenomenon. Pfffft.)
And while we don’t have proof that the ancients were at all concerned about it, mead is another safe-to-indulge-in adult beverage for the gluten-intolerant. So everyone of legal age can belly up to Honey Moon’s bar and share in their meadly delights!
My recent visit to Honey Moon was delightful, indeed, as my cohort and I indulged in a little cider, a little wine, and a bunch o’mead. Basic mead is like a blank canvas—it takes on fruits and spices quite nicely, so the folks at Honey Moon are always mixing up something new to take advantage of our local seasonal bounty.
Our bartender, Don, first brought me a sampler of six meads: Lovers, Rhubarb, Orange, Raspberry, Wassail and Hot Spiced. The Lovers Mead is Honey Moon’s classic mead, made with local honey. It was sweet, but not too sweet, and went very well with our nibbles of cheese. To me, the rhubarb didn’t taste overly rhubarby, but I did taste some tangy strawberry notes. The orange and raspberry were exactly as advertised, while the wassail took me back to the holidays, with a fresh-baked spice cookie aroma, and flavors of cloves and cinnamon. The Hot Spiced Mead warmed me up from the inside out—it would be perfect on a chilly evening.
Honey Moon is also a cidery, producing a quite delicious hard cider, which they call Cider Head. It’s made from local BelleWood Acres apples, is more dry than sweet (which is A-OK by me) and is available on tap all the time. And since I know you’re going to love it, I recommend you plan on taking a bottle or two home with you.
If you can’t decide between mead and cider, just order a Cyser—a traditional blend of hard cider and mead.
In the wine department, Honey Moon offers up their own house blends—a red and a white—as well as sangria, a mix of red wine and (of course) mead, with fruit and soda. I have long enjoyed their red wines, and the current offering, a blend of Zinfandel and Cabernet Franc, did not disappoint.
But what if you don’t care to do like the ancients and toss back a mead? And you’re not a wine or cider person, either? Not to worry! You can still come and hang out with your friends at Honey Moon, because they love you and will always offer a rotating selection of local craft brews.
In addition to the aforementioned cheese plate, Honey Moon can fix you up, food wise, with a variety of soups, snacks, spreads and salads. Sweet things include cakes made by Pure Bliss Desserts, as well as ice cream, cheesecake and truffle pots.
Honey Moon’s atmosphere is perfectly lovely, with brick walls, copper-topped tables, fresh flowers and amazing art. The ceiling is high inside, while outside, the sky’s the limit and the people-watching is as good as the drinks. Nightly music ranges from singer-songwriter types to bluegrass, folk and pop. If you like your tunes on the bawdy side, stop in on April 18 for the Bellingham Dirty Song Revue, hosted by Stinky Pete, Lucas Hicks and Tad Kroening. Might want to leave the little ones at home for this show.
If you’re a bonafide mead lover, you definitely need to make Honey Moon a stop on your next trip to downtown Bellingham. If you don’t yet know whether you’re a mead lover, why not give it a try? Just walk in and say, “Mead me!” You can thank me later.
Honey Moon, 1053 North State Street Alley, Bellingham 360-734-0728
Open Monday – Saturday 5:00 p.m. – 11:00 p.m.
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