As Wicomico County prepares to celebrate its 150th anniversary, The Daily Times and DelmarvaNow.com will offer nine days of coverage, much of it recalling where we were 150 years ago and recounting the journey through time that brought us to where we are today. Wochit
An inside look at this year's event. Produced by Ralph Musthaler
Larry Parsons grew up in the restaurant business and eventually decided to his own. Produced by Ralph Musthaler
Big Oyster Brewery's expansion in Lewes will increase production by 2,500 barrels Produced by Megan Raymond
Pico Taqueria offers freshly made tortillas, with a variety of different toppings and is open during Chincoteague's summer season. Produced by Ralph Musthaler
Joe KroArt, Ocean Gallery, was honored by Maryland's Comptroller Peter Franchot Produced by Megan Raymond
The William E. Morgan Conservation Center will offer reptiles, amphibians and conservation programs. Produced by Ralph Musthaler
OC Painting Experience brought to you by T.C. Studios is a place for locals and visitors to learn about painting. Produced by Ralph Musthaler
In Ocean City, Italian bistro Ripieno's specializes in big portions, including its 28-inch large pizza. Produced by Jeff Neiburg
Zap Pro/Am World Championships of Skimboarding held its semi-finals on Friday, August 11, 2017 at Dewey Beach, Del. Produced by Megan Raymond
Hamboards allow riders to surf while on land. Here's what Don Sandusky, owner and general manager of the co., had to say about the newest model. Produced by Gray Hughes
Chef Cameron arguably Delaware's best chef, is quite literally a walking cookbook. His body and his brain are filled with the thousands of books he's read and the hundreds of places he's traveled to learn global cuisine. Produced by Megan Raymond
OC BBQ, which replaced OC Steamers, opened in May and provided a southern barbecue restaurant at the changing 45th Street Village. Wochit
An inside look at this year's event. Produced by Ralph Musthaler
Vineyard Wine Bar and Bistro is providing an upscale food and wine experience at the beach. Wochit
The new space will include an expanded dining area, fire pits, cornhole and a viewing area where customers can observe the brewing process. Produced by Ralph Musthaler
Pony Penning begins with southern and northern roundups on Assateague, the swim to Chincoteague on July 26 followed by the auction on July 27 and capped with the swim back. Wochit/Produced by Kamlesh Desai
Known for their crab cakes, Drum Point Market has gained attention from travelers from all over the country. Produced by Ralph Musthaler and Ben Penserga
A band of wild ponies gallops on Assateague Island. Video courtesy of DSC photography. Darcy Cole, DSC photography
Barn 34 in Ocean City puts the family in family restaurants. Produced by Jeff Neiburg
Highlights from the 2017 Berlin Bathtub Races. Produced by Ralph Musthaler
What's percolating in the world of coffee and coffee shops? Pemberton Coffeehouse is set to open in Salisbury — again. Deborah Gates
Chef Chris Parks has elevated the cuisine at Lupo in Rehoboth over the last few years. Produced by Jeff Neiburg
The 10th Annual Hot Dog Eating Contest at Fish Tales in Ocean City ended with a new winner being crowned!
Delmarvanow.com asks beach visitors about their favorite activities on the Fourth of July. Produced by Megan Raymond
The restaurant offers seafood, speciality pizzas and more to customers. Produced by Meg Ryan
Chris Clare went from a small town ballplayer to a minor-league All-Star. Wochit
Maryland Comptroller Peter Franchot has been touring breweries in Maryland to learn about their economic impact on their respective communities. Produced by Jeff Neiburg
Alan Goldsborough of Crisfield and daughter, Heather, have opened Shipwrecked Seafood at Route 50 and Main Street in Berlin. Live, steamed and softshells to go! Deborah Gates
Ropewalk Chincoteague offers waterfront dining, a tiki bar and more. Produced by Ralph Musthaler
Near perfect weather made for an exciting air show. Produced by Ralph Musthaler
Gilligan's, on the canal waterfront in Lewes, reopened after an off-season remodel. Produced by Jeff Neiburg
Indigo in Rehoboth, a new restaurant, is one of the Delaware beach area's only Indian restaurants. Produced by Jeff Neiburg
Roadie Joe's owner talks about how his business has grown along with Salisbury. Produced by Ralph Musthaler
High Stakes Bar & Grill in Fenwick Island recently renovated. Produced by Jeff Neiburg
Rare & Rye Owner Sal Fasano describes the newest hotel restaurant in OC Produced by Megan Raymond
SoDel's Scott Kammerer at the newest Bluecoast Seafood Grill and Raw Bar Produced by Megan Raymond
Salisbury will play host to a major festival and tourism draw next year that is expected to bring in tens of millions of dollars to the city. Video by Keith Demko
Peter and Linda Roskovich's family beach home will be featured on HGTV's "Beachfront Bargin Hunt: Renovation" Produced by Megan Raymond
Take a virtual walk along the Ocean City Boardwalk while checking out some of the sounds and sights. Produced by Gray Hughes
Burley Oak Brewing Company is aiming for a July opening for a new, coffee-inspired cafe in downtown Berlin. Wochit
Local fans of HGTV’s television show, “House Hunters,” will soon see their hometown in an upcoming episode. Wochit
Downtown Salisbury Festival returns June 2-4 with with carnival rides, food vendors, craft beer, a full entertainment lineup and local vendors. Wochit
- WATCH: Recalling Wicomico County's 150th Anniversary
- WATCH: Scenes from 58th Annual Skipjack Race
- WATCH: Woody's Beach BBQ owner keeps it simple
- WATCH: Big Oyster Brewery to open in Lewes
- WATCH: Pico Taqueria brings Mexican American fare to Chincoteague
- WATCH: Ocean Gallery honored by Maryland Comptroller
- WATCH: Salisbury Zoo cuts ribbon for new conservation center
- WATCH: Local art studio offers visitors a chance to relax and paint
- WATCH: Ripieno's in Ocean City does big portions
- WATCH: Zap Pro/Am World Championships of Skimboarding semi-finals
- WATCH: Surf on land with Hamboards
- WATCH: Chef's Corner- Chef Hari Cameron a(muse.)
- WATCH: OC BBQ offers Southern eats in a former seafood restaurant
- WATCH: Scenes from the 41st annual J. Millard Tawes Crab and Clam Bake
- WATCH: A new wine experience in Rehoboth
- WATCH: Evolution plans outdoor expansion with green space
- Pony Penning 2017: What to expect
- WATCH: Smith Island store draws people from afar
- Chincoteague ponies kick up their heels
- WATCH: Barn 34 in Ocean City a family affair
- WATCH: Scenes from the 28th Bathub Races
- WATCH: Pemberton Coffeehouse set to reopen
- WATCH: Chef Chris Parks shining at Lupo in Rehoboth
- WATCH: 10th Annual Hot Dog Eating Contest at Fish Tales in Ocean City
- WATCH: What is your favorite thing to do on the Fourth?
- WATCH: Buxy's owner expands business footprint with newly opened Dry Dock 28
- WATCH: Shorebirds All-Star sets the bar high
- WATCH: Comptroller Franchot rallying craft beer industry
- WATCH: Shipwrecked in Berlin
- WATCH: Ropewalk Chincoteague brings waterfront dining to both locals and visitors
- WATCH: Air Show draws a big crowd to Ocean City
- WATCH: Gilligan's in Lewes opens after remodel
- WATCH: Indigo in Rehoboth serves rare Indian cuisine
- WATCH: Roadie Joe's serves up sophisticated pub fare
- WATCH: High Stakes renovates in Fenwick
- WATCH: Rare & Rye isn't the average hotel restaurant
- WATCH: SoDel's Bluecoast Seafood Grill open in Rehoboth
- WATCH: Salisbury lands National Folk Festival starting in 2018
- WATCH: HGTV Beachfront Bargin Hunt comes to Ocean City
- WATCH: Sights and sounds of the Ocean City Boardwawlk
- WATCH: Burley Oak to open cafe in Berlin
- WATCH: Couple brings 'House Hunters' to Salisbury
- Downtown Salisbury Festival
It was a little after 2 p.m. on a Friday when people started showing up at the Brimming Horn Meadery in Milton.
Drinkers have been finding their way here since the place opened earlier this summer, half out of excitement and half out of curiosity.
If you’re confused by the seemingly recent proliferation of mead, you’re not alone.
According to Jon Talkington, one of the owners of the Brimming Horn Meadery, mead is undergoing a meteoric growth spurt that puts what happened in craft beer over the last few years to shame. While mead won’t ever get as big as craft beer, Talkington said it is retaking its rightful place as a stable alcoholic beverage.
Talkington was already a talented mead maker before he was old enough to buy beer.
As a child in rural Ohio, Talkington was fascinated by myths and was fortunate to have a teacher point him in the right direction.
“I had a science teacher, and she had made mead,” Talkington said. “There was a recipe for Simmis in a Scandinavian cookbook that was in the library.”
Sure beer, wine and spirits are all mentioned throughout mythology, but by the time a person is old enough to read, say, "Beowulf," they have encountered beer, wine and spirits.
Mead is a thing unto itself in mythological literature, Talkington said. A drink of the gods, but made by people.
Growing up, Talkington said his family made their own wine and were friendly with people who dabbled in making their own beer.
The making was the thing, he said, much more than the alcohol was. This explains why his parents barely raised an eyebrow when their 16-year-old son’s interest in his Nordic ancestry ended with making mead.
Before he was 20, Talkington was making regular trips to the homebrew store to perfect his craft. He found work at a winery and eventually made it on Delmarva where he started brewing beer at Dogfish Head.
He continued to be part of the mead making culture, both online and in person, earning awards and becoming a master of the craft over the ensuing decades.
A few years ago, a mutual friend introduced Talkington to J. R Walker. With their Norse tattoos and necklaces, the pair looked as if they already ran in the same circles. So, going into business together wasn’t too far of a jump.
Walker, an entrepreneur, was working on developing an all-you-can-eat ice cream buffet when he and Talkington decided to open a meadery.
Walker’s expertise is in logistics and execution. The deal was simple: Talkington would make the mead while Walker handled the paperwork, permitting, distribution and the rest of the business end.
That included cultivating a market, which wasn’t an easy task.
Mead's lack of mass-marketability has relegated it to a specialty drink for many. But with the rise of the local, artisan industry, mead is making a comeback. This presents mead makers with a problem as much as it presents them with an opportunity, Walker said.
The upside is that consumers are more open to paying for handmade beverages, as has been the case in the artisanal food movement generally.
Talkington said mead differs from other fermented beverages in one critical way: it requires honey.
“You can always get more barley, or you can use rye or wheat to make beer or spirits,” he said. “You only can use honey to make mead.”
Honey still is a prized commodity. Even buying it in bulk can cost a mead maker between $2 and $5 per pound. There are about three pounds of honey in every gallon of mead. This most recent spike in meaderies has put pressure on the supply of mead grade honey.
Another difficulty is that the bar to entry in the market is pretty low. Many people have a sense of how beer should taste, but most people come to mead cold.
At more than $20 per bottle, if people try an inferior mead, it probably will be the last one they try. Craft beer, at $6 per pint in most places, is an easily-accessible risk.
But at the Brimming Horn Meadery, Talkington and Walker stay busy with their mission, one they totally have embraced.
For them, mead is a culinary endeavor — a marriage of flavors, presentation and ambience.
Like the craft beer revolution that preceded it, mead making is about more than alcohol and flavors — it's about being part of a culture that might be lost to us. And, it's also pretty tasty.
Choosing a mead
With mead’s growing popularity, there are more options.
Jon Talkington, award-winning mead maker at the Brimming Horn Meadery, said the best way to choose mead is to liken it to the characteristics you prefer in wine.
Ingredients are listed on the label as well as details about sweetness. Not all mead is sweet. Mead can range from port-like to downright dry.
Outside of cruising by the Brimming Horn Meadery and trying some, he recommends national mead brands, The Colony, Moonlight and Sap House as producing reliable meads.
Talkington said that, just as with wine or beer, if you try enough different types of mead, eventually you will find something you think is fantastic.