Honey in a Glass
Relationships have been vital in Diane Currier’s career as a mead maker since the beginning.
While visiting her sister in Alaska, Diane went on a hike through wildflowers, including fireweed. Later that day she had her first sip of fireweed mead and was hooked.
Already a home brewer, she took that knowledge and opened Honeygirl Meadery in 2014. Having lived in Durham, North Carolina for over twenty years, Diane knew her urban meadery would be supported by the local community.
That support has helped the company grow. She added a second mead maker in 2019. While the company has grown, they still make all their mead in the original location.
Mead is wine made from honey. Honey comes in a range of flavors, colors and textures based on what flowers the bees visited and the mead available at Honeygirl has as much variety. Each batch has a base of honey, water and yeast. Fruit, flowers and herbs can be added to create a unique mead. Since she uses seasonal ingredients, the meads available vary throughout the year.
Some mead is aged in wooden barrels. The barrels she uses come primarily from North Carolina companies. When making mead, she puts complimentary flavors together. For example, one barrel she has was used to age bourbon. Diane then aged honey mead and now has apple mead aging in the same barrel. Even the cork that seals each bottle is made in the state.
Visitors to her small business can enjoy a glass at tables inside or a sampling of flavors outside under bright yellow umbrellas. She also sells mead at the local farmer’s market. As a regular vendor, Diane has developed relationships with farmers that sell at the market, often buying fruit, flowers and herbs from them for mead making.
A fun part of her job is collaborating with other craft beverage makers. She has had blending sessions with Botanist and Barrel, co-branding two collaborations. She worked with a brewery on another collaboration.
When drinking mead, Diane says you are “going where the bees have collected nectar”. Each glass of mead gives the customer a chance to “drink the field”, a philosophy that continues to resonate with customers.