Meads VS Beers: What’s the Difference?

Today, it’s going to be mead VS beer! You might have an idea what meads and beers are.

However, questions regarding the similarities and differences between the two might have you scratching your head. Well, as we have said, it will be about meads and beers today. With that, you do not have to worry anymore. By the end of this talk, you will likely know your way with these drinks!

With that, let’s go!

Getting to Know the Drinks

First thing, first. Let us get to know meads and beers before we put them side by side and differentiate them. This way, we can get a feel of the two drinks before diving into the intricacies.

What Are Meads?

What Are Meads

While wines and beers might be better known today, meads came into the scene first. With that, it only seems right to talk about meads first. Do you not agree?

One of the first things to know about the mead is that it is a misunderstood drink. When someone first encounters this drink, one often asks if it is a wine or a beer. However, the answer is neither. It is, well, mead.

The confusion is understandable and not surprising, though. It is easy to assume mead to be wine, as it is sometimes called honey wine. In addition, the process of making it has many similarities with winemaking. On the flip side, it is easy to confuse it with beer, as the characteristics of some meads resemble particular types of beers a lot.

Despite its resemblance to the two drinks, as we have already said, it is neither. Mead is mead. There are different types of it, but simply put, it is an alcoholic drink made with honey, yeast, and water.

To best understand this drink, getting up close and personal with it might be the best way. With that, here are some meads you might want to give a try:

  • Lindisfarne Mead
  • Zalgiris Mead
  • Kinsale Atlantic Dry Mead
  • Moniack Mead
  • Reservoir Black Heath Mead

These are only examples, though. There are many other meads on the market you ought to try out. Make sure you do some exploring!

What Are Beers?

What Are Beers

On the other hand, we might not even have to define beers. Beers are one of the most popular drinks out there. There are many different types of it which could complicate things. However, to put it simply, this drink is an alcoholic drink made with grain, hops, yeast, and water.

If you like alcoholic drinks, you have likely taken a sip of one or two beers already. However, here are some brands you might want to give a shot if you have never taken a sip of beer yet:

  • Budweiser Beer
  • Corona Extra Beer
  • Heineken Beer
  • Stella Artois Beer
  • Yuengling Lager Beer

Do not confine yourself to these beers, though! There are a lot more on the market. Feel free to explore!

What Are the Similarities Between the Drinks?

What Are the Similarities Between the Drinks

Many say that the two could not be farther from each other. That is not true, though. These two drinks are pretty similar to each other in almost every part. One has to look at the details to get to the differences. With that, let’s briefly discuss the similarities between the two to understand their differences better.

First and foremost, the most notable similarity between the two drinks is that they are both alcoholic beverages. In addition, they both use yeast and undergo fermentation. As we have said above, the two can even look, smell, and taste the same if one does not know the two drinks well.

The similarities do not end there, though. Meads and bears both have long and winding histories too! In addition, both their tales managed to weave their way with gods, goddesses, and deities!

What Are the Differences Between the Drinks?

We now got all that out of the way. It’s time to tackle the differences between meads and beers. These drinks have many similarities, but the two also have many differences. Here, we will talk about six points.

Differences Mead Beer
Main Ingredient Honey, Yeast, and Water Grains, Hops, Yeast, and Water
ABV 10% to 15% 4% to 6%
Base Must Wort
Notes Fruity Malty
Aging Yes No
Steps 2 4

The Ingredients of Meads and Beers

The Ingredients of Meads and Beers

If we have to pick only one defining factor setting meads and beers apart, it would likely be their ingredients. Meads use honey. On the other hand, beers use grains and hops.

However, remember that this does not mean that beer cannot have honey, or meads cannot have grains and hops. Both are possible. Only the former is more associated with meads, and the latter is more known with beers.

In addition, as you might have noted above, the two have similar ingredients. That is, yeast and water. However, at the core, it is only really water. While the two drinks require yeast, generally, they use different strains. Still, we should note that mead can use the yeast strain for beers. Again, it is only that it generally does not.

The ABVs of Meads and Beers

The alcohol content of the two is another thing that can easily separate them apart. Meads tend to have 10% to 15% ABVs. On the other hand, beers generally have 4% to 6% ABVs.

Different meads and beers can have varying ABVs. As with the ingredients, it does not mean a mead cannot have a low ABV or a beer cannot have a high ABV. It’s just that generally, meads typically have higher alcohol content and beers have lower ABV.

The Bases of Meads and Beers

The Bases of Meads and Beers

Another difference between meads and beers is their bases.

The base of a mead is diluted honey. As we have said above, this base is called a must. On the other hand, the base of a beer is the solution from the mashing step. This base is called the wort.

Unlike the other points, this one is not only a general difference. With this point, one cannot exchange one for the other.

The Notes of Meads and Beers

As you probably already know, there are many different types of beers. There might not be as many different meads, but there are many types of meads too. As you can expect, each one would have unique sets of flavors and aromas. However, meads tend to be fruity, while beers are generally malty.

Similar to the ingredients and ABVs, this point is only a general difference. It is possible for a beer to have fruity notes. On the other hand, it is possible for meads to exhibit malty notes.

Aging of Meads and Beers

Another thing that differentiates the two drinks is the aging period. Aging is typically part of the process of making meads. On the other hand, aging is not a standard part of making beers.

As you might have noticed from the chart, we said that meads are aged while beers are not. That does not mean one cannot enjoy meads young or age beers. Both are possible. Only they are not the norm.

Steps in Making Meads and Beers

Steps in Making Meads and Beers

The last difference we will be talking about today about meads and beers are the steps in making them. As you have seen in the chart, meads generally only have two steps. On the other hand, beers tend to have four.

For meads, the two steps are diluting and fermenting. For beers, the four steps are malting, mashing, boiling, and fermenting. As you can see, the process of making meads is much simpler compared to making beers.

Which One Is Better?

With all that, one might ask which one is better. Well, it is all a matter of preference. Meads might be the best way to go if one wants something fruity and boozy. On the other hand, beers might be the answer if one wants something malty and less boozy.

However you like your alcoholic drinks, we suggest you try different kinds of meads and beers and answer this question yourself! As you might already know, people do not have the same preferences. What delights one might not delight another. With that, you are the only one that can really answer this question for yourself!

Drink Responsibly

Since we are talking about alcoholic drinks, we ought to leave you with a word of caution. Whether you decide to go with meads, beers, or maybe even both, remember to watch how much you drink. Remember to keep your mead or beer intake to one to two glasses to avoid alcohol-related health problems. After all, the best way to enjoy these drinks more is to drink responsibly!

Final Words

Today, we talked about mead VS beer. We got to know the two drinks, their similarities, and ultimately, their differences. We hope we got to help you get acquainted with the two drinks enough to want to try them!

That’s all for today from us, though. Enjoy your glass of mead or beer!

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