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The Buzz About Iowa's Homegrown Honey Wine
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The Buzz About Iowa's Homegrown Honey Wine

What’s something both wine aficionados and craft beer nerds can agree on? Mead is the next big thing.

Mead (or honey wine) is the fastest growing alcohol type in terms of production numbers – there are now around 250 meaderies in the country. Iowa’s first meadery – Buzzed Bee Meadery near Melbourne - is ready to capitalize on this growing popularity.

Buzzed Bee’s story begins a few years ago when head mead maker, Wayne Spohnheimer, started beekeeping as a hobby. Soon, he had more honey than he knew what to do with – so he thought, why not ferment it? That started the ball rolling for Wayne and his wife, Michelle.

What makes Buzzed Bee unique is that it is a homegrown, family business. The mead is made with Iowa honey (although Wayne’s bees keep him well supplied, they also use honey from another local producer) and other Iowa-grown ingredients when possible. The bee hives are located on the couple’s acreage and help keep their five-year-old son’s flower garden in bloom. The mead is fermented, bottled, and even stored in the Spohnheimer’s basement. And the tasting room and gift shop are in a renovated portion of their home.

Are you wondering what mead tastes like? Mead is made of fermented honey, water and yeast. In addition to two “traditional” mead styles, Buzzed Bee also has several varietals – like their Sweet Bee Lemon Mead (their bestseller), Aronia Berry Mead, Goji Goodness Mead, and Chocolate Stinger Mead (it’s like sipping a chocolate bar!). Wayne loves playing with flavors and has several more in the works – like Blackberry Ginger and Sweet Heat (flavored with jalapenos).

Mead is truly in its own category of alcohol – it’s definitely not carbonated like a beer, it doesn’t have the acidity of wine and there is no “burn” like other liquors. Buzzed Bee’s meads hover around 12.5% alcohol.

If you want to try mead for yourself, head over to Buzzed Bee’s tasting room. Located north of Newton, it’s a short drive from both Des Moines and Ames.

Buzzed Bee Meadery is open Thursdays (4-7 p.m.) and Saturdays (12-5 p.m.).

Find more information at, and follow them on Facebook.

Leave a Comment

  1. Travel Iowa Team
    Travel Iowa Team
    Wow! What a wonderful addition to Iowa! Thanks for filling us in on this.
    Log in to reply.
  2. BuzzedBee
    Thank you for visiting the Meadery and sharing your experience. We are excited to share Mead with the future Mead lovers in Iowa. :)
    Log in to reply.


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