The first thing that will strike you upon entering the mead-making area is that it's relatively small compared with most Columbus brewing and spirit-making facilities. (You're seeing pretty much the entire facility in that picture, minus maybe six feet of additional equipment behind where I was standing.)
The tour gives a great background on the history of mead, the history of Brothers Drake itself, their emphasis on local ingredients and equipment where possible, and their relationships with businesses in the Columbus area.
Sarah (whose name I may be misspelling, and my apologies to her if so) was a great tour guide and spokesperson for the business. She clearly enjoys what she is doing and is excited to be sharing what she brews with the community. Her passion for the beverage and its potential is very clear.
After the tour, visitors can taste the various meads available and order glasses or bottles of any that interest them. Brothers Drake also offers a variety of Cysers (which are kind of a combination of cider and mead, made with honey and apple juice) and a selection of local craft beers (not made by Brothers Drake). Some mixed drinks are also available. In short, if you visit with friends who prefer beer or mixed drinks to mead and cyser, you should all find something interesting to drink there.
I definitely recommend taking the tour if you get the chance. It's a fun introduction to the meadery and the process of making mead.
|The equipment in the meadery|
|Meads being aged in Middle West (OYO) spirit barrels|
|The list of Cysers on tap, along with bottles of mead and cyser|
|The list of Meads on tap|
|A sample of Wild Ohio mead, made with Ohio honey|