When people think of “mead,” they usually think of Vikings guzzling horns of honey wine in their festhalls. But for married couple Michael Lindeman and Alejandra Araya, mead is an opportunity to raise bees, cultivate honey, and brew vats of sweet liqueur in their home in Desamparados de Alajuela. Lindeman is a California native, Araya is from Costa Rica, and the pair spent years in Illinois before moving here five years ago. Their goals: to raise their two children and try something culinary.
Today they run Costa Rica Meadery, their special contribution to the local “craft beverage” movement. Bottles of their product can be found in various gastropubs around the Central Valley, and after two years in business Lindeman and Araya are experimenting more than ever with mead’s possibilities. While they often solicit help from Araya’s family and rely on a network of fellow brewers and pub owners, they do most of the labor themselves, making them – well, busy as bees.
Last month, Costa Rica Meadery won a silver medal at Mazer Cup International, a prestigious mead competition based in Broomfield, Colorado. To celebrate the occasion, The Tico Times visited their apiary and brewing facility to see how brewing works. What we found was pretty sweet.