With North Dakota being the country’s number one honey producing state, why not take full advantage of all that natural sweetness?
Susan Ruud and her husband, Bob, did just that, starting the first meadery in Fargo, N.D. On a mission to give customers an aroma and palate sensation like no other, Susan and Bob want everyone that tastes its mead to know it came from Prairie Rose.
How long have you been making mead?
My husband, Bob, and I have been making mead at home for about 20 years. We were introduced to mead by friends of ours, who made their own mead at home. We immediately fell in love with the flavor and so we decided to try making it ourselves. Not only did we fall in love with the flavor, but also with the process. We have done well in local and national homebrew competitions with our mead, so we decided to open Prairie Rose Meadery almost three years ago. We finally opened the actual doors in May 2015.
Where do you distribute?
At present we are only distributed in North Dakota but plan to be in a few of the surrounding states by the end of the year. We are available through vinoshipper.com for shipping to 35 states.
How do you make your mead?
Mead is made by combining honey, water and yeast along with some nutrients to help the yeast ferment better. You can also add any fruit, spice, combination of fruits or spices or both fruit and spice to the fermentation. The combinations are almost limitless.
What attracted you to mead?
I love the flavor of honey and that follows through into the meads that I make. I try to have a balance of honey, fruit and/or spice in the mead I am making. I do not want any additions to overpower the flavor of the fermented honey. I also love the history of mead. There are tons of references to mead throughout history and mead had almost become a lost art before meaderies started opening up.
How many varietals of honey do you use in your mead?
We currently only use North Dakota clover honey, but we also have a Basswood honey mead coming out later this year.
What’s your favorite mead you produce?
We have 15 meads in our lineup right now, so it is hard to pick a favorite. I would have to say my favorite for drinking this summer is our latest mead, Roasted Pineapple Chipotle mead, which we made in collaboration with a longtime friend. He made it as a home mead recipe and it was so good I convinced him that we needed to make it commercially. We had a pineapple roasting party, as this required a lot of fresh pineapple. It was a great time and we made a 130-gallon batch.
You can learn more about Prairie Rose at: