When you think of Mead, the heart of central North Carolina is probably not the first thing that comes to mind! You probably think of Renaissance Fairs, Vikings and old English castles. We hope to change that!
Starrlight Mead, located in Pittsboro at Chatham Mills, is a honey winery, specializing in a wide variety of meads from traditional to fruit to herb-infused. Using local NC honey, and lots of love, we are crafting award winning mead to surprise and delight you.
We, at Starrlight Mead, are striving to do things in a way that is gentle to the earth and as close to home, as possible.
Just in case you missed it on our home page, we use primarily local North Carolina wildflower honey that we buy directly from the beekeepers! We love meeting with the beekeepers, hearing their stories, and tasting the delicious honey!!
We strive to mix honeys in each batch to give you a more complex and interesting flavor of mead. We use wildflower honey (which means the bees haven’t gone to one specific species of flower) because of its variety. We also get honey from the East, Center and West of the state, because the honey from each area tastes just a little bit different.
In 2014, we used over 4 tons of honey! We are having to redefine what “local” means just a little bit! We are now buying honey from South Carolina and, this spring, Georgia!
We are required by NC law to recycle all of the empty bottles that we use at the bar for tasting purposes. We are happy to say that we haven’t recycled ANY bottles yet, because they have all gone to new homes!
We work with the local artists to provide our lovely blue glass bottles for free to anyone who would like to come pick them up. Our bottles have been made into numerous bottle trees, retaining walls, glasses and pitchers, and decorative bottle walls. Most reciently, we have heard about people burying them neck down in the ground to line a path (apparently, this was done at the NC State Fair).
If you make something pretty with our bottles, we would love to put up pictures of your projects!
We have partnered with Terracycle to recycle not only our synthetic corks, but natural corks that customers have brought in. These corks are then sent in and used to make other items, like wine cork corkboards. You can drop off your corks, of any type, here at the meadery, or at Chatham Marketplace! So far, we’ve sent in over 26,000 corks!
Paying it Forward
We have been so lucky and blessed to have had experienced professionals help us as we strived to open our meadery. In that spirit, we are excited to help out the next generation of home mead makers and possible meadery owners as much as we can!
We present mead making demonstrations to beekeeper’s associations across the state. It’s fun to give beekeepers their first taste of honey wine!
Carolina Farm Stewardship Association – Sustainable Agriculture Conference
Ben presented a workshop on “Making Fabulous Mead” that was well received by over 40 attendees at the 2011 conference.
Rockingham Community College/Central Carolina Community College – Continuing Education Classes
We are honored to be teaching classes at two local Community Colleges. So far we’ve taught or are teaching: “Beginning Mead Making” focusing on traditional mead, sampling meads and home mead making; “Mead Varieties” covering adding other things to your mead – fruit, herbs, spices; “Craft and Nano Beverage as a Business” looking at how and why to get into this expanding industry; and “Starting Your Own Winery, Brewery, or Meadery” presenting more detail for opening your own place, based on our experience with Starrlight Mead, including financing, business plans, paperwork and equipment considerations.