Kinsale Mead creating a real buzz

Posted on: 11th December, 2017

Category: Food & Wine

Contributor: West Cork People

Ireland’s first new meadery in many years opened in Kinsale in October and has since been creating a real buzz in the craft drinks industry. Kinsale Mead Co was founded by Kate and Denis Dempsey in 2016 to rediscover the ancient art of mead making and to create a delicious, refreshing new Irish drink. The couple now lovingly develop and handcraft their meads in small batches at their new meadery in Kinsale, of which they are very proud.

What is mead? Mead is unique in that its primary ingredient is honey, but it is also incredibly diverse. “We ferment our meads to off dry,” says Denis Dempsey, “which might surprise you when you know it comes from honey.”

Raw honey and fruit are mixed with local water before Kate and Denis sit back and let nature and time turn it into their delicious mead.

The inspiration for Kinsale Meads comes from the couple’s carefully sourced natural ingredients, as well as drawing on the rich tapestry of maritime history in Kinsale. Their honey comes from Spain, particularly the aromatic orange blossom honey in their Atlantic Dry Mead. Their Wild Red Mead is a melomel mead type, where fruit is added to the honey, with tart Wexford blackcurrants and sweet black cherries.

“The response has been great around Cork and we think a bottle of mead could make a very welcome Christmas gift – something different, local and totally delicious,” says Kate.

Kate and Denis hail from Coventry and Rosscarbery respectively. After raising a family, they decided it was time for a change. “And at some point,” says Denis, “we joked, why don’t we start our own meadery? Where do you go to make that kind of decision? – for us, it was the Hill of Tara in the footprint of the Great Mead Hall where we said, ‘Why not?’”

With great support and guidance from Bord Bia, the Food Academy at Supervalu and Enterprise Ireland, they sold up, told the kids (how to shock your friends and family – tell them you’re leaving your jobs to make mead) and headed south. Now, with a warm welcome from the local community, they’re working hard, making wonderful mead in their new home in West Cork.

West Cork stockists: Urru and Matsons in Bandon; SuperValus in Skibbereen, Clonakilty, Bandon, Bantry, Kinsale; O’Donovan’s Off Licence in Clonakilty; Spar, 1601 in Kinsale; various hotels, bars and restaurants including Kinsale Blue Haven, Actons, Trident, Nashs 19, Pilgrims in Rosscarbery and Monks Lane in Timoleague.

Kinsale Mead Co will also be at the Christmas markets in Supervalu Kinsale and Blue Haven this week and Skibbereen Supervalu next week.

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An evening on the 'Balance of Feeling Good' by Clonakilty Gaa Club Health and Wellbeing Committee followed by Guest Speaker, Cork GAA Chairperson, Tracey Kennedy.

Paddy Duggan, former Principal of Clonakilty Community College, will be MC on the night, facilitating a discussion on getting the balance of feeling good.
Contributors on the night are Colm Sheehy, Conor Murray, David Lowney, Denis Murphy, Eoghan Deasy, Sean McEvoy, Thomas Clancy and Treasa O'Brien.
Topics covered will range from awareness and responsibility to yourself and others to the benefits of exercise and nutrition.
The evening is suitable for everyone aged 16 and over from players, members of the community, parents of young and adolescent children, etc.

This is a public event, free of charge and everyone is invited and very welcome to attend.
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The Cast of Harold Pinter’s ‘No Man’s Land’ are on their way to the All-Ireland finals, having won 26 awards, including five best of Festivals, at the Amateur Drama League of Ireland annual three act festivals. The play ‘No Man’s Land, by Harold Pinter, the Nobel Prize Winning Author is directed by Jennifer Williams.

One last opportunity to view this multi award winning play at Skibbereen Town Hall, on Saturday 14th of April, before the finals.

Having met by chance in a pub, two aging writers continue a long night of drinking and reminiscing in a stately London home. As the night wears on, their conversation wanders through memories long forgotten or invented. Is their encounter real or a delusion? Are they strangers or do they share a past history? When unexpected guests intrude upon an increasingly surreal evening, the atmosphere quickly changes from friendly to threatening, and the encounter becomes a game of survival.

Tickets may be purchased at the door or in advance by emailing

For more information please contact
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