In The Mix

Drink industry trends, tips, and tastemakers.

Illustration by Michał Bednarski

What’s the Buzz?

Save the bees with a sip of your mead at Melo Lion Meadery.

The refreshing, semisweet acidity of Melo Lion Meadery’s Blackberry Mead is reason enough to enjoy a glass of the bestseller. Tack on the knowledge that your purchase supports local beekeeping, and you have yourself a deal! For each bottle purchased, the Yorktown-based meadery makes a donation to the local beekeepers association in the area where the bottle was sold. Indulge in these quality meads (and support local beekeepers) by purchasing online or at your local ABC.

Pappy Van Winkle’s Family Reserve 20 Year has received more than 35,000 ABC lottery entries.

Photo courtesy of Virginia ABC

For the Win

ABC’s liquor lottery.

Serious collectors of small-batch, aged, or rare alcohols know that there’s more demand than there are bottles to go around. Virginia’s Alcoholic Beverage Control Authority (ABC) has a system to make purchases fair: the ABC Online Lottery. Virginians aged 21 and older can enter for a chance to purchase limited-quantity, highly sought-after products through a form on the Virginia ABC website. Once a product is posted for lottery, interested buyers have 48 hours to enter. Past lottery offerings have varied widely by brand and price, ranging from under $60 to more than $2,000. One bottle per customer per drawing.

Photo courtesy of Ironclad Distillery Co.

Final Destination

Keep tabs on the barrel that aged your bourbon.

The BarrelTag program through Newport News’ Ironclad Distillery Co. allows bourbon fans to track the oak-charred barrels used to fill each beloved bottle of handcrafted whiskey. Located on every Ironclad bottle is a unique code that corresponds to the barrel that filled it. Register this code on the Ironclad website to discover if your barrel is now being used to age beer at your favorite brewery or has been given second life at a meadery, coffee roaster, or even another distillery.

This article originally appeared in our Drink 2019 issue.

Jill Devine
I’m a Northern Virginia-based freelance writer specializing in human interest stories and business profiles.
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