Mead, often referred to as honey wine, is an alcoholic drink made by the fermentation of honey. Mead is, in all likelihood, the oldest alcoholic beverage known to mankind. One man who know how to make mead an amazing beverage is Bob Liptrot co-owner of Tugwell Creek.
Located in the small community of Sooke on the south west side of Vancouver Island.
Tugwell Creek Honey Farm and Meadery was licensed as British Columbia's first Meadery in 2003. Owned and operated by
Bob Liptrot and Dana LeComte. The combination of Bob Liptrot's 43 years of beekeeping experience and over 25 years of
mead making experience bring a unique and educational culinary experience to their meadery.. Their award winning Meads (honey wines)
reflect harmony and balance by blending varietal honeys and berries from our local region.
Robert Liptrot became interested in bees at the age of 6. He helped a neighbour in East Vancouver keep bees and was rewarded with pieces of fresh honeycomb. Bees became his lifelong passion and along with big wall climbs, incredible mountaineering feats, and several years with Outward Bound, he always found a way to keep bees. He earned a Masters Degree in Entomology and has been experimenting with making mead for over 35 years. There really is no Mead Making School and although some of the principles of winemaking do apply, mead is a different animal!
A passionate beekeeper, Bob teaches beekeeping at Royal Roads University every year, actively promotes bees through social media, and is an active member of apicultural research projects. He is the past president of the Langley, South Fraser Division of the Fraser Valley Bee Keepers Association, is a member of the B.C. Honey Producers & Capital Regional Beekeepers Association
Bob Liptrotís beehives dot 12 oceanside acres west of Victoria on Vancouver Island. He and Dana are passionate about saving the Bees and practice safe Green practices. The tasting room and gift shop are certified Green by Vancouver Island Green Business.
Traditionally many pesticides and chemicals are used to control pest and pathogens in beehives. We are participating in a Canada- wide bee breeding project based on these principles. This is a project created to breed queen bees that will have resistance to various pests and pathogens that are causing high honeybee mortality. This is the best hope to get off of the chemical treadmill that treating with pesticides puts beekeepers in. We have been actively breeding Varoa Sensitive Hygenics into our bee populations for the last 6 years. Although this is a much more labour intensive way to keep bees, it is the right thing to do to ensure that bees are part of our future.
Pests are controlled in our berry pasture with natural sprays made from Marigolds and Copper. We do not use anything else to avoid hurting the bees. Fertilization of crops is done with manure from our animals, seaweeds from the ocean, and wood ash.
local fruit are used in our meads, mostly grown here on our farm and collect local honey from with 20 kms of our farm. Our honey comes from Wild Flowers that grow in the hills behind Sooke. This is the very best food for the bees and has no impact on the surrounding environment. The bees are simply moved onto wild forage, leaving the environment just as we found it. We move our bees as little as possible to maintain their optimal health and well being.
Over the years I have many of Tugwell's products and have found them to be among the best meads anywhere.
The Solstice Metheglin is one of my favourites Wildflower Honey and a blend of ginger and spices is added to pure water and fermented with special yeast. Aged for 6 months in French Oak barrels,
Mad Marion recalls a time when meads were fortified to preserve their cellaring like that of traditional ports. A sweet, well balanced fortified mead rich in berry flavour, soft tannin, and subtle hints of Vanilla from French oak ageing. Pairings- Strong cheese, nuts, and less sweet deserts.