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Collaborating for a Cause | Alex Reserve

Feature image for Schramm's Mead, Collaborating for a Cause
Eric Griffin

In this week’s installment of Collaborating for a Cause, we switch gears from beer to mead. On Nov. 14 of last year, Alyson Schramm of Schramm’s Mead announced an upcoming release to represent their participation in GivingTuesday 2023. In an amazing show of kindness and generosity toward a craft beer and industry icon, Schramm’s donated 100% of profits from its Nov. 28 webstore sales to the Kidd family GoFundMe to go toward medical expenses and future needs. Additionally, Schramm’s conducted a pre-order for custom-labeled bottles of Alex Reserve, its limited-batch apple mead.

The Schramm’s Cause

Schramm’s Mead opened its doors 10 years ago in September of 2013, and has since become the benchmark of quality in the world of honey wine. Co-founder and head meadmaker Ken Schramm has been honing in on perfection since the ’90s, and the influence he’s had on mead education and progressing the industry as a whole is unmatched. To learn more about the road to Schramm’s and the direction its program is headed, check out our “Exploring Honeywine | Schramm’s Mead” article featuring the renowned meadery.

Co-founder Alyson Schramm took the lead for its November benefit dedicated to Alex Kidd. In the meadery’s GivingTuesday announcement, Alyson Schramm noted she’s always had a soft spot for Don’t Drink Beer‘s style of shit-posting intermingled with Kidd actually being a wonderful and compassionate human being. Kidd is also known for sharing his clever reviews on meads, and his inside jokes on honey wine have always been well-received. Alyson and her husband, James, also welcomed a daughter into the world just days after Alex welcomed his daughter Paloma. The heartfelt personal connection brings further perspective to the significance of the fundraiser for both families.

Alex Reserve

Imagery associated with Schramm's benefit for Alex Kidd
Images Courtesy of Schramm’s Mead

As part of the GivingTuesday benefit, Schramm’s produced a limited run of Alex Reserve custom labels for the second batch of its Reserve Apple Mead. Bottles went live the day of the benefit on Nov. 28, with each 375 milliliter priced at $60 with a limit of four bottles per person. Once all sales from the day were tallied, Schramm’s was able to raise $3,069 for Kidd and his family. An incredible gesture, and yet another beautiful show of support for the cause.

Schramm’s was generous enough to allocate a bottle to us for purchase as well, giving us the opportunity to share both our experience with this limited mead as well as show some additional support with a donation to Alex and his family.

The Review

Review Photo, Schramm's Alex Reserve Mead
Photo contributed by Eric Griffin

There’s a rich golden hue as the mead cascades into the glass. The pour brings minimal agitation, and the liquid quickly settles flat. When swirled, noticeable leg retention is slow to catch up to the falling golden nectar.

Sweet, caramelized apples immediately greet the nose. There’s a spiced component to complement the rich fruit, very reminiscent of apple butter but simultaneously sparking undertones of cognac.

The palate brings many of the same qualities as the nose, albeit with more complexity. The apple skin brings a drying tannin. The alcohol is more present, both warming and crucial to cutting the sweetness derived from the honey. Fresh pressed cider meets honey-roasted apples and a touch of lavender. We will have to inquire later about the varietal honey used for this batch. The floral character brought on with temperature gives fantastic depth to the experience.

Alex Reserve fully coats the palate, drying slightly but finishing long and warm. As expected there’s residual tackiness well into the next sip.

Supporting the Kidds

Kidd continues to show incredible resilience following his Jan. 8 surgery, and has since been discharged from the hospital. As he continues to recover we will continue to support him, and this first installment with Schramm’s post-op is the perfect place to pick the series back up.

As always, we’ll provide a link to the Kidd family GoFundMe. Please follow updates on PorchDrinking as we have some exciting additions to the series over the next couple of months. Contributions from the likes of Wax Wings, The Veil (and their huge collaboration), Phase Three, Lua and more are upcoming, as well as a special one-off installment featuring a high-gravity vertical thanks to the generosity of Alan Sprints from Hair of the Dog Brewery. We can’t wait to share these experiences with you all and continue highlighting the beer community’s love and support of the Kidds. Stay strong, Alex!

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