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Findings of archaeological excavations indicate that mead was brewed and used by the most ancient civilisations, in the Near East and East Asia. Recently archaeologists have found that in Ancient China and Iran mead beverages had been made as early as in 7000-5400 B.C. They were stored in wooden, leather and clay vessels. Rigveda, the literary masterpiece of ancient India (1700-1100 B.C.) contains the oldest known description of mead.Mead plays an important role in culture and nutrition of many nations. It is no surprise that so many nations consider mead their national drink as mead is a worldwide phenomena by its origin and distribution. One will meet many nations in Africa and in Europe, in the Americas and Asia that are proud of mead as their national beverage.

 

Over the course of centuries, mead was a ritual and a casual drink, used in different feasts, and a common supplement to food on the tables bothof kings and peasants. The Western tradition of mead dates back to antiquity and to early mediaeval times.

Mead is sometimes called the Northern or Eastern European wine. It is difficult to imagine the life and religion of ancient Germans, Balts and Slavs without this drink.

·   Lithuanian ancestors Balts were using mead thousands of years ago (since 1600 B.C.).
·    They drank mead out of drinking horns coated with metal (the most elaborately decorated are found from the period of 4th – 6th century A.D.).
·    The Anglo-Saxon traveller and merchant Wulfstan of Hedeby (about 890-893 A.D.) while describing the Aistians referred to the fact that they have plenty of mead.
·     About 1326 the chronicler Peter of Dusburg, writing about the Baltian tribe – Prussians, mentioned that they drank honey wine, or mead.
·     Historical sources make reference that in the Lutsk meeting (1428) convened by Vytautas the Great, the Lithuanian Grand Duke, also attended by Sigismund, the Holy Roman Emperor; they drank 700 barrels of mead every day.
·     Mead was widely used by Lithuanian rulers in their manors, and for state representation also in later times. For instance, in the 16th century in the royal manor of Geranainiai close to Vilnius, in Krichevo (Byelorussia) and other in places they were keeping royal     mead stock.
·     Some remaining data indicate that in the middle of the 16th century in Vilnius (Antakalnis) and other places they had mead breweries with highly specialised brewers.
·     Historical sources indicate that in the 17th century mead was also used by the most famous Lithuanian noble family, Radvila.
·     Mead prevalence in Lithuanian urban culture, according to historical statements, can be well reflected by the so-called church fraternities of mead in Vilnius and other towns, whose members were brewing, consuming and selling mead on religious occasions. Probably the biggest amount of mead was used by population in inns (karčema), the network of which, in the middle of the 15th - 18th century covered nearly the entire territory of Lithuania.
      The epoch of Lithuanian mead development lasted till the 18th century.  In that time, with the development of agriculture, the use of grain for the production of bier and vodka increases.  Many bier breweries and vodka distilleries appear and the peasants are forced to buy vodka from the estates.   As tree hollow apiculture starts to disappear, the production and use of mead declines.  
      The 20th century sees the rise of interest in Lithuanian mead production.  The first company that started producing mead was Beini Šakovas Prienai bier brewery.  There four kinds of mead were produced.  Mead was left to mature for five years and a bottle of three quarters would cost eight Litas.  This mead was exported abroad, mostly to Palestine.  It is told that this mead was liked by President Antanas Smetona.  When in 1940 this brewery was nationalized, the production of mead was stopped.  In 1944, Prienai  bier brewery was bombed out. 

 

Further history of Lithuanian mead is closely related to the life of Aleksandras Sinkevičius.  In 1957, Aleksandras Sinkevičius, a technologist at Klaipėda bier brewery Švyturys, received an approval of the then board of food industry to start producing Lithuanian mead.  However, only after the change of several factories, on September 8, 1958, at the old boiling department of  Lietkoopsąjunga (Union of Lithuanian Cooperatives) Stakliškės brewery Gintaras the first 700 litres of mash for Lithuanian mead Dainava were produced.  In July 1960, the first 1200 bottles of very mild, racy, amber-coloured, 10% alcohol by volume Lithuanian mead Dainava went to the shops.  Since a successful start of this mead, several other mead varieties were created and strong beverages were started to be produced using mead as their basis. 

 

      The author of national beverages Aleksandras Sinkevičius claimed that there was a noble reason underlying the production of honey drinks: one wished to create beverages that would decorate our festive table, would express Lithuanian hospitality and would not harm a person.  

 

      On March 25, 1969, the then invention committee of the Soviet Union registered the production technique of a honey drink Lietuviškas midus (Lithuanian mead) as an invention.  The author of the invention Aleksandras Sinkevičius is awarded an author certificate No. V3114.  On September 30, 1969, Elizabeth the Second, Queen of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, with patent No.1280830, entitled Stakliškės factory Lietuviškas midus (Lithuanian mead) to solely use the invention of mead production and development of related activities in the territory of United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and the Isle of Man for sixteen years. Lithuanian mead receives a well-deserved evaluation not only at national exhibitions, but also abroad: in Zagreb, Leipzig, Paris, London, and Montreal. 

 

      Currently, UAB Lietuviškas midus (Lithuanian mead) produces three varieties of mead, one kind of balsam and four kinds of mead nectars.  The company also produces alcoholic cocktails of 5%, 8% and 12% alcohol by volume.  For the production and realization of mead, mead beverages, alcoholic cocktails and soft drinks, the company has implemented and works according to quality control system EN ISO 9001-2000.