Manic Meadery, bringing a new flavor to the Chicagoland


“Manic Mead. Wine. Cider.” states the overhead sign on this unique establishment just southeast of Chicago. Explore your palate at Manic Meadery.

My usual motive is to “re-connect over cocktails” with family and friends when I return home. This tradition brought me to Manic Meadery, a local meeting place in Crown Point, IN.

It is a hip bar and tasting room that pays homage to one of the oldest forms of alcohol recorded by man, fermented honey or mead. Think Father Tuck of Robin Hood.

The offerings certainly intrigue not only the adventurer but also the more sophisticated palate. In this situation, I always select a flight in order to find what suits my taste buds.

The conversation with the tasting room server led me to the Loco Pomolo, Jasmine, Starthistle, and Chernobyl Cordial. Crafty and genuine names that offered slight notes of the flavorful round of meads.

My intuition led me from subtle and sour to the sweeter selections in that order. Unlike some, I  finish each selection one at a time in order to experience all the natural flavors and aromas. The process is very similar to tasting wine, bourbon, or beer. You enjoy the experience of the behind the process, the aromas, and the tasting notes. I fell for the uniqueness of the Starthistle which fits my palate.

Manic goes above and beyond good drink and service. The owners encourage conversation around the tasting room. They make sure to include everyone with simple questions about their selections while offering little details of the process. Their process takes place on sight in the back room. I was fortunate enough to get the tour and taste some of the “experiments” that have yet to hit the menu. Their engagement is top notch which makes this place special.

Manic certainly is a throwback in many ways because everyone involved in the experience wants you to know this is a place where we know your name. Forget the nostalgic pictures along the walls representing some of the finest musicians of yesteryear. People like Frank Zapp, Bob Marley, and even John Coltrane are hung around the tasting room like permanent guests. It symbolizes the birth of cool for anyone trying to have a good time with family, friends, or simply your local bartender.

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Maniac Meadery is a gathering place to enjoy and discover new flavors that break the mold of a traditional bar or even brewery. No televisions or food just a variety of tasting options, good people, and great music.