Manoa Honey & Mead is located in Wahiawa on the island of Oahu. After finding the address on Google Maps, it only took about 20 minutes to get there from where I live. There isn’t much parking near the building we went to, but it wasn’t difficult to get turned around on a dead-end road.
Both raw honey and mead are sold by the Manoa Honey Company, which has been around since 1989. They didn’t start selling mead until last year (2020). That’s the reason my son, Jon, didn’t find it when he searched for mead last year.
As I mentioned when I wrote about the alcohol niche market, Jon has this fascination with mead. It’s probably because of the medieval video games he plays all the time. He finally tasted some a week or so ago, when I drove him to the Manoa building in Wahiawa. He still has this dream of opening a meadery, but it’s not in the front of his mind like before.
As the guy who sold Jon three bottles of mead of three different flavors told us, mead without flavoring doesn’t taste very good. I told Jon I was sure I tasted plain mead years ago and that I was sure that guy was right. The least expensive bottle was $17.50. I told Jon he could buy a six-pack of a local India pale ale (IPA, a style of beer) for less than a single bottle of mead. The alcohol content would probably near the same.
I don’t fault the Manoa Honey Company for charging their prices. The process of turning honey into mead isn’t something the average person can do, even with instructions (which you can find on YouTube). Turning it into something that tastes good is even more difficult. Fermented honey isn’t as sweet as honey, obviously.
I don’t believe he’ll be buying any more bottles from here. He’ll be returning to the mainland soon due to Army orders, and he may or may not buy some wherever he happens to get stationed. My wife, Josie, and I won’t be joining him there, so I won’t be able to comment on his drinking habits after we all leave Hawaii.
Photo Attribution: Manoa Honey & Mead