Sweet taste of success for Northumberland Honey

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GLASSES are being raised at a fast- growing South Tynedale firm which produces its own brand of sparkling mead.

Launched last year, the Haltwhistle-based Northumberland Honey Company has scooped two prestigious awards which have led to international recognition.

The firm’s mead, known as Sovereign Nectar, earned bronze medal in the Mazer Cup International Mead Competition, in America.

Suzie Hutchinson, who runs the firm with her husband Luke, said the Mazer Cup is the world’s largest mead competition, attracting more than 4,000 entries from around the world.

Suzie said: “This is absolutely the gold standard for us.

“There are many mead producers in America and in the Mazer Cup, they don’t give out awards easily.

“There are only 20 or 30 entries awarded, so to come third is a wonderful achievement for us and we are delighted. I believe we are the only international winner this year.”

The couple sent a bottle of Sovereign Nector to the USA for judges to taste, and Suzie said their product was assessed on several key factors.

She explained: “There are a lot of qualities that sparkling mead needs to have.

“They take into consideration the fizz, and the size of the bubbles, as well as the aromas and clarity of it. The packaging is also assessed.”

The firm, was also ‘highly commended’ in the recent Countryside Alliance Rural Oscars.

The two awards represent a remarkable first year in business for the couple, who are commercial beekeepers and mead makers, using their own honey as a key ingredient of the mead.

Luke and Suzie met as students and were married in 2015.

They hope their sparkling mead will become as popular as prosecco and champagne.

Luke has been beekeeping for more than 12 years, while Suzie has a doctorate in biomedical science.

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