A need for mead sees customers flock to Cheltenham's Favourite Beers
CIDER has made a comeback, rosé wine is again a summer favourite, and pale ale is the tipple of hip young things, not just elderly men in flat caps.
But one drink harking even farther back is also now rapidly gaining in popularity – mead.
The drink of fermented or brewed honey and water was the pint of choice of northern Europeans long before beer brewing was invented.
And now independent beer specialists Favourite Beers in Cheltenham is seeing sales take off.
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Owner Leigh Norwood, who runs the Hewlett Road shop with his daughter Rosie, said: "We started selling it when we first opened in 2010. When I was doing my research someone said we should get something alternative. We got some fruit wines and the company also made mead, so I got a few bottles."
Mr Norwood said sales were occasional until some enthusiasts happened by the shop.
"They said 'Oh my God, you've got mead' and bought some, and they told some people, who told some people and since then it's taken off."
Cheltenham's closeness to Tewkesbury and its medieval history hasn't hurt sales of the ancient drink.
Mr Norwood said: "A lot of people go to the re-enactment of the battle in Tewkesbury and they normally have a mead bar there and lots of people have got a taste for it."
The drink is hard to come by, so Favourite Beers has become quite the honeypot for people drawn to the drink, which was drunk by the warriors in the Old English classic poem Beowulf.
Mr Norwood said: "You can't buy it in any of the supermarkets, and now and again a specialist deli might have one, but we're the only place in Cheltenham I know of.
"We have up to a dozen different brands. Sales are good. I have to order a case or two every week. It's made all over the country, wherever you get bees really.
"There's some from Scotland and Lindisfarne in the North east, and there's quite a few in the south west in Cornwall."
Beer expert Mr Norwood said mead appeals to anyone with a sweet tooth, and included himself as a fan. He added: "The best one we sell is a Scottish mead, Moniack. It's a really deep honey flavour, very rich with a deep dark colour."