What’s being billed as the first mead festival on the East Coast is coming to Long Island next month on National Mead Day.

On Saturday, Aug. 3, the Lindenhurst Chamber of Commerce will be partnering with its own meadery, W A Meadwerks, to co-host the first-ever Long Island Mead Festival in Lindenhurst.

“[W A Meadwerks] is bringing a really great event to our neighborhood; it is putting Lindenhurst on the map,” said RJ Renna, vice president of the Lindenhurst Chamber of Commerce.

For the uninitiated, mead is a type of wine derived from honey instead of traditional wine grapes. Mead is versatile in its taste and can be sweet, semi-sweet, dry, fruity, spicy, and a combination of it all.

According to W A Meadwerks owners Joe Abruzzo and Roger Wanner, there aren’t any mead-featuring festivals near their home on Long Island.

“Outside of Colorado’s MeadCon and The Mazer Cup, there hasn’t been any mead festival east of that we know of,” said Abruzzo, who co-own’s Long Island’s only meadery.

Long Island Mead Festival, which will run from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m at the Lindenhurst Gazebo, will feature meads from commercial meaderies and homebrew clubs from New York State and around the country.  In total, there will be over 60 different meads to try during the day.

“I feel people are really pumped about the idea of this,” Abruzzo told GreaterBabylon after explaining the fest’s VIP tickets are almost sold out.

W A Meadwerks will be running its Long Island Mead Festival in conjunction with the chamber’s Ales by the Rails beer event, which will be offering live music, over a dozen craft beers, and food trucks.

The two will have different entrances, the Long Island Mead Festival will have an admission fee for the mead tastings, while the Ales by the Rails will be a pay-as-you-go fest.

“We’re excited about the enthusiasm surrounding the festival,” said Renna. “It is an amazing fusion between a local organization like the chamber of commerce working with its local businesses to bring more people to the downtown.”

Long Island Mead Festival tickets

VIP tickets are $45 which includes early admission (beginning at 1 p.m.), access to special meads, and a flight at W A Meadwerks. The flight must be redeemed after the date of the festival.

General admission costs $35 and gives entrance to the festival starting at 2 p.m. From there, festivalgoers will be able to try around 60 meads.

To purchase tickets, click here.

About W A Meadwerks

W A Meadwerks, located at 26 West Hoffman Avenue, is open Thursdays 3 p.m. to 8 p.m., Fridays 3 p.m. to 9 p.m Saturdays noon to 8 p.m., and Sundays noon to 6 p.m.

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A look at Long Island’s only meadery, W A Meadwerks in Lindenhurst


A flight of meads from W A Meadwerks (Credit: Nicholas Esposito.)

Top: Long Island Mead Festival glass from W A Meadwerks.