Angus Smibert, is a Coonawarra-based entrepreneur hoping to bring mead to a modern audience. The Adelaide University business graduate was scouting around the internet for a new idea when he read about the rise in mead production in the United States. Smibert bought a few kilos of Australian honey and started mixing his own batches at his family's vineyard, Whistle Post.
"I noticed the way craft beer and cider have been booming over the last five years … and more importantly, how consumers are quite knowledgeable about what they're drinking," he says. "I was confident these drinkers would want to try something different. Mead is a whole new category to explore."
Smibert, 27, launched Smoothbeard, a cider-like sparkling iteration of mead, in December. It's sweet, but not too sweet, with a distinctive honey buzz and a dry finish. Smibert's initial vintage produced 600 cases that are now in bars and bottle shops around inner Melbourne.