An opportunity to test and learn about honey wine will be included in the lineup of beer and whiskey tastings at this year's Dublin Irish Festival.

An opportunity to test and learn about honey wine will be included in the lineup of beer and whiskey tastings at this year's Dublin Irish Festival.

Mead was sold at last year's festival, but this year, an inaugural mead tasting will be offered at 11:30 a.m. Aug. 7 as part of the annual Dublin Irish Festival in Coffman Park.

The whiskey and beer tastings at the festival often sell out, so after several requests, festival organizers decided to try a tasting for honey wine.

"We get requests. People say, 'Why do you have other beverages that are Irish, but not mead?' So we decided to try it," events administrator Mary Jo DiSalvo said.

Trish Lackey, events manager, said the mead tasting would follow a similar layout of the whiskey and beer tastings and could accommodate 100 patrons.

The Oliver Winery of Bloomington, Ind., will provide the mead.

Mead is one of the first products made at Oliver Winery, said Jeff Milburn, a Dublin resident who works for the winery.

"It was started by Professor (William) Oliver. He was a professor at Indiana University who decided to make some mead," Milburn said.

Although the origin of mead, or honey wine, is "fairly unknown," Milburn said, some think it first was made by the Irish.

"No one can claim its origins, but many think it was created by Irish monks," he said. "And it was accepted by every type. It was something enjoyed by everyone, from peasants to high kings."

The wine made from honey also has ties to "honeymoon," which, Milburn said, is an Irish word.

Though the etymology of "honeymoon" comes with different theories, Milburn attributes the word to an Irish rite.

"Honeymoon comes from Irish culture. When newlyweds would drink mead for the full cycle of the moon," he said, noting that mead often would be given to newlyweds as a present. "In today's society, individuals are still participating in that tradition, and they don't realize that's where it came from. Honeymoon is the gift of mead."

The mead tasting will offer information on the history of mead, how it's made and some tastes.

Milburn said the tasting would include Camelot mead, as well as mead infused with black cherry and mango.

"We take the original Camelot mead and infuse it with fresh, natural flavors," he said. "We're also featuring our spritzers, made by adding a little ginger ale. It's a great summer cocktail."

Milburn said he's a longtime attendee of the Dublin Irish Festival and the mead tasting should be a perfect addition.

"I believe it's a great opportunity for guests to experience something new that dates back centuries," he said. "It's now a widely accepted and highly produced product. It's one of the most homemade wines produced."

The mead tasting is slated for 11:30 a.m. Aug. 7 in the Bushmills darts and whiskey snug. DiSalvo said attendees should register early, adding that she expects it to sell out.

For more information on the Dublin Irish Festival and other activities, visit