Mead is a beverage typically alcoholic, made from honey and water, by fermentation with yeast. Its alcoholic content may range from that of a mild ale to that of a strong wine. It may be still, carbonated, or sparkling. It may be dry, semi-sweet, or sweet. While it is often referred to as "honey wine", technically mead is no more a honey wine than beer is a malt wine.
Depending on local traditions and specific recipes, it may be brewed with spices, fruits, or grain mash. It may be produced by fermentation of honey with grain mash; mead may also, like beer, be flavoured with hops to produce a bitter, beer-like flavour.
Mead is independently multicultural. It is known from many sources of ancient history throughout Europe, Africa and Asia. Its origins are lost in prehistory.