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Enjoy mead at historic Smithfield church

A historic site in Smithfield is offering delicious refreshments to visitors as they enjoy a day of 17th-century living.

Historic St. Luke’s Church at 14477 Benn’s Church Blvd. is offering a mead tasting fundraiser during its 17th-century living history event on Sept. 9. The celebration will be from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. and the tasting starts at 3 p.m. Tickets are $10 and include complimentary access to the rest of the day’s events, except for the benefit concert.

Participants must be ages 21 or older and have photo identification on hand.

“Mead is a little bit different,” Popp said. “You can’t walk into necessarily any place and get a mead tasting.”

Silver Hand Meadery of Williamsburg will offer four different mead flavors brimming with musical references and influences, according to Rachel Popp, education coordinator and organizer for the living history event.

One flavor called “soak up the sun” — a reference to the song by Sheryl Crow — is semi-sweet and fruity with an orange blossom honey flavor. Teress Bruless is infused with caramel, spice and a smoky aroma.

“The flavor is kind of a nutty butterscotch,” Popp said.

The tasting will be followed by a 17th-century benefit concert at 4 p.m. featuring the Locrian Consort, a collection of musicians with instruments ranging from classical to the more obscure, such as the sacbut.

“That’s basically an earlier version of the modern trombone,” Popp said. “It doesn’t sound like any other instrument I’ve ever heard. It’s kind of entertaining but also very educational.”

Historic St. Luke’s was built in the 17th century and is the oldest church in Virginia. The Historic St. Luke’s Restoration educational nonprofit celebrated the 60th anniversary of the site’s restoration in May and continues to operate the national historic landmark with daily guided tours for public and private groups, along with educational programs.

The money raised on Sept. 9 will support the nonprofit’s educational outreach programs, all while offering visitors plenty of food, drink and entertainment as they travel back in time.

“There’s something for everyone,” Popp said. “There’s going to be food, there’s going to be music, and there’s going to mead. It’s really something for all the senses, and I’m excited about every little part of it.”

Concert tickets are $15 and include complimentary access to the rest of the day’s events, except for the mead tasting.

Call 357-3367 or email rpopp@historicstlukes.org for tickets and other information, or visit historicstlukes.org.