Birth of the Mead King
You might be wondering how this all got started. Well, as with most things, good friends and alcohol were involved! I took a mead brewing class from my friend Bo, back in 2009. He convinced me that I should buy some supplies to “practice with” (about $150 worth). By the time my first batch was complete, I was entranced with this magical elixir. You could say it was love at first sip!
Saga of the Mead King
After that initial foray, I bought more supplies, started brewing in larger quantities, and slowly ramped up over the years. Now my friends and family assist throughout the entire process: from coming up with new recipes to brewing the batches, racking over (transferring to new containers) and bottling, to most importantly, tasting.
We started in 2009 with the capability to make 6 gallons a year. When we made the decision to pursue opening a meadery we were hitting the 200 gallon limit at home (it was an expensive hobby at that point). In just our first year we have tripled our capacity and are looking forward to the hundreds of gallons yet to come!
At first, I would just bring mead to parties and camping trips, share it around, and enjoy the joy and carousing that would ensue. There is just something special about sitting around a fire with friends and sharing a bottle (or three!) of mead. It is a magical time to connect with the Earth and those around you. Now we can share it with new friends at the meadery. Watching folks taste mead for the first time, and develop their palate with all our different flavors, is so rewarding.
Connecting to the Earth
Brewing this mead is as much an act of devotion and dedication as it is a business. We source as much as we can locally and rely on sustainable resources in as many aspects as possible. Typically, we source our honey from local apiaries in southern Wisconsin, such as Sauk, Adams, Wood, and a few other counties. We have done blueberry picking days at local farms, picking several pounds of blueberries for just one batch! So many of our ideas come from friends and family (along with so much labor!). From ideas like blueberry, apple, and cranberry to the more fun root beer, pink peppercorn, and orange blossom.
Occasionally we play with some more exotic ingredients, like honey imported from Brazil. Mmmm! More ideas coming down the pipeline.
The Mead Hall
We bought the old Rock Springs Village Hall in the spring of 2018. This kicked off the hardest part of the saga so far: bringing the building into a usable state and government paperwork.
The Hall started out as a church and has been many things in the last century. It has served as the jail, the village hall, and a maintenance building to name a few. As we interact with the folks of Rock Springs, we are collecting the history of this place, hearing the stories from folks who have seen all of its iterations. As we’ve renovated, we’ve tried to keep as much of the original spirit of the building as possible - you can still see the original hardwood floors, warm and burnished from a century of use. We can’t wait to continue the upgrades to the building and landscape over the next few years. Come back and see what we get ourselves in to!