In which Ricky the Meadmaker answers questions about re-pitching yeast from high-alcohol batches, fruit punchdowns, aging, Trans-resveratrol, entering competitions, and more!
As part of our move towards greater transparency, we are going to be sharing our company-wide environmental, social, and employment goals.
Like all small businesses, we struggle with profitability, creating a consistent product, and making ourselves heard in an ever-busier marketplace. To put it another way, we need to make a good product and a profit to survive.
We believe that radical transparency will actually help us achieve these goals in the long run because they force us to scrutinize our practices.
We are now officially reporting all of our goals alongside our current performance. Our entire staff participates in setting these goals, and we encourage you to reach out with any suggestions you have.
All of our staff currently makes above the livable wage for Vermont.
Our goal, by January of 2020, is to pay our lowest-paid employee at least the Vermont Livable Wage for two people on a single income. This will require that we increase wages by 20% across the board.
Kelly and Ricky currently don’t get paid by the company.
For the sustainability of the company, the owners need to get paid eventually. Our goal is to be able to begin paying them in early 2020.
We have reduced our cleaning water and chemical usage by 20% this year.
Our goal is to contain all of the water used for cleaning to assure a pH balance before releasing it down the drain or using it to water our brewery plants. We are hoping to buy a tote for this purpose by December of 2019.
We have purchased Ioniq Hybrids for our sales team, increasing the average fuel efficiency of our sales force from 28 mpg to 59 mpg. We have also begun using software which helps plan our routes to reduce emissions.
Our goal for the new year is to begin batching our account visits to minimize long drives from our base in St. Albans, Vermont.
Now that we no longer have a Mead Hall, we are working to create safe space for our meadiacs where they can gather and celebrate.
Our goal is to partner with organizations who share our belief in safe space and feasting culture. We are currently exploring a ton of options, and we hope to be able to launch a series of events in early 2020.
As per our discussion of profitability above, we have not been able to give as much to the charities we support as we would like.
Our goal is to become profitable in 2020 and increase our level of donations to an amount agreed upon by the staff. By January 2020 we will set a specific target percentage for this.
If you'd like to learn more about our work on being more socially and environmentally responsible, check out our article about our journey towards B Corp certification!
In a life full of fluctuating sales, erratic fermentations, and an ever-shifting marketplace - not to mention constantly being covered in honey and yeast - it can be easy to get so distracted by the day-to-day rush that the bigger picture fades into the background.
We didn’t start a meadery to become rich or famous (so far so good), and we certainly didn’t start a meadery for the joy of being sticky and stressed all the time.
When we founded Groennfell Meadery six years ago, we did it for two big reasons: We wanted to build a company we could be proud of and, we wanted that company to make a positive impact on the world.
To hold us accountable to our mission, we have been undergoing the extensive (and sometimes onerous) process of becoming a B Corp.
If you’re unfamiliar with B Corps, we urge you to go learn about this amazing program right now!
After hours and hours of compliance paperwork, interviews, structural changes to the company, and much more we’re proud to announce…
We’re almost there.
That’s right. We’re doing pretty well, but the reason you undergo an assessment like this one is not to pat yourself on the back, but to see just how far you need to go to be the company you want to be.
As of today, August 6th, 2019, we have an unconfirmed score of 79.4, which probably means nothing to you. Very generally speaking, the score is OK, but nowhere near where we want to be as a company.
Since starting the process, we’ve incorporated new benefits for our employees and introduced radical new cleaning procedures to reduce our water and chemical use. We’ve studied all of our packaging material and done life-cycle assessments on cans. We’ve learned more about True Source Certification than we ever thought we could.
Now it’s time to talk about our big areas of improvement: Transparency.
As soon as our answers are all verified and our score confirmed, we're going to begin regularly publishing our B Corp score alongside the full report and asking for feedback.
This is a pretty big deal for us because, to be honest, we’re not where we want to be as a company. But we’ve come to realize, throughout this process, that we’re never going to get there unless we invite our beloved meadiacs to scrutinize our business.
In an industry full of Crafty Beer owned by mega-corporations, we want to go above and beyond to be a company you trust.
Thank you for all of your support for the last six years! If there’s any way you can help us improve, we promise to listen.
 As usual, all of our research will be made available as part of our open source policy. We're just tidying it up for publication right now.
Groennfell Meadery is Vermont’s premier craft meadery. Inspired by Old Norse legends, brewed with extraordinary ingredients, Groennfell’s meads are unlike anything you’ve had before. Crisp, clean, and astoundingly drinkable, the only way to explain any one of Groennfell’s meads is to try one yourself.