In which Ricky the Meadmaker answers questions about yeast nutrient vs. yeast energizer, where he draws inspiration for his mead recipes, what he thinks about bottles, cans, and aluminum bottles, and more!
Thank you to all the comedians who came out to Havoc's comedy night and to Stand Up For the Lake supporting LCI! To see more photos, click here for Wreaking Havoc and here for Stand Up For the Lake.
Since Groennfell Meadery first opened almost two years ago, it seems like the number of home meadmakers has absolutely exploded.
Every event we go to, we have at least half a dozen people come up to our tent and say, “I make mead at home, and I’d love to try your stuff.” Their reactions range from, “boy, I am definitely doing something wrong,” to “this is fine, but I like mine better.”
Then, of course, there are all the Tweets, comments, and e-mails we get for Ask the Meadmaker. Really, it’s incredibly exciting to see the community growing.
But, dear Meadiacs, we need to address a serious problem we’re seeing in the home meadmaking community: The One Gallon Batch.
We get it, we really do, from closet space to risk mitigation to cost, there seem to be so many advantages to the one gallon batch. We are not discrediting any of these things.
The cost of brewing a batch of mead scales (for the most part) linearly. In other words, the more you brew the more it costs, and that’s a big factor in any hobby.
Nevertheless we are huge advocates of the five gallon homebrew batch for several reasons:
Yet price and space aren’t the most common reason given for small batch meadmaking, it’s this: “What if it’s not good?”
Our response: “What if it is good?”
You see, it (often) takes a long time to ferment a batch of mead at home. For honey wines, you can be looking at a year or more, and for craft meads it can still be months. Why would you put in all that work and be so patient to only end up with five bottles of mead?
Go big, friends. The small additional cost will more than pay for itself in saved time and more mead to share.
And so what if it is bad? Seriously, we all have that friend… just invite him over for a Vikings marathon and we’re sure he’ll take care of it for you.
 This is not an argument, however, against side-by-side one gallon test batches for things like hopping, yeast selection, or other experiments where the data is more important than the final product.
Ricky the Meadmaker has been hard at work on a top secret project.
We know that "Ricky the Meadmaker" and "hard at work" have never appeared in the same sentence before, but we're serious. He's been putting in twenty hours a week for over a month on something he'll only refer to as "The Feast."
Here's what we know:
That's it. Keep checking the blog and social media for more information.
In which Ricky the Meadmaker answers questions about food pairings, creative ingredient ideas for mead, whether or not he still homebrews, back-sweetening with maltodextrin, and how long it takes to make a livable wage after starting a meadery.
Do you like posters for events???
Wait. No. Let's try again.
Do you like awesome events that support an amazing cause? Well, below, there's a poster for our upcoming comedy night to benefit Lake Champlain International and all the hard work they do to create a swimmable, drinkable, fishable lake for everyone.
You should come. There will be food, comedy, mead, and a great cause.
Buy your tickets online or at Groennfell Meadery and check out the Facebook page for more info!
Last week, we found out the very exciting news that Andrea Gagner would be taking over as CEO of 14th Star Brewery in St. Albans, Vermont, and we couldn’t be more pleased.
Andrea is a good friend of ours and has basically been running the show there for years, so if for no other reason, it’s a great promotion because she now gets the recognition she deserves. Also, lest we forget to mention the fact that the former CEO Steve has, like, a million jobs and a family and he probably never sleeps.
And yet, there’s a larger reason we’re excited about Andrea’s promotion: She’s female.
The brewing world is extremely male dominated in America and, as a woman owned and operated brewing outfit ourselves, we are thrilled to have other companies in our camp helping to change face of the industry.
Now, we are not saying that men are bad at brewing or should be turned down for jobs. We are also not saying that anyone is intentionally unwelcoming. To be clear, every brewery and distributorship we’ve interacted with is miles from the old boys’ club or fraternity scene you find in movies.
Female drinkers now account for about 1 in 3 craft beers consumed in the US, yet the marketing basically ignores women entirely as this article here and this now famous piece from Slate Magazine both explore in great detail.
Beyond the marketing of beer, there’s a very real problem if any portion of our population is made to feel uncomfortable – intentionally or unintentionally – in the work place. There are numerous breweries with staffs that are composed entirely of men. While we all love to think that we’re in a post gender-bias world, it can be extremely tough to be the token female.
This problem of employee gender-disparity is of special interest in brewing since the craft industry represents one of the few rapidly growing business sectors with high paying positions for individuals without significant formal education. As has been very well documented, the US has a persistent gender-based pay-gap issue, a problem which is compounded by race and education level. Wouldn’t it be nice to be part of the solution?
Things are changing, however, as this article from the Washington Times documents. Slowly but surely, women are fighting their way into the industry. Here in Vermont, Rock Art, Fiddlehead, The Alchemist, and others all have women in charge of their operations, and Drop-In Brewery has women working at every level of their business.
So, Andrea, welcome to the team! Thanks for all you do at 14th Star and for the industry at large; the world needs more people like you.
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.