Friday, February 10, 2023

Women of Beer: Abby McLocklin Cheng


By Kerri Allen
Abby McLocklin Cheng
Former CEO of Orpheus Brewing Company, Atlanta, GA

We all know that the brewing industry has been "male heavy" for a long time; however, over the last couple of decades more and more women are finding careers within the brewing world. In centuries past, most women were brewers, and it is only fitting that we celebrate the modern-day women who have found their calling in this niche of the beverage world.

"Women make up around half of the population. That is a staggering amount of underutilized expertise that comes from generations of wisdom, different ways of thinking, and eyes that offer alternative insights. The female customer base in craft beer is only growing, so the more representation from the other side of the counter (be it in production, management, sales, serving, etc.), the better!" The words of Abby Cheng, CEO of Orpheus Brewing in Atlanta, GA ring true from someone who started their career in the restaurant industry. Abby went on to say, "More women will feel comfortable venturing into the male-heavy industry if they see themselves well-represented. It goes without saying that this applies to many under-represented demographics, and I believe that women are in one of the prime spots to advocate for this type of change and inclusivity."

As graduate of culinary school, Abby's personal journal into the beer world tells the tale of someone who appreciates hand-crafted, great-tasting products. "From working in some stellar restaurant kitchens, to sharing my love of education teaching classes at Total Wine, to being in the middle of Georgia's booming beer scene working at Hop City's OG location, I've become the product of a lot of experiences that are both traditional and non-traditional. Needless to say, working around so many interesting beers shifted my passion and focus, and it was then that I began to find my way into the brewing community around metro Atlanta. What a community! This group of people was so welcoming and seemed so sincerely excited that I was finding my way into their world. After a quick departure a little deeper into the fine wine and craft spirits world, I realized that beer was no longer as central to my day-to-day routine as I wanted it to be. So, I worked out a deal with Hop City so that they could utilize my wine knowledge while I could also be surrounded by beer." 

After time spent with Total Wine, Abby worked for Atlanta-based New Realm, starting as a sales representative and ending up in the Senior Market Development Manager role before accepting a position as Director of Sales at Orpheus. As Orpheus' new CEO, Abby looks back on her journey, which led to this point and remarks, "It is a journey that I am honored to have been able to participate in thus far and enjoy sharing with other folks." On her time spent so far in her current position, Abby offers, "I absolutely love having the opportunity to introduce any level of new or experienced drinker to a flavor or combination of sensations that they have never before enjoyed in a beer. Going back to my passion for food and interesting flavor profiles, I am very fortunate to be involved with a brewery that "gets" creativity, but with balance. It would be really easy to make a sour beer with vanilla and pineapple that was super sweet and reminiscent of a dessert, but instead, Jason has crafted something refreshing and interesting that makes people think."

When asked what her biggest challenge and greatest reward have been, Abby remarks, "Honestly, my answers are kind of one in the same. I have learned so many more facets of the business and how to strategize past just encouraging sales in the market." Always striving to add to her knowledge, Abby is currently enrolled in the fall cohort of the Brewers Association's mentorship program. She excitedly says, "I am so thankful for the knowledge being so freely and graciously shared amongst other professionals in the industry."

At the start of this article, Abby spoke of the insight and perspective women bring to the industry. When asked how we can attract more women to the craft beer world, Abby contemplates," I think it is probably one of the best times in recent history to get involved. I also think offering opportunities for easily-accessible education will help women - or any participants - feel more confident in making themselves more marketable and formidable against other folks that may have walked into their roles more easily. With Safe Bars and #NotMe becoming more of the industry standard, it is my hope that those who viewed safety as a barrier to entry might feel more secure getting into the biz."

Before the release of this article, Orpheus hosted its second annual Burning Mouth Hot Sauce Competition. Abby commented on the importance of events such as this. "Our beer is incredible, and I definitely want return patrons to enjoy it, but it's also about finding ways to appeal to members of our neighborhood who aren't as beer savvy and might be more comfortable getting to know us through food events or evenings during which we feature interactive activities."

Regardless of what part of the industry in which you work, the more you know, the better. It is no surprise that Abby has made it to where she is today through hard work, a variety of experiences and a true passion for craft beer.


Published Originally in:


Friday, June 18, 2021

The Kentucky Bourbon Trail - June 2021

What a long, strange year it has been. Not being able to travel and be out and about has made it tough to find good material. Now that I am fully vaccinated, and hope you are too, I am slowly getting back out into the world. For my birthday, my SO and I visited Louisville and Lexington, Kentucky to check out some distilleries and a few breweries along the way.  Today, I chose to highlight three of the distilleries we enjoyed.

Angel's Envy: Founded in 2006, Angel's Envy has received wide acclaim. We participated in a tasting (along with a bachelor party) at the distillery which included a small chocolate tasting as well. We tasted three bourbons and two chocolates (white and milk). Their bourbons have notes of caramel, vanilla with a touch of citrus on the nose. Fascinatingly, their name came from terms used in the bourbon world. Natural evaporation occurs while the whiskey ages in the barrel. They call this the angel's share. What is left in the barrel at bottling is what the angels did not get. The distillery calls this Angel's Envy. The distillery staff are knowledgeable and friendly. I am a fan an usually keep a bottle in my cabinet.

Evan Williams: Although originally founded in 1783, Prohibition put a stop to most distilling, so there was a hiatus. Williams (part of the Heaven Hill brand) has been distilling continuously since 1957. They age their bourbons typically 4 years. The minimum age requirement to be considered straight bourbon is two years. We enjoyed their "Speakeasy Experience" which requires knocking on the speakeasy door and saying a password before being allowed in. The bartender is in period attire and delivers you back in time to a twenties Speakeasy while sampling an array of the brand's bourbons. This tasting was fun and informative as well as being very tasty. If you are planning a trip, definitely include this one on your itinerary.

Peerless: Founded in 1889 by Henry Kraver, it was revived in 2014 by Kraver's great-great grandson Corky Taylor and his son, Carson. Distilleries are issued a plant number when registering for their license, they were able to have their original number reissued to them through quite a few legal hoops which leads them to have one of the older (and smaller) numbers. They distill under the DSP-KY-50. Their bourbons are bottled between 4 and 6 years depending on the master distillers tasting notes. Unlike most of the distilleries, they use a column still instead of a pot still. They, along with Angel's Envy, use a local cooperage, Kelvin, for their single use barrels. They have a  number of complex ryes and bourbons that have become some of my new favorites as I had not had tasted any prior to this trip. You can buy the ryes in Georgia; they are working on getting some of the bourbons into this state. As a special note, they have a distillery cat named Rye, who is a hardly working calico who adores head rubs and back scratches.

You may see bourbons that have beer barrel finished or wine barrel finished on the label. To be bourbon, the distilled liquid must be aged in a charred barrel which can only be used once. Once the right amount of time has passed and the liquid is considered bourbon, it may be "finished" in another type of barrel. The once used barrels are sold to Scotch and other beverage distillers which don't operate under the same confines.

We were a bit limited as right now many places in Kentucky are still practicing Covid-19 safety; so we had to really plan our trip and reserve spots for tastings and tours. If you are planning a trip, keep that in mind. We were able to do most of what we wanted in terms of pubs and restaurants as well. Travel safely and remember to eat well and drink good...bourbon.

Monday, July 13, 2020

The Beer Wench Takes on Death Nut Challenge

Beer Wench Georgia takes a break from reviewing craft beers to experience "The Death Nut Challenge V2" by Blazing Foods. 

@deathnutchallenge #deathnutchallenge #deathnuts #blazingfoods #worldshottestpeanuts

Try it out at! 

Sunday, June 16, 2019

Reflections in a Pint Glass: Takeaways from Montana

Glacier National Park
Anytime I visit somewhere, I learn something new even if I have been there before.  I had made a prior trip to the beautiful state of Montana, but this time I had guides that really made me look deeply at what makes beer cultures different (and the same) from state to state or country to country.

Agriculture plays a huge role in Montana. Great Falls, Montana falls at the bottom tip of the golden triangle which is an area known for barley growing, as well as some other grains such a wheat. We were hosted by Malteurop, a malting company which works directly with the farmers of Montana. Although barley is a key ingredient in beer, malt often does not receive the same amount of press as hops. They are working to provide high quality malt while also researching varieties with farmers that are easier and more sustainable to grow while still giving brewers what they need.

Snow Hop Brewery, Helena, Montana
Craft beer, unlike its agricultural counterpart wine, has had to fight for a space in the market due to outdated or non-existent laws. Every state must overcome their own obstacles. In Montana, breweries and brewpubs must stop serving beer at 8:00 pm.  This law came about as a compromise to be able to have taprooms; breweries are not allowed to compete with restaurants and bars that are open much later. Now, breweries can purchase a special license which is very expensive, which essentially would make them a bar, but for most small and independent breweries, many of which are not distributing, this is not a viable option.
Jeremiah Johnson Brewing
Company proudly showcases their
local flavor on their cans.

It amazed me how many breweries exist in a state that just tops one million people. It seems that many small towns boast at least one brewery. The "larger" cities have several, and, like most of the people I have met in the beer industry, are passionate about beer, ingredients, and sharing with the public. We were lucky to try a beer from Jeremiah Johnson Brewing Company in Great Falls made with black lentils - a tasty brew which drew some color and body from the legumes. The ingenuity and creativity of brewers never ceases to amaze me, especially when it comes to trying new ingredients.

The history of beer can be fascinating. In Montana, the history of fermented beverages goes as far back as the Lewis and Clark expedition and has been growing ever since. Steven Lozar is a beer historian that I had the pleasure of meeting. He talks of beer being the center of town life with not only social aspects but the economic benefits as well. There is even a Montana Beer Museum in Polson, Montana.

Beer Wench GA and Steven Lozar in Kalispell 2019
There are so many great towns to visit. In addition to Great Falls and Missoula (side trip) we wandered around Helena and Kalispell. Helena is a great walking town with some very good breweries. Snow Hop Brewery which is not in downtown proper is definitely a must see. Head brewer Becky Peppelman has some classic styles such as a Polish smoked beer called a Grodziskie that I loved among many more. In Helena, you also have Blackfoot Brewing, Ten Mile Creek Brewing, and Lewis and Clark Brewing who are all doing fabulous things with beer. Kalispell is also a quaint town with a few breweries among them Kalispell Brewing, SunRift, Bias, and Sacred Waters. Believe me when I say that I could write an article on each of these breweries alone.

Where do you drink beer? We drink beer at breweries, pubs, restaurants, bottle shares, parties, and sitting on our decks, but if you are in a state that offers a wide range of outdoor activities, you also drink on your kayak, in your campsite, taking a break while cycling, fishing, and after skiing. In a state where there are plenty of wide-open spaces, you can drink your favorite Montana beers while watching the sun go down at your special recreation spot. So even if your local brewery stops serving at 8:00 pm, you can grab a growler and take it with you on your next big adventure, even if it is just watching elk stroll across your yard.

Montana is on my watch list to see what happens next, and you can be sure that I will be returning to re-visit my favorite places and discover some new ones.Thank you Zephyr Conferences for putting on the BeerNow19 conference in Montana and thanks to all of our local guides. I have so many places and people I want to mention, but for now I can sit on my deck in Georgia with a pint of local beer and remember the beauty of the scenery, the people and the beer of Montana. Where ever you are, eat well and drink good beer.

Sunday, October 7, 2018

To Go or Not to go? The Great American Beer Festival

Jason Pellett of Orpheus in
 Atlanta, GA pours his brews
 after winning a GABF medal
The name says it all--The Great American Beer Festival. Every year since 1982, people have been attending the oldest and largest beer festival in the United States. Over the years it has become larger and more diverse; however, with so many festivals, beer releases, and other beer events-the question that many ask, "Why go?"

I attended the festival for the first time somewhere in the late 1990s. I was both ecstatic and overwhelmed by the sheer magnitude, and they only had about 2500 beers that year. Since that first experience, I have become a GABF judge which is a different experience entirely. Still, the festival holds magic for me and many of the people who attend on a regular basis.

So, if you have never been, or you have not been in awhile, here are some reasons that this festival is worth attending.

7. Bragging Rights: Your social media presence will never be so envied by your fellow craft beer lovers when you post the picture of that vintage beer that they have always wanted to try. (I had a 2014 Abyss from Deschutes Brewing Company during one session.) Also, where else can you "untap" 4,000 plus beers in one room. (No, it is physically impossible to try all the beers both from an alcohol and time management standpoint, but it is good to have goals.) I have never seen so many people using the Untappd app in unison. In fact, Untappd was a sponsor for this year's event.

6. Beer Swag: If you collect beer t-shirts, towels, bags, glasses, homebrew equipment, beer for your dog, or anything related to hops, beer, and the beer industry--you will find it here. I went this year intent upon buying nothing beer clothing related. I failed. I found the coolest light fleece hoodie with hops on it. Sold to the beer swag sucker indeed!

5. Surrounding Events: Hello, people. This event takes place in Denver, Colorado where you can throw a rock and hit a brewery. Most of the cities around Denver deliver the same. When you are not at your ticketed session, the city is your oyster--full of beer. If you love nature, you can always go out of town a little ways and hike off some that beer you have been drinking. There are brewery sponsored tap take-overs and special events all around downtown. One of my favorites is Epic's Fifty Firken Fiasco.

4. People Watching: What is almost as much fun as drinking good beer? Watching people drink good beer comes to mind. The costumes at GABF can go from the sublime to the ridiculous, and it is not just the attendees dressing out. Some of the breweries get into it as well. Although, I don't think it happened this year, people have also been married at GABF, and there is a bagpipe parade.

Franklin and Zach from Eagle Creek
Brewing Company enjoying the brewer's
 reception with Beer Wench GA and
Brewtopia Events founder, Owen Ogletree 
3. Supporting the breweries from your home state: Most people who have heard of the festival know that it is not just a few sessions of people drinking as much as they can in four hours. It is also a major American beer competition like World Beer Cup except all of the beers come from the U.S. The judging takes place over three days (Wednesday through Friday) during the week of the event. On Saturday there is a special awards ceremony just before the early festival session. Win or lose, brewers have put their hearts, souls, and money into the event. It is great to visit your local breweries and representatives to show them love away from home.

2. Meeting the Brewers/Owners: Even though I have been a part of the craft beer industry in small ways over the last twenty-five years, I still geek out. I love meeting the brewers and owners of the places that have brought me beer happiness over the years. Some of them are well-known in the industry and some are new, but being able to meet and hear the stories behind the craft makes it more special.
Sam Calagione shares his time at
the Dogfish Head booth

1. Travel the U.S. in one room: Some of you may be lucky enough to travel often; others, maybe not so much, but at GABF, you can try beers from places that you have not been yet or places that may not be easy to visit. My tip is to avoid the crazy long lines of the latest "whale" or "juicy" release and find the places of which you have never heard. Often, the beers are amazing and the brewers will truly appreciate the feedback. Even if you get a few duds here and there, it is worth it to be adventurous.
The ladies of Lady Justice Brewing Company

The Great American Beer festival is an awesome experience whether you are a seasoned beer aficionado, beer geek, or a craft beer newbie. Bring your adventurous spirit and a positive attitude and enjoy yourself! How can 60.000 plus people be wrong? Wherever you enjoy your favorite beers, remember to eat well and drink good beer.

Friday, June 22, 2018

An American Look at the South African Craft Beer Renaissance

This article was published originally in South Africa's On Tap craft beer magazine.

Three and a half years ago, on a bucket list trip to South Africa with my husband, we found craft beer… good craft beer. Recently, we brought thirty-two beer travelers specifically to enjoy the exploding craft beer scene around Cape Town. The most popular question that I’ve been asked since the trip is “How is the craft beer scene in South Africa?” After much reflection, I have an answer.

I started writing about craft beer not long after I started drinking it in the early 1990s. I fell in love with beer that was bursting with flavor and came to appreciate a plethora of styles, but I live in Georgia, part of the deep south of the United States, and the beer scene here took off slowly. We would travel to other states to find good beer and explore different styles. The craft beer scene in Cape Town and the rest of South Africa reminds me of those early years and the beginning of our current explosion of breweries and brewpubs in the USA over the last ten years.

What makes up some of these similarities? Take a population hooked on light, fizzy lagers, rooted for decades in tradition, and living in a hot and humid climate, and finding a way to market a 9.5% ABV Russian Imperial Stout can prove daunting. Add into the mix a group of passionate brewers, brewery owners, beer lovers, and foodies; and you get the start of a craft beer revolution. Brew it, and they will try it - eventually. Most of the breweries we’ve visited in South Africa make a light lager as a concession to the majority of the population. Along with more adventurous styles, many of our American breweries have done the same but are slowly learning that they have to brew the flavorful styles that they want to drink, and then educate the masses in a way that encourages them to try these new beers.


Give the people the same old bland beers, and they will never change their palates. Brew the amazing beer that you want, and people will become curious about what is so special about it. Michigan-based Founders Brewing Company almost went under because they were brewing beer to please the masses - beers they thought would sell. Almost out of business, Founders decided to go out with a bang and brew the creative, flavorful cutting-edge beers they loved to drink. Guess what? They are currently one of the most successful craft breweries in the United States.

I saw pockets of this rebellious nature while visiting breweries around Cape Town. We tasted a saison brewed with a mix of sorghum and barley, a brilliant imperial IPA, a delicate pilsner with the perfect mix of hops, and a wild fermented ale brewed with artistic aplomb, just to name a few. With all of the brewers and staff that we met, we were welcomed with open arms and open taps. These people wanted to show off their craftsmanship and receive feedback on their labors of love. This gives me hope that the next time I visit South Africa, I will have many more wonderful beers to try.

This being said, we did have some mediocre beers and beers with off flavors. Some of our U.S. breweries that started in the 1990s are no longer with us because their beer just was not of good quality. Also, some brewery owners could not manage the business end of brewing. Some, thankfully, kept trying. They tweaked recipes, assembled tasting panels for feedback, and even worked together with other breweries to improve their beers and find and audience.

We witnessed some collaborating in South Africa, with different breweries having conversations, sharing ideas, and pulling together. For the most part, I feel that the craft beer landscape in the U.S. is a cooperative community. There are always outliers and those who do not play well with others, but if multiple craft breweries share the same mission to save beer drinkers from bland beer, working together seems the best way to go.

 Using local and native ingredients in the brewing process stands out as one of my favorite things from South Africa. Although many of the brewers are working with familiar styles such as American-style IPAs and German-inspired wheat beers, I loved the creative beers that incorporated native hops, grapes, or herbs. I’m not knocking traditional styles at all, but I feel that playing with native ingredients can be fun and innovative. It seems that there are quite a few specialty cocktail places around Cape Town that infuse herbs and other botanicals into their mixes. If you are looking to expand the craft beer market, look to what is popular - especially when trying to entice novice or non-beer drinkers.

I wish I had space here to talk specifically about each brewery we visited, because they all offered something special, and I hope that each of them finds their way. In every market, brewers must figure out what works for their specific audience, but I would challenge the craft brewers of South Africa to take chances, have fun, and brew what they want to drink. I also challenge the traditional beer drinkers and non-beer drinkers of South Africa to venture outside their comfort zones and try the local craft breweries. They might be surprised to find some new favorite brews. When I first starting writing about beer, our entire state of Georgia had maybe five breweries. We are now home to around 40 craft breweries, with several more in the works. It may take time, but craft beer’s appeal tends to eventually win people over. Life is short. Eat well and drink good beer.


Kerri Allen is a Georgia beer writer, craft beer traveler, and judge at the Great American Beer Festival. Her beer blog can be found at

Saturday, September 30, 2017

Much Ado About Mead

By Beer Wench Georgia
First published in Southern Brew News. defines mead as "An alcoholic beverage made by fermenting honey and water," but to lovers of this often delicate and underappreciated elixir, mead represents much more. Mead may be the oldest alcoholic beverage, with some of the earliest documentation being around 8,000 years ago showing that mead has been brewed throughout the world. Until recently, mead has often been treated as an outsider to both the beer and wine communities, and many people say that it's a "love it or hate it" libation. If you've not tried it lately, there are now several craft meaderies popping up around the Southeast that are producing remarkable meads with local flair. 
Monks Mead in Atlanta, Georgia makes a carbonated mead with wildflower honey that has a clean, sweet honey aroma and flavor that's not cloyingly sweet. The complexities are subtle, but flavors of pears and allspice can be detected. This is a pure, semi-sweet mead that's a good way to start your mead education. Justin Schoendorf, co-owner of Monks Mead, says, "We're Georgia’s first meadery - founded by two high school friends shortly after getting to Atlanta. We have one simple goal - create the best tasting mead in the world for everyone to enjoy - light, clean and carbonated with a touch of sweetness." Monks Mead is looking to move to Athens and will be working with Brian Roth at Southern Brewing Company.
"Starrlight Mead has been making mead in Pittsboro, NC for six years with local North Carolina honey," notes co-owner Becky Starr. "We opened with only three flavors, and are now up to a lineup of about 25 that includes traditionals, fruit blends and herb-infused meads. We've won several awards at international competitions, including a best-in-class/double gold for our Semi-sweet Traditionalat the 2015 American Wine Society competition. Starrlight Mead is currently building the largest mead hall and production facility in North Carolina, scheduled to open in late 2017."
Starrlight's traditional and popular Off-Dry Mead offers aromas and flavors of honey, butterscotch, clove, red apple, caramel, pear and kiwi. It's the perfect mead for those looking for something complex and a little less sweet.
Fox Hill Meadery's Special Reserve Off-Dry Mead made with buckwheat honey and aged in oak showcases the brilliant color of dark rum and provides a similar flavor complexity. Dark fruits reminiscent of cherries and dates balance charmingly with vanilla and oak. It warms the throat with each swallow, leaving flavors of a strawberry/rhubarb pie in the finish. Fox Hill's Jason Russ remarks, "Our meadery was founded in 2007 and ranks as one of the oldest meaderies in the Southeast. We've been brewing mead, beer, wine and ciders since 1995 and we focus on making clean, balanced products. Fox Hill is a family run operation, with my wife Jennifer and daughter Abby helping out when things get really busy - like on bottling day." 
Still Pond Peach Mead is a still mead made in Arlington, Georgia at Still Pond Vineyard and Winery. Expect flavors of a Fuzzy Navel with a clean peach nose and flavor balanced with rich honey notes. The peach is so fresh in the flavor, that you can almost taste the skin. Still Pond offers tastings of their wines, meads and "Farmhouse Shines" in their tasting room.
Viking Alchemy Meaderyis a family and veteran owned business located in Marietta, Georgia. According to Viking Alchemy's Tamara Kosoris, "Our passion for making mead started about 10 years ago in co-owner Brian’s kitchen. After learning about mead from a friend, Brian and his brewing buddy Nick decided to give it a shot, and this has led to a love of mead ever since. We opened our doors to the public on March 26, 2016 to a crowd of 350 people, and we have been growing our brands throughout the state of Georgia ever since." 
Viking Alchemy's Ethereal is made with peaches and presents intricate aromas and flavors. Semi-sweet with a slight acidity, this mead balances the flavors of honey with peach and almond-like peach pit nuances. Look for notes of honeysuckle and vanilla wafers, along with golden currant.
Readers may know Lazy Magnolia Brewing for their craft beer, but the Mississippi brewery is now concocting meads too! Mississippi Nectar mead will have even the newest transplant to the South thinking of lazy summer nights with bees buzzing around. Using South Mississippi wildflower honey, this earthy, fruity balm will transport you to a rocking chair on the front porch surrounded by fragrant honeysuckle. It contains notes of blackberry, spices, pear and plum along with hints of Cheerwine.
Lazy Magnolia's Leslie Henderson
Leslie Henderson of Lazy Magnolia adds, "Mississippi does not allow breweries to sell product direct to customers. However, native wineries have no such limitations. The only stipulation is that 51% of the fermentable sugars must come from Mississippi. Honey was an obvious choice for us, and one of our relatives is a large-scale honey producer in Ellisville, Mississippi. We have used his honey in several of our beers, and we saw mead as a tasty way to increase awareness of this Mississippi agricultural product while expanding our own line-up. We also did this to highlight the absurdity of not allowing breweries to sell directly to customers who visit the tasting room. I can sell someone a case of 14% ABV wine, but not a case of 5% alcohol beer. In what universe does this make sense? Since 2012 we've sold thousands of bottles of wine to hundreds of happy customers, and not a single distributor or retailer has lost a penny as a result. We are now able to refute, with actual data, all of the arguments against on-site retail sale of beer."
Cigar City Brewing in Tampa has also entered the mead making world, and their San Juan Hailmead takes creative inspiration from many of Cigar City's unique craft beers. Made with Brazilian pepper honey, pineapple, agave and habanero, this flavorful mead ranks as truly remarkable and memorable. Although peppers may not always fit everyone’s taste, the pleasing balance of hot and sweet notes in this mead reminds one of pepper jelly with undertones of fresh green pepper and mescal. 
Cigar City Cider & Mead opened its doors in November of 2014 with Jared Gilbert as head cider and mead maker. Jared notes, "We want to offer our customers a diverse selection of 100% natural ciders and meads with Florida-grown ingredients - all crafted in the heart of historic Ybor City." Jared has already won a variety of awards for many of his ciders and meads.
Mead has inspired civilization throughout the centuries, and the enthusiasm for this tasty beverage is finding new fans every day. If you've never given it a go, check out some of the innovative meaderies around the Southeast or head to your favorite bottle shop or pub to delight your senses with one of the oldest alcoholic beverages in the world and discover how modern mead producers are adding their own "New World" spin.