I Mead Your Love

10 Aug

A bunch of ladies at a meadery. Enjoying the meads. Doesn’t Mary’s cocktails look bananas?!

The above title is an example of the kind of joke you make after a tour at Brothers Drake Meadery & Bar, located on the corner of 5th and High in the Short North. Maybe it was due to International Mead Day – which last Saturday happened to be – or maybe the tasting pours are always that generous. In any case, my first experience at Bros. Drake did not disappoint. And somewhere between Bergamot Blue and Apple Pie (I guess that would have been the paw paw mead) I was feelin’ good.

But less about my buzz during my pal’s bachelorette party less weekend, and more about Brothers Drake… sound good? Our tour guide gave a fairly comprehensive run-down of how Brothers Drake came to be – it started as the idea of two brothers who liked to home-brew their mead – but I feel that their site fairly succinctly sums up  what the meadery is all about. Namely, being local and sustainable.

“Every day we work to source the most local, pure, organic and fresh ingredients to craft our meads.To us, ‘local’ is not just a buzz word – it’s our guiding principle. Local makes our mead the highest quality. Local supports our beekeepers and farmers. Local means integrating spirits from Ohio, local art and music into our Meadery & Bar located in the heart of Columbus.

This is why we decided to sell our product only locally. So you’re not going to see us producing huge quantities of mead and shipping it all over the country. Local is what makes us distinct.

We make it here, we sell it here. We hope you’ll enjoy it here.”

(Emphasis mine).

Full disclosure: there were certainly parts of the tour that I found long-winded – possibly due to the fact that I had three glasses of mead in me – but this talk of not only producing a product local but also distributing it local resonated with me. The meadery seems to have a really smart business model for being both successful and truly sustainable, which obviously involves a lot of sacrifice (in particular the profit that they could be making by “getting big” and sending their bottles off across the country). I won’t type your ears off here, I promise. But for anyone interested in trying something new and learning a thing or two about a local biz, I’d definitely suggest taking a tour.

And for those who want to check out Brothers Drake without parting with the extra $20 a tour will run ya, the bar is worth a visit on its own. They also make their cocktails with mead (and a number of other Ohio spirits), and although I only tried a couple, what I had was spectacular.



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