By Douglas Crowl
You don’t have to poll many people to stumble across a dream business idea.
Maybe it’s an art gallery, yoga studio, guitar store or coffee shop.
“Just do it,” Adam Kittel said while standing beside a row of shiny new fermenters, large stainless steel pots where honey, water and yeast will ferment to make honey wine, commonly known as mead.
Mead is Kittel’s passion and he planted his dream business in downtown Loveland, the Bacchus Meadery, with his brother, Jason Kittel, and girlfriend, Tamara Clark.
“You know what, it’s gone amazingly smooth,” Adam Kittel said about his start-up experience, which included weaving through state and federal regulations for making and selling alcohol.
Bacchus Meadery, named after the Roman god of wine, will open in January as the fifth meadery in Colorado and the first in Larimer County.
“It’s a sticky business,” Adam Kittel said. “There’s no simple, nice clean job here. When you are making mead, you are wet and sticky.”
But it’s the job he found his way into after working as a data storage engineer for Sun Microsystems in Broomfield.
It all began in 2003, when Adam Kittel was attending a medieval club’s camping event and he wanted to stop spending so much money on bringing mead to share.
“We decided to try to make mead. It’s just honey, water and yeast,” he said. “We should be able to make something good enough to take camping.”
A year-and-a-half later, Adam Kittel actually came up with some mead that tasted good after experimenting with several batches in his garage.
“Some of it turned out really bad,” he said.
But that eventual good batch had people asking where they could buy some, which planted the seed for Adam Kittel to begin a meadery.
He began planning the business in summer 2006 and moved into 217 E. 3rd St., of the Sweetheart City in October.
“From a marketing standpoint, Loveland made good sense,” said Clark, who’s handling the marketing for the business.
After all, mead is known as the “drink of love” and the term honeymoon actually derives its meaning back to mead for its alleged fertile benefits, she said.
A soft opening for the Bacchus Meadery happens in January.
Appropriately, they plan an official grand opening around Valentine’s Day to go along with Loveland’s Valentine’s Day events.
That will include brewing a special batch of mead called “Cupid” to mark the occasion.
Jason Kittel is heading the sales part of the business. He’s already working with a major ski resort company on the Interstate 70 corridor, but nothing has been finalized.
“It’s been a little mixed,” Jason Kittel said about pitching the product. “A lot of the time, you run into people who don’t even know what it is.”
But mead has been around for long time. Some historical reports say the ancient Egyptians and Greeks each enjoyed sipping mead.
Bacchus will offer several different types of mead, all made from different local honey. Bottles will range from $12 to $20.
A tasting room won’t be set up in the meadery, but bottled samples will be made available.
Adam Kittel said he may wait to open a tasting room until he has an opportunity to consider moving into the Historic Loveland Feed & Grain building.
Kittel also has been in contact with its owner, Barry Floyd, who is open to the idea of the meadery moving into one of the large rooms in the building.
“That place would be perfect for what we want to do,” Adam Kittel said.
But he will have to wait a while. Floyd said work to restore the building won’t start until next year.
She is also an experienced marketing coach and consultant who has recently decided to focus her marketing expertise exclusively on the craft beverage market to help meaderies, cideries, breweries and distilleries expand their business and get more customers while doing what they love.
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