10-20-20 Tonight at 9PM ET GotMead Live will be talking with Roger Wanner and Joe Abruzzo, owners of W A Meadwerks on Long Island in New York. They bill themselves as ‘two guys making mead’. But it’s more than that. They bootstrapped a meadery out of almost nothing, and are rapidly growing their place, even with all the problems from being in the middle of COVID.
And now, they have gone even further, purchasing a larger space for their production. Expanding during the pandemic is tough enough, but they’re getting it done. They are expanding their barrel program, while also creating a stream of new mead flavors. They’re doing a bourbon barrel aged version of their Mazer Cup winner.
W A Meadwerks started in Roger’s basement in West Islip after being lucky enough to try commercial meads from Schramms, Superstition and Melovino. They made a few good batches and they dumped a few at the beginning. After the bad batches, they started upgrading Roger’s basement. They started to enter some of their meads in local competitions. They won some awards and received some great feed back.
At that point they had the insane idea to open a commercial meadery, the idea being that one did not exist on Long Island. They opened their doors in Lindenhurst, Long Island, NY in September of 2018. After being open a little under a year they decided to try and put together an all mead festival on Long Island with the help of their village. The first year of the festival had 6 commercial meaderies, mead sent to them from all over the country along with more than 25 home made meads. The event was wildly successful and will be held again this year. 18 months in and they are have already out grown their production in their current space. On Feb 19th they signed the lease to a second production space and look forward to their growth in 2020.
Roger started making beer with kits in his basement, and discovered mead as he dug deeper into craft brewing. He fell in love with it, and with the science of meadmaking.
Joe has been in the Long Island bar and restaurant industry for the last 20 years. He also worked in one of the best craft beer bars on Long Island for 7 years and spent a year and a half at a brewery. He’s been into craft beer for about 10 years.
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Show links and notes
- UC Davis Honey Wheel
- Black Swan Cooperage
- Square metal barrels with oak inserts – Squarrel
- Let There Be Melomels by Rob Ratliff
- The Big Book of Mead Recipes by Rob Ratliff
- Take part in Kevin Meintsma’s Hydromel Study – email email@example.com and he’ll send you questions
- Oct 23 – Honnibrook Meadery, Castle Rock, CO – Marty Nightengale music
- Oct 23 – Big Lost Meadery, Gillette, WY – Live Music w/ Kellen Smith
- Oct 30 – Honnibrook Meadery, Castle Rock, CO – Josh Blackburn, live music
- Oct 31 – Grimsby Hollow Meadery, Middleville, MI – Beetlejuice Dinner Party
- Nov 6 – Dysfunctional Delights Meadery, Lebanon, OH – Grand Opening!
- Nov 6 – Honnibrook Meadery, Castle Rock, CO – Pat Foley Live Music
- Nov 6 – Haley’s Honey Meadery, Hopewell, VA – First Friday
- Nov 7 – Beacon Meadery, Brooklyn, NY – Brooklyn Crust Wine and Artisanal Food Festival
- Nov 13 – Honnibrook Meadery, Castle Rock, CO – Josh Blackburn live music
- Nov 20 – Honnibrook Meadery, Castle Rock, CO – Scott Brown Live music
- You can buy mead online at https://shopmeads.com
Got an event you’d like us to mention on GotMead Live? Send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and tell us about it!
- 4-27-21 Stian Krog – Mjøderiet – bringing back mead in Norway - April 27, 2021
- 4-13-21 Pierre Rodrigue – Making Mead and Wine in Canada - April 13, 2021
- 3-30-21 Cristoff Plizga and Scot Schaar – Polish mead and beyond - March 30, 2021