10-24-23 Tonight we’re headed to the other side of the world, to New Zealand, to talk with Jay Bennett, owner and mead maker at Beehave! Craft Meadery, on the North Island, in Taupo.

Jay lives in the center of the North Island of New Zealand and is the Mead alchemist and owner of Beehave! Craft Meadery. He lives in the bush at the southern end of Lake Taupo and operates the Meadery in the township of Taupo.

In Jay’s own words, He is an alchemist, a wizard and a guardian of the land.

Jay first served product to the public in December of 2020 at NZs largest beer fest in Wellington – beervana……he had two kegs of his lemon and ginger mead, Suckerpunch, and left there with empty kegs and was voted in the top 10 of the peoples choice leader board.

Jay had a pretty organic journey with 8 years of beekeeping which started with the capture of a swarm in the wall of his house to running 200 beehive…not enough to be viable, so in the search for products he could make with his honey, he came across mead and started making it in 5 liter carboys. During winter to supplement his non-existent bee income he drove trucks for a friend and listened to every podcast he could find on Mead making, including GotMead, and then put into practice what he was hearing. He made some pretty rough stuff to start with but had a couple of early good results that gave him hope. Jay saw the opportunity to bring something new and exciting into the NZ market place and set up Beehave! Craft Meadery in 2020.

Beehave! is a nano brewery with 4000 liters of fermentation space and another 1200 of brite tanks. Jay built the current set up for easy growth with a massive glycol chiller and space for larger tanks. His goal is to have 12000 liters of fermenters. There is no culture of Mead in NZ so he is pacing the growth. This has morphed into being the only Mead brewbar in New Zealand and a range of both session and still meads including a non-alcoholic offering. As of last week, they now have created a collaboration with Texas Petes BBQ joint at the Meadery and as they head into a New Zealand summer they are looking to enjoy a successful time introducing more locals to Mead.

Join us to see what Jay is up to and how things are going with Beehave!

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Honnibrook Craft Meadery. Rated the very best winery in Colorado! Visit our state-of-the-art meadery and tasting room south of downtown Castle Rock, Colorado, in a converted man cave. Mention the Got Mead Podcast this month for a free draft taster!  Google H-O-N-N-I Brook for hours and directions. They love visitors!  www.honnibrook.com

If you want to ask your mead making questions, you can call us at 803-443-MEAD (6323) or send us a question via email, or via Twitter @GotmeadNow and we’ll tackle it online! 9PM EDT/6PM PDT Join us on live chat during the show Bring your questions and your mead, and let’s talk mead! You can call us at 803-443-MEAD (6323), or Skype us at meadwench (please friend me first and say you’re a listener, I get tons of Skype spam), or tweet to @gotmeadnow.

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Vicky Rowe
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