10-26-21 Tonight we’re headed to Gaithersburg, MD to talk with Yancy Bodenstein, Manish Eigner and Jacob Latour at Clear Skies Meadery.

Clear Skies got started over a mead fueled Christmas discussion in 2018. It wasn’t long before they filed and got a lease and started construction on their location, in 2019. They managed to get through all the paperwork and permits in less than a year, and pitched their first batch in January 2020, and had planned to open fully in April, but COVID raised it’s ugly head. So the grand opening became a soft opening with family and friend in March, and then they had to shut their doors when the lockdowns hit. But they managed to pivot to completely online and remote business.

The meadery started out with 8 1-BBL conicals and 6 1-BBL brite tanks. And they’re working towards a full scale production facility with 2 30-BBL and 6 10-BBL conicals. And adding a canning line and kegging capacity.

Yancy  is the meadmaker, and has been making mead and home brewing and making mead since 2003 in Gaithersburg, MD. He has a scientific background in chemistry and epidemiology and left the Federal workforce in March of 2021 to work at Clear Skies Meadery full time.  His interest in mead began at several renaissance festivals and since then, he has won local, national, and international awards for his meads. He is excited to introduce this craft beverage and become a part of the local Gaithersburg business community.

Manisha is the business operations head, and was born and raised in Mumbai India. She is a former biotechnology industry professional and a military spouse. She inherited her family’s entrepreneurial skills and industrious spirit. She was excited about the idea of producing and marketing mead.  Beginning in January 2019 she has channeled her energy into Clear Skies Meadery.  She has lived and worked in Maryland, Pacific Northwest, Korea and North Carolina. She is passionate about  local cuisines, diverse culture, and building new communities.

Jacob, the assistant brewer, grew up brewing with his family starting at the ripe age of 5. After college, he worked in environmental consulting and research while also pursuing his passion for home-brewing.  Naturally, he jumped on the opportunity to contact with Manisha and Yancy when he heard they were opening Clear Skies Meadery. While working there, he completed the American Brewers Guild IBS&E program to further his education. Besides brewing, Jacob enjoys cooking, disc golfing, wood working, and spending time with his family.

Join us as we talk with them about mead (of course), the challenges of going pro, and what is going on with mead in the Clear Skies world.

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Vicky Rowe
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