8-6-19 Tonight we’re going to Monterrey, Mexico to talk with Raúl de la Garza, owner of Freya Brewery. Raúl started making mead on the summer of 2008. It all started with questioning what did the vikings drink back in the day (His family has Danish roots and they’re into history and food). After learning about mead and finding out that no one was making/selling mead in northern Mexico (Monterrey) he decided to start making it himself, “if they did it back then, how hard can it be?” He said to himself lol, so he got a big tamales pot, some local honey and bread yeast and started fermenting. The curiosity turned into a hobby and he kept making around 5 gals of mead (mostly traditional mead) each month since then.
In 2013, while still in university, Raúl went to Sweden to take a summer entrepreneurship class. There he had to develop a product and make a business plan, also make numbers and sale forecast, basically an investor pitch for a meadery. Since he knew all the numbers and process it was quite easy to make something that sounded right. He won second place with that project (it was a team project). Fast forward to 2015, he graduated from uni (mechanical electrical engineering) and brought some bottles of mead to the party. One of his godparents was there, his son recently started a business selling craft beer, he tried the mead and loved it, then said Raúl should definitely sell it at his store.
Raúl was puzzled, should he take the entrepreneur road? He knew it was going to be hard, since he lacked the money to do the amount of investment a meadery needs. After a couple of days thinking about it, he decided to go for it, and hasn’t looked back since. Pitched the plan to his parents and they decided to invest in the business, they are now a family owned meadery and added a friend of his to the team in 2018. They formalized the business around may 2016 and started selling mead on September. Got our first medals on 2017 (3 golds and 1 silver) then 11 medals on 2018, and 2 of those were for best small brewery in Mexico (one from Chile and one from Mexico).
This year they got 3 more medals from Costa Rica and are waiting to see how things went in Chile (they’ll know at the end of August). Today they have 3 yearly products and plan to expand that to 5 or 6. All of them are sessions (low AVB). They have a traditional (7%), a hibiscus one (7%), a rosemary one (3.5%), and plan to introduce one with hops (7%) and one with berries (also 7%). They went for session meads to help introduce mead to a bigger audience and to get a faster turnover, standard meads tend to sell a bit slower than sessions, and certainly take a bit more time to make. Freya Brewing is located in Monterrey, Mx, and produces around 2100 liters of mead monthly, they keg and bottle meads in 12 oz beer bottles. All their meads are carbonated.
Join us as we find out more about mead in Mexico, and how Raúl is spreading the word of mead there!
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Show links and notes
- Evoak – Oak Solutions
- Let There Be Melomels by Rob Ratliff
- The Big Book of Mead Recipes by Rob Ratliff
- Aug 6 – Raul de la Garza, Freya Brewing in Neuvo Leon, Mexico
- Aug 7 – Bos Meadery – Carell Casey music
- Aug 8 – Skal Beer Hall – Washington Mead Fest
- Aug 10 – Orchid Cellar Mead – Frederick County Craft Beverage Festival
- Aug 10 – Woodstone Creek Artisan Winery and Distillery – Saturday Sips, Wine, Mead and Spirits
- Aug 21 – New Day Craft Mead – Mead Education
- Aug 31 – New Day Craft Mead – Meadful Things and Outciders Festival
- Sept 21 – Royal Manor – Mead Festival
- Sept 22 – Starrlight Mead – Mead Day Celebration and Fall Festival
- Sept 28 – Orpheus Meadfest – Tasting and Award Ceremony for Orpheus Cup Mead Competition
- Oct 5-5 and 12-13 – Stonekeep Meadery – Artisan Wine and Cheese pairing weekends
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- 9-28-21 Bob Slanzi – Making Mead, Rescuing a Mead, Saving a Meadery - September 28, 2021
- 9-14-21 National Honey Month with Alison Conklin – National Honey Board - September 14, 2021