I met Mike of Rabbit’s Foot online, and have watched him go from being one of us, to having his own meadery. While I haven’t had the pleasure of his wares yet (gimme time, I’m working on it!), his mead sounds wonderfully yummy, so by all means, get some! Keep it up Mike, I’m pulling for you! Also, check out Mike’s article, "A Guide to Mead", which he has graciously agreed to let us host here on GotMead!
Gotmead: What’s is the ‘official’ name of the meadery?
Mike: Rabbit’s Foot Meadery
Gotmead: So, what are your hours of operation?
Mike: 9-6 M-F
Gotmead: Do you have a store? Where is it?
Gotmead: Do you have tastings?
Mike: Yes, by appointment.
Gotmead: Where do you distribute? Give us a list with phone numbers, and websites if available
Mike: California and via the web.
Gotmead: What states can you sell into?
Mike: All reciprocal states, NH and PA
Gotmead: Are there restaurants and bars serving your products? Who are they?
Mike: None yet announced. There will be about 7 shortly in the bay area (CA)
Gotmead: How much mead do you make in a representative year?
Mike: 5000 gallons.
Gotmead: What did you do before you ‘went pro’?
Mike: Software Engineer.
Gotmead: What led you to decide to open a commercial meadery?
Mike: Too many people asking for free mead and only being able to make 200 gal a year.
Gotmead: What sorts of problems/sticking points did you encounter in your state and with the federal authorities in getting your licenses?
Mike: I originally received my license in 1994 and spent 32 months doing so. There were very few hurdles to do so and only when I re-started the business in 2001 were there any real hurdles asfar as paper work goes.
Gotmead: Do you have any advice for those looking to ‘go pro’?
Mike: Don’t borrow money unless you absolutely have to.
Gotmead: How long did it take you to get all your ‘ducks in a row’ from the time you decided to do this, to when you opened your doors?
Mike: Decmber application date. June next year first batch in the tank.
Gotmead: If you are willing, please tell us what you feel would be reasonable start-up cost guesstimates for a meadery in your state.
Gotmead: What sort of reception did you get when you began your search for distributors? Was it easy getting them to accept mead?
Mike: Virtually impossible.
Gotmead: If restaurants and bars are also providing your products, how long did it take you to get them into a ‘mead mood’? Were they receptive, and are your products selling well in their establishments?
Mike: Required lots of education and customer validation.
Gotmead: Lets talk about your mead. What kind of mead do you make, and what do you think sets it apart? Do you specialize in a particular kind?
Mike: We specialize in traditional meads, port style meads and spirits produced from our mead in a French Alambic still. We believe we are the only producers in the world of the latter two.
Gotmead: Do you have other products related to your mead? Tell me about them.
Mike: Mead Song and Mead of Poetry – a distilled spirit from our pear mead and a port like mead using our own pera mead and the distilled spirits from the same.
Visit Rabbit’s Foot online or in person, and try their wares. Then let me know what you thought!
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