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Old 07-24-2013, 02:34 AM   #1
Krausen89
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Default want to start a meadery in PA

So ive been doing alot of thinking about starting a meadery. I am right outside of lancaster county, in chester county. Now i have the lincesing paperwork and i plan to get a permit for farmers markets because there are so many around. I have very little budget and that is my problem as of right now. Has anyone started or plan to start a meadery? Any tips or suggestions? I have alot of stuff.priced out and i only went as far as planning on making 40 gals at a time to start. But im not sure what would be a good starting point. Esp with a small budget. I am also looking into small business loans. But need to see what i need to get one. Any advice there? Any input would be great

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Old 07-24-2013, 07:03 AM   #2
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A big problem with mead is long term storage space. Any meadery worth its salt will age their product sufficiently before distribution. Think of 6 things that you might have overlooked and you probably will be short by a dozen more. Anything can work with some luck and a lot of preparation, but too small a budget can kill.

http://btad.samueladams.com/HowItWorks.aspx

Just a possibility....

Find as many solid investors as you can, especially local, before relying on bank debt. You'll thank yourself in the long run (this last from a half barrel local brewer I talked to last year, no elaboration)

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Old 07-24-2013, 01:18 PM   #3
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Gotmead.com has a some good reading on starting a meadery from people who did just that. I would love to do something like that but there's no way I could survive for almost 2 years while getting setup and put together AND waiting for the first batches to finish aging enough to start trying to sell and market and mead to only then start making money. You're talking a potentially long time before you start to see any profit. Plus you're spending a ton of money getting started and setup. That's just the tip of the iceburg with what I read.

That been said, I think owning and running a meadery would be awesome. If I won the lottery, I would most certainly start a meadery.

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Old 07-24-2013, 03:47 PM   #4
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I personally always try to avoid debt; Not being sarcastic, just trying to think out of the box a bit.

Lets say you want to open up a meadery. Why not do everything official and have it just be a weekend business (Just to get started)? Whatever you have now, you can use for the business. Why buy more? Make mead, age, sell, use the profits to THEN buy better equipment. If you are only doing it part time, you don't need to see the life sustaining profits immediately. No doubt in my mind that you will make errors, and learn a ton from them in the process. Why not do it on a part time basis when the risks are low? I am sure you can buy enough carboys to increase production to 40 gallons without a loan. And if you can't maybe immediately isn't the best time for this venture.

Have you won any local awards? National? If not, maybe there is a start. How many folks here have sampled your mead? Do you have a custom recipe that will be your flagship offering? Trade some with others, get some feedback like that. As you know, there are many folks here that could offer up advice on how to make a current recipe better. Before you make a huge plunge, make a name for yourself. Do the locals know that they can get a bottle from you that is an awesome product? Maybe work out small, then let it explode instead of trying to explode yourself.

Take it all with a grain of salt. I am by no means trying to tell you how to run your business. Only asking some questions that need not be answered, just food for thought.

All in all, I really really hope you do open a meadery. I would love to add one of your labels to my collection.

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Old 07-24-2013, 08:47 PM   #5
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You should email the guys starting up Leaky Roof Meadery in buffalo Missouri. I'm sure they'd love to give you advice.

Do you have very much local support? You could always try using kickstarter to raise some funds.

Personally, I like the weekend idea. Win some awards, drink some mead and play around until you've got it.

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Old 07-25-2013, 05:43 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by benbunton View Post
You should email the guys starting up Leaky Roof Meadery in buffalo Missouri. I'm sure they'd love to give you advice.

Do you have very much local support? You could always try using kickstarter to raise some funds.

Personally, I like the weekend idea. Win some awards, drink some mead and play around until you've got it.
Well a trip over to gotmead for that. Leaky Roof seem to be crowdfunding. But they're also gonna to lower strength meads carbonated in cans, so a rather different market/business model theres a post in the gm mead industry forum about that.

More conventionally, Schrammes Mead on facebook......yes it is about the great man himself setting up commercially. They're currently posting about the delay in "label approval" from whoever it is that does the approvals. They do seem to have passed all the other hurdles and have their first batches cooking.......

Whether that's the sort of info the OP is looking for is ????
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Old 07-25-2013, 06:06 PM   #7
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Thank you all for your input. I do plan it being a small weekend venture. I plan on starting very small and slowly, slowly growing. I do not have a flagship mead yet. I have many custom meads and am still formulating.so i am not there yet. I want to be as prepared as i can be before i even start with the 40gal batches. And be prepared to encounter things i was not prepared for. There are no local meaderies closer than an hour or 2 and the only mead in the stores is mead from ireland...plenty of vinyards but non attempting mead. I know aging is a key element and most age for a year and a half before hitting the market. My first step will be the flagship and then making the actual mead and aging, while saving funds and gaining investers. Then i can get licensing and permits when it comes closer to being ready. I have not won any awards. I should def do that. I just havnt found a mead i can truely be proud of and stand behind all the way. Thanks guys def have me thinking now and i def want to stay out of debt!

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Old 07-26-2013, 04:46 PM   #8
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Whats the process for having your product distributed in state stores? Ive read the state store system is about as currupt as Philly & Pittsburgh city goverments. Under PA law are you allowed to distribute outside the state via mail?

I know that as part of the "LCB Reform Bill" (big snicker at that name) currently pending individuals would be able to buy wine through the mail.

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Old 07-27-2013, 04:03 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joyceman View Post
Whats the process for having your product distributed in state stores? Ive read the state store system is about as currupt as Philly & Pittsburgh city goverments. Under PA law are you allowed to distribute outside the state via mail?

I know that as part of the "LCB Reform Bill" (big snicker at that name) currently pending individuals would be able to buy wine through the mail.
Im not sure about sales through state stores. That is something i want to look into but wine can be sold outside state stores like in a resturant and vineyards around me sell bottles and such. And im guessing by the permit application i can sell bottles at flea markets. I think there are lisenceing or permits you can get to mail but i am not sure.
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Old 07-27-2013, 04:08 PM   #10
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Another question i have for everyone....has anyone ever heard of fermenting in a foodgrade 55gal metal drum? It was used for grape juice concentrate i just got one and i want to put a valve on it and get another and pump one to the other as a secondary. Does this sound plausable?

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