• Adventures in Beekeeping

    Not every beekeeper is a meadmaker, and not every meadmaker has to be a beekeeper. But there are many of us who endeavor to be both! One of our goals as a meadery-farm combo is to be able to supply some of the fruits, herbs, edible flowers, and of course honey from our own land. But beekeeping has been a journey.

    John and the Flow Hives, 2017.

    Our start in beekeeping came in 2017, right alongside our meadmaking. We jumped in with both feet! The local apiary down the road sold nucs so we purchased two. And even more ambitious, we purchased two Flow Hives, which are a unique innovation in beekeeping tech, and were going quite viral at the time. And happily we went along keeping bees. We purchased and were gifted volumes of How-To’s, and did our best to be good hosts to our thousands of new farm occupants.

    But there were so many things we didn’t expect. Mostly, the weather. A polar vortex and a tenaciously cold winter. A storm so bad that it took out a tree and it landed on one of the hives. All kinds of invading insects and bugs that either wanted to eat the honey, the wax, and the bees themselves. It was a lot to take on, especially with other farm duties, a growing mead hobby, and John’s work in Alaska during the summer months.

    So for the next couple years we continued to try beekeeping again, but this time taking things a little more slowly. A friend of ours called us and had a swarm on her farm that we came and collected, which was a great experience! That hive produced about 10 pounds of honey that we used to make a wild fermented pyment with merlot grapes we had picked at our neighbors vineyard. It was a very special batch, and a proud accomplishment. We thought we had finally gotten it right, but the hive swarmed in the summer and we haven’t had bees since. This year we realized we should ask for some help.

    So, meet Tim! We met through our neighbors, and recognized right away our shared passion for farming, stewardship, and honeybees. He is helping us to realize our dream of making mead with our own honey. We may not be as hands-on with the hives as we once were, but through his efforts he is giving us more time to focus on meadmaking and getting our business up and running. We’re very grateful for all of the work he has already done in setting up the hives for Spring 2022.

    We look forward to this new chapter of the farm. And anticipate a prosperous and sweet Summer 2022.

  • Mead Stampede Competition Result

    We entered a couple meads into this brand new homebrew competition, hosted by two of our fellow Mead YouTube acquaintances (Doin the Most and Man Made Mead)! And we won the “Did The Most Award” for our historical “Guter Met” mead. It’s a great recipe from 1350s Bavaria that we’ve been making for several years now. We’re very grateful for the award and recognition, and proud of all the hard work The Mead Stampede Team did in putting on this inaugural competition. Here’s to many more years of a hearty and delicious competition!

    We’re also collaborating on YouTube with Doin the Most and Man Made Mead this upcoming fall. 10 of us Mead YouTubers came together and chose 3 ingredients to put in a mead. We are all using those 3 ingredients and we’re going to see how differently our results are. Our styles and tastes vary, so it will be exciting to see what we all come up with! See you then.

  • TTB Approval!

    One of the steps a new meadery has to take in order to operate here in NJ is to be a federally approved “Alcohol Wholesale and/or Exporter” and we’ve been approved! Our application is active and we are excited to be another step closer to beginning operations as Rag and Bone Meadery LLC.

    Can we brew mead yet? No! We need the NJ ABC approval, and we are working with them to that end. We’ll keep you posted on any new developments. Revel on!

  • ABC License Submission

    We submitted our application to the NJ Division of Alcoholic Beverage ControlĀ in February 2021 and are hoping to begin operations in Spring 2022.

    There’s still so much work to do, but we look forward to the challenges ahead. We will keep you updated here on our website.