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    Date submitted
  • 24-Jan-2017

Artisan Honey Wines (Mead)

Abstract

Hierophant Meadery is a agricultural winery located in Mead, Washington's historic Green Bluff Agritourism loop. We produce honey wine infused with botanicals, referred to as the Metheglin style of Mead making. Hierophant sources ingredients locally, and hopes to create a new, sustainable beekeeping industry in the Northwest in a large scale effort to preserve the honey bee in its concerning decline.

Video

Original YouTube URL: Open

Introduction Video

Additional Questions

Who is your customer?

Craft beverage lovers, advocates of the honey bee, enjoyers of wine, locavores, history buffs, gardeners, herbalists, farmer's market supporters, art walkers, organic grocery and co-op shoppers, gluten free beverage seekers, 30-something professionals, 50+ culinary adventurers.

What problem does this idea/product solve or what market need does it serve?

We have structured our business to rely on commodities that we wish to influence with our sourcing and our dollars. From sourcing to pricing our products and selling them, small farms and honey producers are in our minds through the entire process. By doing this, Hierophant has created a counter culture for apiculture and introduced people to appreciating medicinal plants. High pollination costs will inevitably contribute to biotech advances which threaten pollinators. Creating a bigger honey market will create change by creating a focus and appreciation on quality honey, rather than honey as a byproduct. We believe that focusing on creating honey demand will encourage healthy stewardship and a desire for beekeepers to produce quality sustainably produced honey. Hierophant Meadery's products support the building of a new industry of beekeepers who focus on regional wild flower honey production and terrior. Meadery's who source local honey are creating a demand for it.

What attributes will make this idea/product successful? Why do you believe that those features will create success?

First, good honey. Well produced honey makes our product undeniably high quality. Second, when populations are given the opportunity to vote with their dollars, they are enthusiastic about investing in the positive change that businesses like Hierophant influence. It is a very exciting time in the food and beverage industry. Interest, passion, and the idea of sourcing our needs with a conscious approach when it comes to where our food and beverage come from is a popular trend that has begun as a reaction to the problems in the commercial food industry. A great teacher of mine once told me, that while these activities are of great concern, fighting against them will fill your life with everything you are against. Instead, we need to create a platform, a foundation that will support the kind of agriculture we want to see for when big ag fails us, and let’s face it, it already is on so many levels.

Explain how you (your team) will execute to make this idea/product successful? What gives you (your team) an advantage over others already in the market or new to this market?

One example: We are stimulating cash crop economy for herbal/medicinal plants by contracting farmers to grow plants we normally have to source overseas. A demand has to be created for these products. We decide we want to source some lavender from our neighbor, Maggie Smith of Flor’d prevance lavender farm for a mead. We create a Lavender Citrus Mead. Maggie sells her lavender flowers (which by the way are incomparable to lavender I would have to otherwise source from bulgaria), we make and sell the wine, we have an opportunity for a private label sale of her product at a place like Total Wine, and we contract Maggie to start planting more lavender to accommodate the demand this product has made for it. I like to refer to this as a WIN-WIN-WIN-WIN situation. Hierophant Wins because they have this incredible and desired value added product, Maggie wins, because she is increasing her production and sales, the lavender wins as now we have created more appreciation for it on a farm to table cultural level, the bees win, because they have more food, and we’ve subsequently created a desire and demand for their GOOD honey. Our team has an advantage over others in the industry, because of our educational background. Jeremy and I are Bastyr University alumni, and our degrees in botanical medicine have given us tremendous advantage when it comes to knowing how to source quality ingredients, understanding the issues of sourcing, and have years of experience under our belts in the industry already. Many meaderies are popping up all over the country. Many are using wholesale honey of inferior quality, as they are unaware of the danger of sourcing honey from other countries (contaminants, laundering, etc are issues). If we can be an example as one of the larger meaderies in the United States, we can create incredible change in the imminent danger that pollinators are currently facing.