August 9, 2015 by matlocks
Located in a former Mack Truck factory in South Allentown, 2015 Honey Festival sponsor, The Colony Meadery, has a tasting room that offers tasting flights, mead on draft and by the bottle, mead slushies, and regularly scheduled tours.
Who can say where a story starts? In this case, it might have started when Greg andhis college roommate first decided to make a batch of mead in 2004; or when Mike’s first batch of mead won medals in 2008; or with an art show that inspired Greg to write about craft beer; or when Mike won best in show at Valhalla and got to pro-am a batch at Moonlight Meadery . . .
But whatever else The Colony Meadery is, it’s a partnership, which started when Greg Heller-LaBelle moved back to his childhood home of Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, and revived the Lehigh Valley Beer Society (LVBS). The annual August tasting was a special event; everyone was encouraged to raid the cellar and bring out something dusty. LVBS’s then-newest member, Mike Manning, decided to bring some of his homemade mead.
Greg asked if Mike had ever considered becoming a professional meadmaker; Mike said no. That might have been the end of it, but Greg was a longtime beer blogger who had paid too much attention to the craft beverage industry not to see an opportunity, and had spent too much time in the startup world to ignore an opportunity when he saw it.
Three months later, they shook hands over a draft of a business plan. The Colony Meadery started selling in late 2013, with a focus on clean finishes and bold flavor profiles.
Enjoy samples of delightfully named meads such as “Straight, No Chaser” a traditional orange blossom honey mead, “Woofie Dog”(hint: all of their hopped meads have dog themed names), and “Mo-Mead-O” with mint and lime (Mojito! Get it?!)
The Philadelphia Honey Festival is proud to have The Colony Meadery back with us for the third straight year. Mike Manning will provide feedback on September 12, 2015 to amateur brewers who bring their honey-based alcoholic beverages to Wyck’s Mead Event. Details on how to participate may be found at https://phillyhoneyfest.com/mead-event/.