PRESCOTT, AZ — The husband and wife duo behind a fast-growing Arizona meadery was recently recognized as the U.S. Small Business Administration's Persons of the Year.
It "really validated all our hard work and everything we put into this," said Jennifer Herbert, co-owner of Prescott's Superstition Meadery.
In 2012, Jennifer and her husband, Jeff, moved their family from the Valley to Prescott to turn their hobby into a business. Jennifer had gifted a home-brewing kit to Jeff for Father's Day a few years before.
"I started making pretty good stuff and my meads were always better than my beers," he said. After enough friends told the couple they should start selling the honey wine, they did.
The company has grown fast, expanding production from 300 gallons to a forecast 40,000 gallons by the end of this year. They now operate a tasting room in downtown Prescott and recently moved into their third production facility near the airport. Products are available in 38 states and 36 countries worldwide.
The Herbert's say it's "amazing" how much their lives have changed, especially given the fact they knew little about mead just a decade ago.
"I had no idea what it was," Jennifer said, "it was something that I heard on Beowulf or Robinhood."
By definition, mead is wine made with fermented honey as the primary fermentable sugar. Like any wine, producers can also use any fruit, herb or spice.
Since launching, the company's produced more than 200 different products including meads, hard ciders, wines and they soon will launch a canned hard seltzer.
In Spring 2020, Superstition Meadery will open a "first in the world" mead and food pairing restaurant in a historic building near 11th and Washington streets in Phoenix.