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Zen Bee Craft Meadery is about embracing the great taste of now. We need your help in bringing our Mead to market.
45 backers pledged $6,146 to help bring this project to life.
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About

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$6,146

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Zen Bee Meadery is a father & son project to launch a Micro-Meadery in Columbus Ohio. As you can see in our intro video we try to keep it real and we're humble but we feel the greater public is ready for what we have to offer. We have already received our Federal License and we're literally just weeks away from getting our State permit.

Our goal is to produce great tasting meads using only the finest quality ingredients sourced locally when we are able and provide a new twist to what people think of mead. Our focus will initially start with session meads but of course we'll be doing more traditional mead (honey wine) as well, we love experimenting and redefining, bottom line though is that it's gotta taste good.

We know a lot of people are still learning about and trying mead for the first time so we want the experience of trying our meads to be something that is worth coming back for.

When we decided to take the step of starting the meadery we wanted the theme to be something important and personal to us... I'm not Japanese, but my wife is and I practice a pragmatic form of Zen Buddhism. An important part of Zen is the recognition of the present moment, and what better moment is there than when you're enjoying a great tasting glass of Mead.

Our goal will always be about making a great tasting beverage using only the finest ingredients, and I think we're off to a good start. It's not the Mazer Cup International (yet) but a batch of our Cherry Mead recently won First Place in the Ohio State Fair Homebrew competition 2017 (Mead Category)

As much as I love to brew and drink Mead there is obviously a business side of this whole process... so what does the market for Mead look like?

The craft alcoholic beverage industry is booming. I don't think that's a surprise to anyone as more and more microbreweries open up across the US, in Ohio there are multiple new breweries opening almost daily and many places to grab a beer. But what about Mead? While Mead is classified as a wine in my view it's a branch of this micro brewing trend (much like hard cider which also falls under a winery license). Mead is the oldest fermented beverage in the world but it's experiencing a renaissance of sorts, according to the AMMA it is the fastest growing segment of the US alcohol industry. The number of commercial meaderies in the US has increased from approximately 30 in 2003 to nearly 300 in 2016.

One of the first things we had to do was secure a space, an address before we could even file for our TTB License... well we've got that, it's not much and it's small but we've got a leased production space and we aren't going anywhere. We have already received our Federal License and are only waiting on State permits.

My family and I have invested a lot of our personal capital including credit card debt to get this meadery off the ground and we're right on the cusp of something great! Everything we make from the first few batches will be put directly back into the meadery. The successful funding of this campaign will make it a little easier for us to step up with our batch sizes and sales growth. With your help we can make more flavors of our mead available much faster and help us grow into a better tasting room facility. 

Things add up very quickly, the cost of Honey when brewing on a larger scale, fruits and other ingredients for the initial batches. The cost of bottles, closures and labels once the Mead is produced. The equipment we'll need to filter and bottle the meads, you'd be surprised how all these things add up real fast. Your support in helping us make these first batches bigger and the best that they can be will be critical to getting Zen Bee Buzzing successfully.

There are a lot of reasons to support our project.

  • You'll get the satisfaction of saying you helped a dad and his son start a business that brews alcohol. ;-)
  • You'll be bringing more great tasting alcoholic beverages to the Columbus Ohio brewery scene.
  • You'll be supporting a small business startup that will eventually employ others in the community.

Of course we've got some cool Zen Bee Gear and incentives too like our "Karma Klub" or you having a say in the naming of a Batch of our mead. (see each reward level for details).

How can you show support?

  • Click on the reward(s) you’re interested in
  • Helping us get the word out for this project is invaluable! Share our project with everyone you know, and urge that they do the same!

We know that not everyone always has the extra money to help even when you'd like to, but there is still another way you can help us out. The more people who share this project link online through Facebook, twitter etc. The better chance we have of reaching or better yet exceeding our goal.

Risks and challenges

According to an Entrepreneur magazine article on this industry the failure rate of start ups in the craft alcoholic beverage sector is almost effectively zero hovering around 5% compared to the start up of a new restaurant which would face a 70% chance of failing in the first few years. With that said, as with the start up of any business there is always risk of failure. However, we are in this for the long haul and are prepared to give it everything we've got to make this meadery a success!

The first major hurdle most brewery start ups face we already have out of the way, we have our Federal License and we've almost got our State permit. We're humbly starting small and will not be counting on the meadery as a sole source of income and we'll be putting everything that we can from the sales on each batch back into the next one.

If our project is not funded, you will not be charged so there is no risk to make your pledge. If this happens, our business plans for the meadery will change, but we will still keep working to make it happen! We believe great things will come through patience. We recognize all of you who are our early supporters and are extremely grateful.

(Music used in video: Acoustic Breeze - Bensound.com)

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Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 5 or more About US$ 5

    The heart of giving

    For those who simply want to help a Dad and his Son bring their dream to life. Our humble gratitude and Founder recognition of your generosity will be shared to all our followers on Twitter & Facebook.

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    2 backers
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  2. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 10 or more About US$ 10

    Zen Bee Sticker

    A special first run "Zen Bee Meadery Founder" sticker and postcard along with recognition of your generosity on our Twitter & Facebook.

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    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    5 backers
    $

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  3. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 25 or more About US$ 25

    Opening Package

    Founder sticker + Zen Bee logo bottle opener and postcard along with the sharing of our gratitude for your generosity on our Twitter & Facebook.

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    Ships to Only United States
    7 backers
    $

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  4. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 50 or more About US$ 50

    T-Shirt & Karma Klub

    Zen Bee Meadery T- shirt + Founders Sticker and postcard plus you'll be part of our Karma Klub which means when we hold special cool events, you'll get an invite.

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    8 backers
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  5. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 75 or more About US$ 75

    All that and a Tour

    Zen Bee Meadery T- shirt + Founders Sticker + logo bottle opener and a free personal tour of our meadery for you and a guest. Postcard and Founder recognition to our followers on Twitter & Facebook.

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    3 backers
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  6. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 100 or more About US$ 100

    First Label Printing

    You'll receive all the above + an acid free print of our first bottle mead label suitable for framing and your name recognized via permanent display in our tasting room as a founding supporter.

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    1 backer
    $

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  7. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 150 or more About US$ 150

    Logo glass & Extra Special Karma Klub

    All the above plus a Zen Bee Logo glass and you'll be part of our extra special Karma Klub: meaning you'll get invited to the extra special taste-testing events to help us determine the great new flavors on some of our meads before they're released to the public.

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    0 backers
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  8. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 200 or more About US$ 200

    VIP Founders Club

    Exclusive membership in our founding members club. For the life of our meadery you will be a VIP. This membership offers you advanced notice about limited and seasonal releases and how to get them before everyone else. Many great surprises for our VIP's as we grow in the years to come. Also includes all the rewards above and a hand written thank you note from the owners.

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    6 backers
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  9. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 350 or more About US$ 350

    Personalized Bottle Labels

    Personalized Bottle Labels. A Special Date Night and personal tour of our meadery for you and your special guest. We'll work with you to design a customized label for one of our meads that you can proudly use at a special function like a wedding, anniversary or corporate event. Also includes the VIP club membership rewards and a handwritten thank you letter from the owners.

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    1 backer
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  10. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 1,000 or more About US$ 1,000

    Limited Edition Name this Batch

    Let's Make Mead! We’ll work with you to craft a recipe that fits your tastes and release this batch as a limited edition, plus you’ll be able to help us determine the final name for the mead! (Recipe and label must pass TTB approval process.) Includes all VIP club membership rewards.

    As an even greater perk all the profits from this batch will go to the non-profit of your choosing, so your gift here will go even further.

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    3 backers
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Funding period

- (25 days)