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american gods

american gods

Ferndale, Mich. — B. Nektar will be hosting a bottle release party for the first release of the branded beverage line made for American Gods, a FremantleMedia North America TV series that airs on STARZ, inspired by the award-winning novel written by Neil Gaiman.

Believe is a mead made from orange blossom honey and fresh-pressed Michigan cider.
ABV 6.5%
$5.99/bottle
Bottles and pours available in the B. Nektar Taproom.

Also available on 11/10 is Gin Barrel Aged Scurvy Shyster Bastard – Orange blossom honey, Gewurztraminer grapes, grapefruit juice, elderflower, hops and grapefruit zest. Aged in Gin Barrels for 5 months. 12%

 

Ferndale, Mich — Seriously, we are celebrating 9 years of this meadery being open. Feels much longer, maybe it’s like dog years. That could be a thing, right?  Well anyway, we wanted to announce to the masses that we are NINE! Oh and we are throwing a party for it, August 5th. Actually, we are throwing parties all week. We like to call it Mead Week, check it out here.  We would love for you to join us!

BUT the BIG party –Summer Mead Fest – is really something that we are excited about. August 5, 2pm-8pm, at our Jarvis headquarters in Ferndale! Free Admission!

There will be food provided by Ruckus Taco, Co., Treat Dreams, LazyBones BBQ and CC Creperie, LIVE music and the Detroit Roller Derby Girls pouring for you.

We will have limited releases of meads, ciders, and beers with a slew of NEW products. Funky Monky will make a return in a new batch made with Shannon Long from Pure Brews America.

Also we’ll have out Tuco-Style Freakout aged in Tequila barrels available in bottles and on draft!  AND a HUGE release will be Miel de Garde #3 (Double Whisky Barrel Aged).  We used barrels from Motor City Gas in Royal Oak and this one is BONKERS good.

We are beyond proud of the crew here at B. Nektar and so proud to still be rocking in Ferndale or as we like to call it #MeadCityUSA!  We really would be delighted to have you celebrate with us!

Additional information on the event can be found here.

b. nektar

 

Celebrate National Mead Day with a meadery bus tour to Dragonmead, Kuhnhenn and B. Nektar Meadery with Motor City Brew Tours on Saturday, August 6! Meet the mead makers and learn about the world’s oldest alcoholic beverage.

Mead has been enjoyed by kings and queens and common workers alike throughout its history long history. Now it is gaining in popularity among beer consumers and connoisseur. Mead is created by fermenting honey and contains three simple ingredients: honey, yeast and water. Archaeologists have discovered Chinese pottery vessels dating from 7000 B.C. with remnants of mead inside them, making mead older than both wine and beer. Throughout time and the world over, mead has been made; Vikings, Mayans, Egyptians, Greeks and Romans experimented and shared this tasty beverage.

 

motor city brew tours

The first stop on the tour is Dragonmead Brewery, located in Warren, MI. Dragonmead creators have been making this wonderful elixir since 1997. They currently boast over 15 different mead and wine offerings.

Next stop is at Kuhnhenn Brewery, also in Warren. Enjoy samples of their available mead and a private tour of the facilities. Head Mead Brewer Frank Retell has medaled many times in the Mazer Cup, a yearly international competition that ranks meads into subcategories. He creates between 70 – 80 different mead styles per year and is always pushing boundaries and experimenting with new flavors.

The final stop is at B. Nektar Brewery. Not only will you sample great mead, but you will also participate in their anniversary celebration! They first opened their doors on August 2, 2008 which also happened to be National Mead Day. B. Nektar was also the first meadery to be listed as one of the top 100 breweries in the world by Ratebeer.com, and they have stayed on the list since 2013.

Motor City Brew Tours is excited to share these three great meaderies with you on our yearly Meadery Bus trip. We will meet to start the tour at B. Nektar Meadery at 11 a.m. and end at 3 p.m., back at the same location. Tickets are $55 each and include: mead samples at Dragonmead and Kuhnhenn, pizza, tours and mead talk and five tasting tickets for the B. Nektar Party at the end of the trip.

Tickets are available here: http://www.motorcitybrewtours.com/

 

b nektar

In its eight years of existence, B. Nektar Meadery has grown steadily, upgrading from fermenting in carboys and 55-gallon food-grade drums to producing up to 150 barrels of liquid a week.

“We just keep getting bigger,” said William McCune, production manager at B. Nektar.

Now, the meadery’s annual festivals draw crowds of over 1200 people to its quiet neighborhood in Ferndale, Michigan.

“The amazing thing is that’s all just people for us,” McCune said. People who want B. Nektar’s unique brand of mead, cider, and beer.

Stop and think how mead, a traditionally heavy, syrupy drink sipped by the likes of Beowulf, could possibly draw crowds that huge in the warmest months of the year.

The answer is in B. Nektar’s one-of-a-kind approach—one informed in various ways by wine making, the craft brewing industry, and traditional mead making. Its effect has been to vastly widen mead’s audience, paving the way for meaderies everywhere.

“Ever since we’ve started, we’ve kind of been seen as the ‘big guy,’” McCune said. “After our success, that’s where you’re seeing all these meaderies popping up across the country.”

Drawing more people to mead called for a little beverage re-branding and finding the right audience.

“We wanted to make something that was drinkable and enjoyable and not too high of an ABV,” said Miranda Johnson, B. Nektar’s marketing director. “Taking Beowulf and Vikings away from it, but also throwing in session meads for easy drinkability.”

Though B. Nektar’s mead making process and tools share a lot in common with wine making, the connections with that industry stop there. The meadery is more interested in engaging the curious palates of craft beer drinkers.

“We want to continue pushing pretty hard to set the precedent for stepping outside of the box in mead, and really introducing it into the craft beer realm of people,” Johnson said.

The meadery is achieving this not only by making sessionable meads and ciders, but also by brewing a few beers. Those selections are only available at B. Nektar’s taproom in Ferndale. With varieties such as a Jasmine Green Tea Belgian IPA and a Sage Lime Witbier, they bear the same experimental style of B. Nektar’s meads.

But simply being experimental and still drinkable doesn’t get you extra points in the Michigan craft industry. B. Nektar surpasses that by making nuanced flavor combinations that are well suited to the beverages. Lime zest and juice complement agave nectar and orange blossom honey in Tuco-Style Freak Out. Michigan grapes sing with wildflower honey in Grapes Gone Wild.

Those successful recipes meant taking risks and being smart about them. B. Nektar’s company culture fosters the creativity showcased in their concoctions.

“Everything in our social media says ‘we let our imagination guide us,’” Johnson said. “It’s not a joke. Sometimes the imagination’s a little crazy, but thankfully we have enough people that are like ‘Whoa, whoa, whoa, wait, let’s talk about this.’”

“It’s a really fun environment and creativity is welcomed and there is no lack of it, that’s for sure,” Johnson said.

B.Nektar’s 2016 Summer Mead Fest is set for August 6. Learn more here.

 

Photography: Steven Michael Holmes

Mead isn’t mainstream. It’s where beer was in the early 1980s, when breweries like Sierra Nevada and Bell’s Brewery were just getting started. Michigan, however, has one of the hottest scenes, and B. Nektar has established itself as one of the major mead players in the nation. So, MittenBrew traveled to its facility in Ferndale for a chat.

HUDSONVILLE — Goldilocks may have only tested out a famous family of bears’ beds, chairs and porridge — but I’m confident that asked about the Beer City Spring Fest she would agree, “It was JUST right.”

“Being able to walk around and literally see every single pour available is my kind of festival, said attendee Adam VanAlstine. “I didn’t wait in a single line too long or had to feel overly concerned of others.  Not that I am a rude guy, but weaving through people was very easy.”

For its second year, Beer City Spring Fest was home to over 250 of Michigan’s best beers accompanied by additional special offerings. Unlike other festivals, the Spring Fest also showcased a broader range of Michigan’s proud local gems. From distillers to wineries, to cider makers and award winning food trucks, there was sure something to please everyone.

Spring Fest’s ability to beautifully balance a vast variety of beverages perfect for the warm weather felt gave hope for the warmer weather yet to come — fingers and toes crossed. IPAs were in abundance, filling at least one tap line of every brewery present. The only problem was narrowing down which IPA to choose from. With names like Big in Japan IPA from Crankers Brewery, Citra Your Ass Down IPA from Tibbs and Oats ‘N Hoes IPA from Unruly Brewing Co., the names along brought a crowd of testers!

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Aside from the ever-flowing IPAs some other samples perfect for spring featured were:

Pike 51 Brewery’s Tea Pants Cream Ale: An elegant light shaded ale with pink tints, a light body and floral notes made this stand out. Aside from the ‘girly’ description this beer was a pleaser for both male and female alike.

Coppercraft Distillery Genever Gin: A softer more floral gin perfect for warmer weather proudly stands by its ingredients only spanning 50 miles, showcasing its true local Dutch culture. To the attendees, this gin was served with a little Cooper Tulip tea, fresh grapefruit juice, honey and a splash of club soda, making it a perfect afternoon sipper.

B. Nektar Meadery’s Kill All the Golfers: Who said we all had to be golfers, especially when you could drink mead attributed to their demise? Golfer or not, this mead is sure to knock out some birdies. A mild sweetness with a bitter black tea and tart lemon creates a perfect handshake to those who golf and those who well, have more nefarious thoughts.

Low ‘N Slow BBQ Naked Pulled Pork: BBQ being a food that pairs perfectly with the outdoors, friends and a good time. Low ‘N Slow’s meats were a perfectly tender mouthwatering smoky satisfaction that kept my hunger at bay and stomach at just the right amount of fullness to let the drinking continue.

Spring Fest truly captured the meaning of spring, a time of a new beginning. It wasn’t uncommon for the lovely people pouring beer samples to actually be admires of the product and not an employee. They got to share their love for the beer to others possibly trying it out for the first time.

Matthew Mead jumped on the chance to pour for B. Nektar when they asked for volunteers. “It was great talking to so many people and hearing their thoughts on the B. Nektar products, as the Zombie Killer Cider blew out very fast,” he said.

This year’s Beer City Spring Fest was a great success uniting all the makers and drinkers from all aspects of the alcohol industry! Take what you’ve learned from this and be confident in your spring drink of choice. Raise up your beer, mead, cider, wine or spirit and cheers to another success!

Nearly 1,700 people gathered at B. Nektar Meadery in Ferndale on Saturday,to celebrate what ancient civilizations once considered to be the nectar of the gods.

With its highest-ever attendance, the Spring Mead Fest proves that one of the oldest alcoholic beverages in recorded history has staying power — and B. Nektar has been instrumental in its local resurgence.

“Every day we convert somebody else, and then they convert somebody,” said  B. Nektar Co-Founder and CEO Brad Dahlhofer.

Dahlhofer, along with his wife, Kerri, and friend Paul Zimmerman, founded B. Nektar in 2006 and officially opened for business two years later. Dahlhofer said that their grand opening event, held on National Mead Day, paved the way for festivals to come.

“We weren’t a brewery, so we couldn’t participate in any of the Michigan Brewers Guild festivals,” Dahlhofer explained.

Instead, B. Nektar started holding an annual Summer Mead Fest, and then added an annual Spring Mead Fest in 2013.

This year’s Spring Mead Fest was held in the parking lot of B. Nektar’s former production facility, just down the street from its new facility and tap room. Visitors could purchase tickets to turn in for samples, including B. Nektar’s traditional still meads; popular mainstays such as Zombie Killer and Necromangocon; and some new offerings from 14 limited-batch specialty taps.

Spring Mead Fest attendees could also purchase a number of limited release bottles, including #dragonsarereal — a cherry chocolate chipotle mead aged in New Holland Brewing’s Dragon’s Milk barrels — and Anasazi, a barrel aged buckwheat mead. Festival food was provided by Detroit BBQ Company, Buffy’s Mexi-Casian Grill and Treat Dreams, while DJ Psycho of Detroit Techno Militia entertained the crowd.

And for the first time ever, B. Nektar was also able include ciders, braggots and beer in its festival lineup, thanks to a recently acquired microbrewery license. Selections included Apple Pale Ale, Baltic Porter Braggot, Berliner Braggot, Imperial Hefeweizen and Cranberry Orange Zest Cider.

Dahlhofer explained that Zombie Killer — made with apple cider, tart cherry juice and honey — was a segue into even more cider production. He noted that two new ciders on tap at Spring Mead Fest — The Dude’s Rug (chai cider) and Slice of Life (lemon and ginger cider) — are now part of B. Nektar’s regular production schedule, with distribution in Michigan, New York and Pennsylvania.

In addition, Dahlhofer and the B. Nektar team are staying busy with continued growth, including the meadery’s recent launch in Copenhagen, Denmark, as well as plans to expand distribution to another 10 states in the U.S. within the next couple of years. B. Nektar fans can also look forward to its Summer Mead Fest in August.

6% ABV, Bottle

Appearance: Clear gold with no head.
Aroma: Fruity with some spice.
Taste: Lots of mango — the pepper is more of an afterthought.
Mouthfeel: Light to medium bodied.

B. Nektar’s latest mead, Necromangocon is a mix between mango and pepper. While the mead is certainly sweet, the subtleness of the pepper helps balance out the flavor, making for an enjoyable and very drinkable mead. Necromangocon has qualities of a cider — it’s lighter, sweet and has a slight carbonation. The mango comes through strong, as you can definitely pick out the flavor, but it’s by no means over the top. This might very well be my favorite mead yet.