Go Big or Go Home

Firkin Friday voting ballots at Groennfell MeaderyVoting 1.0

Or, what happens after you vote for your favorite Firkin Friday…

Last Friday was the best Friday of the Quarter! Why is that? It was Firkin Friday Review!

At the end of each quarter we trot out all of the Firkin Fridays we still have available and put them on tap. Usually we only have a handful left from the original dozen, but hey, five is better than one, right?

Then the voting begins! You can vote old-school-style on little pieces of paper shoved into a box, or on our fancy-schmancy online ballot.

As many of you know, the winner of this extremely official, prestigious, and important election is then put in the running to become a seasonal release from Groennfell Meadery. But then what happens?

The journey from 5 Gallon Firkin Friday to full production is a long road. And, in an effort to stem the tide of, “But I voted for Hopped Mead and it WON and now I’m waiting and I’m not drinking it and I’m still waiting and if you don’t MAKE IT FOR ME SOON I won’t be your friend anymore”-type comments, I’d like to list the major mile-markers along the way.

  1. The votes are counted and the winner (or winners) is announced.
  2. Ricky, the meadmaker, reviews the recipes to see which are practical to scale up. Certain recipes, for reasons not worth enumerating, are quite impossible to produce on the scale required to make a widely available seasonal offering. One example should suffice: We will not be cramming a cherry into the neck of every bottle to make a seasonal Shirley You Jest.
  3. Kelly, the CEO, makes an executive decision as to which meads would potentially be popular enough to justify expanded production.
  4. The recipes that make it this far are sent to R&D to see what additional equipment, if any, would be required. Another example: if ginger mead were to scale-up to full batches, Ricky will not be spending 53 hours shredding hundreds of pounds of ginger with his home food-processor. (We asked, and he has flatly refused; he’s kind of a jerk like that.) So, either ginger juice must be procured, or a way of juicing ginger at the meadery must be obtained.
  5. Once all the calculations are completed, the ingredients sourced, and the technique established, then the recipe is submitted to the Federal Government for approval.
  6. Then we wait a very long time.
  7. If/when the recipe is approved, we have our designer get to work on the product’s distinctive icon and label. We then submit this label to the government for approval.
  8. Then we wait a very long time.
  9. Once it’s approved, the packaging is sent to our printers to become labels, 4-packs, stickers, etc.
  10. Then we wait a very long time.
  11. At last, all the ingredients are sourced, the packaging is purchased and production can finally begin… when there’s a tank that will be free for several months.
  12. At very last, it’s packaged and made available for all our meadiacs to purchase and enjoy!

And that is why we don’t have any seasonals yet.

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