B. Nektar Meadery's footprint is growing in more ways than one. The Ferndale-based microbrewer of honey wine is set to have its meads in 15 states by this spring, will take aim at the California market after that and is looking at moving to much bigger facilities within the next 12-18 months.
The almost four-year-old craft brewer's team of nine employees and a handful of volunteers (up a few people from last year) is currently selling the company's wares in 11 states. It will enter Indiana and Virginia within the next month. Alabama and Georgia will come online a few weeks after that. The B. Nektar Meadery team is now speaking to a distributor in California to take on that market later this year. That would stretch the firm's mead-making capacity to its limit.
"California is such a large market it would be the equivalent of six or seven new states," says Brad Dahlhofer
, co-founder of B. Nektar Meadery
. "It's huge."
B. Nektar Meadery
recently expanded its capacity from 15,000 gallons to 100,000 gallons with some new equipment at its Ferndale space on Jarvis Street. Dahlhofer says he and the company's other co-founders are working with Ferndale officials to find a 20,000-square-foot location that would accommodate its brewing, bottling and storage needs.
The new facility would also have space for a tap room and a light kitchen. The tap room would not only serve meads but also beer and spirits brewed on site. Dahlhofer says the new facility could be in the fold within 12-18 months.
Helping drive all of this is its growing variety of mead flavors. The company has been focusing on gateway products that are similar to other sugary, carbonated, alcoholic drinks. One of its most successful so far is its Zombie Killer, a carbonated mead with a low alcohol content.
"They appeal to a wider audience," Dahlhofer says
. "The Zombie Killer was the first one in there and it's moving really fast for us."
Source: Brad Dahlhofer, co-founder of B. Nektar Meadery
Writer: Jon Zemke
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