Quick-Fire Questions: Maniacal Mead Co.
In a lot of business stories we read, the owners enjoy the foundation of friendship before creating their brands. But, in the case of Maniacal Mead Co, the friendship blossomed while building their business. The common factor? A passion for mead.
Theirs is not the unlikeliest of stories, but it is something that will restore your faith in fate. And it’s worth a read. Come meet the guys and get to know their story as shared by Maniacal Mead co-owner, Patrick Echlin.
What is Maniacal Mead?
Maniacal Mead Co. exists to open more peoples’ minds to the world of flavors that mead can offer. We are committed to making high-quality, full-flavored meads at affordable prices.
How did the business come to be?
Jeff Fraser was a home mead maker for a few years and had thought about opening a meadery occasionally. One day, he met Patrick Echlin, founder of 734 Brewing Company, and the two started talking.
That same day, Jeff asked Patrick if he would help open a meadery and they were off to the races. Jeff has always been crazy about mead, honey, honey bees, and everything else about mead. And Patrick was quick to hop on board.
You might say we’re “maniacal” about mead.
Curious about their shared passion for mead, Patrick shares that mead is fun because of the many opportunities for flavor inspiration. And most of them are delicious.
Naturally, we had to know more about their products and learn more about their business.
Tell us more about your products and what goes into creating your meads?
Most of our meads are on the sweet side. On a scale of 1-10, with 10 being insanely sweet, we are probably in the 4-7 range.
We like to have fun with the process and sometimes play around a little—like our apple mead that we added maple and marshmallow to. But we also like to be straightforward sometimes, as we were with our Dainty Ginger ginger mead or our Bone of Contention cherry mead.
Who handles which aspect of the business and what makes the team effective?
Patrick handles most of the paperwork and Jeff handles most of the production side. Regular conversations help to make sure that both parts are working in sync.
We became friends as we put our company together, but you might say we were business partners first. Our other friends help out all the time, though, whether we need extra hands for a bottling session or even web development and label design.
Can you share a business highlight that motivates the brand to keep pushing forward?
We got a lot of our startup funding from our membership club. They give us tons of feedback and inspiration for new products. Wanting to keep them happy keeps us going even when things get tough.
What challenges did you encounter when you first started out and continue to face in the business, and how do you overcome them?
We were gearing up to open our tasting room in early 2020, but then the whole world shifted. We’ll still open that tasting room someday, but we had to pivot to wholesale and mail order in order to keep our facility in operation.
Looking to give their brand the shelf advantage through wine labels, the team came to NextDayFlyers for help—not just in printing them, but also with the labels’ design. Something we’re more than happy to help them with.
Thank you for printing with NextDayflyers; how was your experience?
We enjoy using NextDayFlyers because it’s just so easy to plan things. We know exactly when labels will arrive, and everyone we dealt with seems hungry to help us look our best.
How did the team help you bring your ideas to life?
Brandon Kurtz has been a huge asset to us. We know we can always count on him to take our sometimes incomplete ideas and turn them into something we’ll be proud to put on store shelves.
Do you need custom wine labels?
Shop NextDayFlyers today!
What’s in store for Maniacal Mead?
We are very excited about the batches we have fermenting right now. We bought tons of raspberry and blueberry which will turn into at least four different batches of mead. There’s also an apple mead we started back in October.
We pressed the apples from 78-year-old Northern Michigan trees and added spices to make a mead that tastes just like apple pie. It’s currently aging in a bourbon barrel. We can’t wait for that one to finish.
What important piece of business advice continues to be a source of inspiration for your team?
It’s easy to get sidelined and quit when the path forward is unclear. Keep putting one foot in front of the other. The fastest way to fail is to stop moving.
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