Wandering Bard Meadery – Grand Opening!
Hello hello, again, Foodie Friends 🙂 Hope you’ve had a great week! For this special edition of Foodie Adventures, we’re taking you behind the scenes of the Soft Opening of Wandering Bard Meadery, just in time for their official Grand Opening later today! 😁🥂🎉
All About Wandering Bard
Brian and Adam, the owners of Wandering Bard Meadery, moved down from Maryland and started this venture in Mauldin about 3-4 years ago. Adam has a background in craft brewing, while Brian has a background in wine! Their new brick-and-mortar location is in Hampton Station, in the old Dapper Ink space, cattycorner from White Duck Taco, and right next to Due South Coffee.
If you think about Vikings and medieval conquerors when mead comes to mind, you’re not too far off! This honey wine beverage is thousands of years old, but Wandering Bard is making sure it’s getting a thoroughly modern twist!
With 16 taps now (they have space to expand up to 32), approximately 12 will be house-brewed mead and two will be ciders, or some of their cyser (hard cider/mead) crossover blends. These guys have the Meadery licensed as a winery so they can’t serve beer, but meads, cider, and wine are all fair game here.
When it comes to flavors, there’s definitely something for everyone!
Elderberry (bottom left) is their best selling mead, which was sweet and had dark fruity notes, along with some of their cask or barrel aged meads (Oaked Black Cherry, middle), which are typically more robust in flavor and are less sweet.
Certain meads are considered a special name (Bochet) if the honey was caramelized before being added to the mead, like this Caramel Apple Cyser, perfect for autumn lovers.
They also put a lot of thought and effort into the decor, explaining to me a couple weeks before the grand opening the ideas that inspired their look. Adam told me they “Really wanted to capture an antique yet modern and clean look, something that gave itself well to a more upper scale event space but was cozy and inviting enough that people would feel comfortable being there for long periods of time.“
In the first picture, with Brian (left) greeting guests, you notice a TV on the wall. This section as you walk in will become an area that focuses on education about bees, conservation, and honey, and the importance of protecting those valuable resources.
All the metal work you see (especially the bees) throughout the Meadery was commissioned by a local artist & metal worker named Jason Anderson (@jhaworksgvl), who worked with Adam and Brian to integrate them into the overall designs.
Brian and Adam wanted to make a game out of the bees, so Jason hid 16 metal bees around the Meadery and it’s a challenge to find them all! See how many you can spot next time you visit. 🐝 The wood used in the bar and throughout the Meadery was refurbished, but kept as close to the original as it could (also from local sources).
The Meadery also boasts an upstairs area for added seating, events, and game nights! Adam said they’re planning on adding bookshelves up there soon to house board games, books, and resources on mead, honey, and bee conservation too.
It was really special listening to Adam talk about the Meadery. One of my favorite things he mentioned about the decor was the idea for the lights. If you stand on the second story and look down at the first floor, the café lights above the downstairs area are supposed to emulate the stars, and give the space a cozier feel. ✨
The stage inside Wandering Bard Meadery, possibly for bands or trivia announcers to use in the future! The handicap height bar and the stills in the background. Loved all the hexagon elements, these shelves looked really cool next to the kitchen. Of course, what’s a Meadery without merch?! The bar was good sized and gave a great vantage point for us when we visited for the soft opening. All the taps they have at the Meadery so far! These signs listed out all their current meads on tap.
I think one of the other cool elements that was pointed out to me was the handicapped-height bar! We were sitting closest to that during the soft opening (see pictures in slideshow above for more), and it made me realize just how many other places aren’t that inclusive – I couldn’t think of a single other establishment that had a shorter height bar like that off the top of my head! The kitchen was super busy last night, whipping out amazing looking charcuterie boards, paninis, pizzas, etc.
We had the hummus appetizer to start, then the turkey, artichoke, and pesto panini for dinner! Everything was delicious and the artichoke was such a great addition to the sandwich. I love artichokes, such an underrated vegetable in my opinion. Most people would have done a turkey bacon avocado or some variation of that, so super happy they took a more unique route.
The menus for the mead and food are above (pics 1 & 2), and they have a ton of extra fun and events (see pic #3 above for more) planned in the coming months! Adam and Brian were super excited about their four sets of tasting and educational classes too (see pic #4 above for more info, dates, and details):
- One on tasting fruit related meads
- One on tasting cask or barrel aged meads
- One on tasting ciders and cyser related meads
- And last but certainly not least, tasting mead with food pairings!
Finally, for those who want to take their love of mead to the next level, they have membership tiers just for you!
These include specific bottles of mead sent to you during the year, discounts on mead, merch, food, member mugs, and much more! This is definitely a cool idea and such a fun way to get involved with a new local spot like this.
We love all the stuff Brian and Adam have come up with, along with their talented team of staff and supporters helping with events and marketing (shout out to Penny too for putting all these flyers together), and we can’t wait to come back for some of those tasting classes! Shout out to Max DiNatale for introducing us at Pimento & Prose to all things Wandering Bard Meadery, and don’t forget to check them out for their Grand Opening later today, Sept. 25th, from noon until 9 pm!
So how was your week, Foodie Friends? Are you going to go check out Wandering Bard Meadery for yourself, or do you have a favorite type of mead already? Sound out in the comments below to let us know your suggestions of what dishes to make or places we should visit next. As always, feel free to like, comment, & share 🤗