By Joela Goga, COVID Ambassador
Beth Borges, co-owner of House Bear Brewing, thought of her unique business idea while at Babson college, but at the time she had never heard of anyone opening up a meadery. However, “if you can have a brewery or winery, why not a meadery?” she pondered. From her research, Beth predicted that there would be a “craft mead explosion” in a few years, which she wanted to be a part of. Her business then officially opened up in 2013.
The process to start her business involved plenty of research on mead, which in simple terms, is alcohol made by fermenting the sugars in honey , from which Beth and her business partner Carl find joy in flavoring with a variety of different ingredients, such as fruit! She excitedly describes the different flavors that set their meadery apart from others: like their strawberry basil mead (Nursery Crimes) or cucumber and melon mead (Metro Gnome). She expresses her love for coming up with new flavors, whimsical names, and eye-catching images for their mead.
Originally from Ohio, and growing up in a Brazilian household with a very strong female role model, her mother, Beth was raised with a very strong work ethic. As was her partner Carl, who comes from a family of entrepreneurs. Combined, their business spirit and skills paved the way for the creation of a successful meadery.
Throughout their years of running House Bear Brewing, Beth gained wisdom about the art of business. “You have to be flexible,” she states and further explains that no matter how many plans you make, life has a way of throwing a wrench in and forcing you to adapt.
The pandemic is certainly an example of having to adapt, and Beth goes on to share how COVID-19 impacted their business.
Due to health restrictions, Beth could no longer do tastings or pour mead, and that along with consumers not knowing what mead tastes like, or having an incorrect idea of what mead is, lead to sales in stores drying up. Nonetheless, they tried to make do and began selling masks and hand sanitizers. They also started making hard cider. Their saving grace, however, was attending farmers’ markets. “The farmers’ market is what has kept us alive during the pandemic and saved us.” exclaims Beth. Although tastings were not allowed, having the opportunity to engage with and educate customers about their mead made all the difference in surviving during such a difficult time. Forming a personal connection with customers through conversation allowed for more people to take a chance on their special products.
The Revere Farmers’ Market is another opportunity for Beth to form those essential connections with our community, and she is certainly looking forward to it. “The people have been super nice at RFM” Beth notes. She goes on to say how much she adores the diversity present at the farmers’ market, as it reminds her of her own environment growing up in which her neighbors came from different countries all around the world.
Special thanks to Beth Borges of House Bear Brewing for allowing me the opportunity to interview her about her wonderful and creative business.
Revere residents, visit Carl and herself on September 17, at their House Bear Brewing tent at the Revere Farmers’ market!
For information about them visit: http://housebearbrewing.com/.
To preorder their mead and cider visit: https://housebearbrewing.square.site.