Honey Grail Sparkling Mead Becomes Restaurant's
#2 Most Profitable Drink in Less Than A Week!

Brew'd Pub in Frederick, Maryland, became the first known restaurant in the state to purchase a 20 L keg of Honey Grail - Boudica's Uprising Sparkling Honey Mead. We had the chance to meet owner Michael Gray who recently acquired the establishment.

Position as Wine
The staff at Brew'd Pub discovered Boudica's Uprising sold best when offered as a wine or as a beer alternative. (After all, mead is often called "honey wine") Especially to those looking for cider, white wine, or a Gluten-Free beverage. They decided to serve 5 oz pours in snifter glasses at a price below their house white wine, in this case $6.50 a serving.

We recommend 5 oz or 6 oz draught pours be priced between $1.00 to $1.25 per ounce, so even the most price sensitive consumer is willing to sample the product and it yields a greater margin than Miller Lite or Budweiser! We recommend serving in a snifter glass, or wine glass if one is not available.

They discovered some benefits of the kegs:

  • a single 20 L keg of Boudica's Uprising costs less than an equivalent 26 bottles of budget wine;
  • once tapped, Boudica's Uprising can last for months rather than days for bottled wine; and
  • the sweet sparkling nature of Boudica's Uprising mead rivals that of any premium Riesling, sparkling wine, or Champagne.
From a draught perspective, Michael noted when dispensed at 25 psi, there is little to no head. This allows them to serve more product with no loss compared to beer. So whenever a customer inquired, "What's new?" or "What type of wines are available?" the staff always mentioned the sparkling mead as the way to go. Michael said there hasn't been a single complaint from customers regarding the taste or portion size. The wine drinkers are pleasantly surprised to have received a sparkling wine at value pricing, while the beer and cider folks enjoy that the product is not overtly sweet.

Mixed Drinks, Food Pairings, & Mimosas
The biggest discovery was made during our sponsorship of the Mid-Maryland Celtic Festival. Attendees started combining the sparkling mead with whiskey and bourbon! Other bars have followed suit, creating unique cocktails with the sparkling mead.

We find that it mixes great with white spirits (i.e., vodka or white rum) or whiskey and bourbon (especially at Irish bars). It also mixes well with readily available fruit juices such as cranberry, orange, apple juice/cider. (Mead and cider combined is called a bee sting)

The folks at Brew'd Pub have a bevy of ideas on what to do next with Boudica's Uprising; from food pairings such as with their pineapple pork tacos to mead mimosas -- Sounds Yummy! One could even do a Ladies Night with the beverage sold at a discount.
Target Marketing
Michael had worked years in corporate marketing and jumped at the opportunity to own a bar. He stated his first goal was to attract more females and families. Gone was the Flying Dog "Pearl Necklace" Stout and in were baby changing tables, even in the men's bathroom! His chef created more upscale and complicated menu items that lent themselves to beer and wine pairings.

Unique Beverage Offerings
Not satisfied with simply adding "craft beer" to the menu, Michael sought to add some truly inspiring options to his drink offerings in order to stand out from competitors. So in came green absinthe, a mango habanero beer, and Boudica's Uprising Sparkling Honey Mead!

Brew'd Pub employed a variety of tactics to attract customers. The marquee outside announced that mead had arrived in Maryland. Mark said this actually brought first-time customers who had simply driven by and were curious to try this mythic drink they had only read about in books or seen in movies. He also purchased paid Facebook posts to promote the mead and his other menu items; specifically targeting women ages 25 to 45 who lived with a few miles of the restaurant. Finally, he promoted the sparkling mead with indoor signage and a really cool digital drink menu.

The Past Is the Future
So bars and restaurants shouldn't consider mead to be an outdated, classical beverage. Rather, it's become a modern craft beverage that can attract new customers, increase margins, and bring about renewed excitement among existing clientele.

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