Our passion is bees because they not only pollinate our crops and wild flowers but they also share with us their sweet honey. The bees are rapidly dying, and we're fighting to save them by supporting the organic industry through making mead (honey wine) with ethical and sustainable business practices, but we need your help!Introduction
Over the past 3 years Bjorn has been making honey wine in very small 15 gallon modified homebrew kegs out of our home. We've invested 3 years and our life savings building up to where we are, but now we are unable to grow our size because we don't have production capacity with our small equipment to get bulk pricing to compete against the big companies. We also cannot label our honey wine as organic until we pay several thousand dollars for the certification process.
We wouldn't be able to make honey wine without the bees to make the honey. But the bees are rapidly dying. Scientists believe the rapid decline of bee populations (called Colony Collapse Disorder "CCD") is because of farmers using pesticides. CCD is a danger to our way of life because cross-pollination is essential for at least 30% of the world's crops and 90% of our wild plants to thrive.
Without bees to spread seeds and cross-pollinate, many plants - including food crops and wildflowers - will die off. This can affect our national parks, our wildlife, and our food supply.
We want to save the bees which is why Bjorn supports organic farms. We do this by buying organic and all natural produce and honey for our honey wine.
We hope that as we grow we will increase the demand for organic and all natural products, and thus influence farmers to switch to organic farming.
We cannot make this happen without you. We need you to build a sustainable organic meadery with us to increase demand for organic produce and help more farmers switch to organic farming. This will reduce the pesticide danger to bees thus reducing and increasing bee populations to pollinate our crops and wildflowers.
Thank you for viewing our project. Please consider making a pledge towards our dreams and joining our family.
Bjorn Mead - Jason, Mike, Cameron and Lindsey
The Story of Bjorn Mead Honey Wine
We are family and friend-oriented with a passion for the environment that we plan to support by means of sustainable methods. Our favorite thing to do is to go on long hikes in Yosemite National Park and celebrate at the end of our hike with a bottle of organic Bjorn Honey Wine.
When we first got into home brewing during our college years, our favorite drink that we made was honey wine. Over the years that we've been making honey wine, we have talked with hundreds of homebrew enthusiasts and listened to commercial meadery blogs to try to make the best honey wine possible.
While we were researching, listening, and learning about how to improve our honey wine, we learned about the rapid decline of the honey bee populations. After digging a little deeper, the honey bee decline didn't just affect our honey wine but it also affected over 30% of the nation's crops and 90% of the nation's wildflower population. Without bees, it became apparent that someone needed to help the bees to save our honey, our food, and Mother Nature: but how?
After reading numerous scientific studies on the honey bee decline caused by Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD), the majority of scientists believe that the root cause for the decline of bees is pesticides. Organic honey can only come from organic plants, and organic plants do not have pesticides that kill the bees. Hence, organic plants help bees thrive and in turn they produce organic honey. We want to support meaderies that offered organic honey wine made from organic honey, but we could not find any organic meaderies in the United States. It became clear that we had to be the ones to take the first step.
Jason works at Bjorn Mead full time making honey wine, blending it, experimenting with new flavors, and researching any new methods we might be able to try. Mike does a lot of the heavy lifting, changes out the parts, bottles the wine and applies the labels by hand. Cameron helps by cleaning out the kegs, lines, filters, pumps, and mopping up any spillage. Lindsey works outside of the meadery to fund the business, purchasing the equipment/ingredients, making the artwork, and is actively involved in quality assurance. Last month we made about 30 gallons with our two 15 gallon homebrew kegs. In order for us to make sure we are always delivering a consistent high-quality product, we also became certified in the Beer Judge Certification Program (BJCP) as a Certified Mead Judge.
With your pledge, funds would go towards building a meadery business that makes quality honey wine using only exceptional organic ingredients at a larger scale.
During the last two years we have:
"¢ Funded our meadery with our savings
"¢ When possible saved money by making things from scratch (blue cold box, mill, gravity system, etc)
"¢ Bought our wine bond (several thousand dollars)
"¢ Bought all licenses for city, county, state and federal
"¢ Converted our garage into our meadery
"¢ Passed government TTB/ATF/ABC/FDA inspections
"¢ Approved our labels with TTB
"¢ Supported the organic industry by buying organic honey and organic produce
"¢ NOT partnered with any third party distributors (we don't have the large equipment to sell in bulk to make it worth their time)
"¢ NOT spent any money on marketing
"¢ NOT received our organic certification (it will cost us several thousand dollars)
"¢ NOT paid ourselves a salary
"¢ We are fortunate that with an organic meadery we can help build demand for organic honey, and we can also help build demand for organic farms.
The ability to buy our own equipment and become certified organic would make our dreams of building an ethical and sustainable meadery that would support the bees and organic industry a reality.
What Makes Bjorn Mead Different
Mead is an ancient beverage, known to many cultures throughout history and featuring prominently in Norse mythology. Mead, also known as honey wine, is produced by fermenting honey. Just like how different grapes can produce unique characteristics, so too can different types of honey.
We make sure that our honey wine is of the highest quality and ethical standing by only using honey that is certified organic by the FDA. Bjorn also adds fruits, spices, and even coffee to give a truly unique and exciting taste profile that you will want to experience again and again.
In addition to using organic, we also use sustainable business practices and try to buy local. Our ingredients are all natural, and we source for local produce in our fruit honey wines. We avoid using heat and electricity whenever possible, including using a special no-heat method of production for our honey wine. We also reduce electricity consumption by using gravity to move our honey wine from one container to another. To clean our equipment, we use soap and sanitizer that has a low environmental impact and is safe to consume. This sanitizer is also strong enough to be reused, so we recycle water and cleaner whenever possible.
The honey wine industry is growing, and we want to make sure that we support the organic, sustainable, and local movement to save the bees and the environment!
How Bjorn Honey Wine is Made
Bjorn Honey Wine relies on the bees. The bees pollinate flowers thus spreading seeds and fertilizing crops. The bees then transform the flower's nectar into delicious honey. We then combine the honey with filtered water from the Sierra Nevada Mountains which encompasses Stanislaus National Forest and Yosemite National Park. We introduce some yeast and let Mother Nature bless our fermenters to give us the gift of her delicious honey wine.
After months of fermenting and aging, we filter out the yeast and fill our bottles. To continue with our mission statement of sustainability, all of our bottles are hand corked and we also hand-label each one. It's really a simple process, which is why honey wine is the world's oldest man-made beverage!
Why We Need You
We know how to make Bjorn honey wine and we have huge demand for it, but we're missing one crucial component: You.
We've invested 3 years and our life savings building up to where we are, but we do not have the capital to upgrade our equipment for the economies of scale we need in order for us compete against the big business. Our current net revenue will not allow us to expand to the necessary bulk capacity within the foreseeable future, and we are unable to raise prices because we need to remain competitive.
Your pledges will be used to purchase the following items:
"¢ 2 x 300 Gallon Fermenting Tanks
"¢ 2 x Hoses
"¢ 1 x Lift-Dolly
"¢ 1 x Pump
"¢ 1 x Commercial Filtering Machine
"¢ Organic Certification
We have big dreams, and without your support we will remain where we are. With your pledge, we can build a sustainable meadery and show the world how an organic meadery can change the world's mead and wine industry. Please join us as one of the earliest supporters of Bjorn Mead! Also, we can only help the bees and make delicious honey wine if we meet our goal, so tell everyone you know about us today!
What You Will Get For Your Support
Choose from any number of great rewards that all embody the core qualities of Bjorn Mead; quality, fun, environment and coolness! Check out the packages to the right and click on "Back this Project" when you're ready. And you look thirsty, so we think you're ready!
Here are some teasers of what's to come in the various reward levels:
We'll send you a 4 ounce jar of our organic honey that we use for our honey wine. A certificate of organic authenticity can be provided upon request.
Stem glass with our name and logo on it. Great for drinking honey wine!
Bjorn Mead T-shirt with our logo available in both mens and womens.
We have a kiln and we have some clay, and since we love crafts we'll fire it up and make a stein for you filled with our gratitude!
We'll get out our wood-grinding lathe (a machine that you would use to make baseball bats) and we'll hand-make you custom Bjorn Mead tap handles! These tap handles will pour our gratitude into every cup you fill.
We will personally hand-craft for you a Viking drinking horn for your honey wine! Crafting and engraving these drinking horns with our name and logo will be hard work, but we feel the personal touch and the intense labor behind the crafting of these horns will show you how much your pledge means to us. Every horn is different, and we've been practicing on some smaller horns to make sure we're up to the challenge of the bigger horns!
What Can You Expect When You Back Us
By joining the Bjorn Mead family, you can expect us to quickly get our equipment and all rewards into your hands:
Step 1: (Day 1) - Upon contribution, celebrate with us that Bjorn Mead is coming your way! But, don't forget to tell your friends, their friends, and your family so they can help make sure we reach our goal.
Step 2: (Month 1) - We begin ordering/crafting your rewards and making the golden sweet Bjorn honey wine. We'll also send a survey to all backers from who we need your color and size preferences for the t-shirt. You can then toast a glass of honey wine to healthy bees!
Step 3: (Month 2-3) - We file for our organic certificate, and we will begin packaging and shipping your rewards to you!
Step 4: (Month 4-6) "“ All rewards will be out by now so we will be distributing our honey wine out to our thirsty friends and making even more honey wine!
Thank you and Cheers!
Bjorn Mead - Jason, Lindsey, Mike and Cameron
TL;DR - Too long, didn't read? Here's the summary!
Who: Bjorn Mead
What: We are an organic meadery (honey wine) supporting organic, sustainable, local and all-natural produce to save the bees!
When: Now! We have only 30 days to raise only $10,000!
Why: Crowd funding supports people like us with ideas and dreams a chance to make them come to life thanks to supporters like you. Support Bjorn so we can promote/encourage/support the organic industry so we can save the bees and see our dreams into reality.
How: It's an easy 3-step process "“
1. Click the "Donate" button
2. Select the reward level
3. Enter your info
Please consider joining our family as one of the earliest supporters of Bjorn Mead. Want Mead. Drink Mead. Be Your Own Mead!
Thank you and Cheers!
Bjorn Mead (Jason, Lindsey, Mike and Cameron)
Have a question?
If the info above doesn't help, you can ask the project creator directly. Also, we invite you to:
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Risks and Challenges
Fortunately we have all of our wine bonds, licenses, and labels approved. We have already made successful larger-scale batches of our wine, and we have some experience in the small-business model. Our families have all owned small businesses which we have learned from, and both Jason and Lindsey have their Bachelors of Science degree in Business.
The biggest challenge that we see is getting our organic certification. While we buy all of the organic ingredients necessary, there might be some additional things such as a sink, a non-porous counter-top, and other government-required items that they would like to make sure that we have. If this arises, we will budget accordingly and take care of it.
The next biggest challenge that we see is getting the word out. Fortunately Lindsey has over 7 years of professional sales behind her, and our brew community has a number of resources for us to use when we are ready.
Last our bottling system is a bottle-neck (no pun intended). We know that hand-bottling and labeling will be an issue down the road, but we've gotten fairly proficient at getting this done quickly. We believe that once we have the larger fermenters and storage tank, we will be able to fulfill the larger orders and from those profits be able to afford a labeling machine. We still want to be as hands-on with our process because we feel the personal touch keeps us connected with our honey wine and the people who drink it.
Our hope is that after we have saved enough money that we will be able to afford a new facility in our small town where supporters can take tours and do tastings. We won't get there without our supporters, though, so please make your pledge and tell your friends and family today!
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