Changes Coming to Groennfell

Changes Coming to Groennfell

Ricky the Meadmaker
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Dear Beloved Meadiacs,

There are big changes coming for Groennfell. Really big changes.

We’ll get to what they are in a moment, but I want to start with the why.

Every year, we sit down and reflect on our mission statement. It reads as follows:

The world has forgotten how to feast.

We believe that a feast is a space set apart from daily life where people feel that they are part of something bigger than themselves, surrounded by food, drink, and revelry. 

We are proud of the meads we make, of course, but in all that we do, we remember that we are in the business of feasting.

 

When we reflected on those words this year, we realized that we don’t feel like we’re living up to the deep meaning of our mission. After a few days of reflection, here are the goals we came up with:

  • We want to buy and sell locally as much as we can, while maintaining the amazing relationships we’ve built with folks all around the world.
  • We want to divest from the industries and systems that are working against our values, including chemical-intensive agriculture, long-distance shipping, and extractive economies.
  • We want to have days off with our families.
  • We want to feast in person with our community again.

In concrete terms, this means that we’re putting our energy into our pop-up Mead Hall, buying from new, local, and small farms, and reducing the amount of mead that we send through the mail.

One-third of every dollar we made in the past three years went to UPS, FedEx, or freight. I repeat: One-third of every dollar. 30%. We’re in a very low-margin industry, so we’ve been teetering on the brink of bankruptcy for years, which is not great, but more than that, the amount of non-renewable energy that’s used to move those packages weighs on us.

Shipping products all around the world is a race to the bottom. It’s resource-intensive, it’s destroying local economies, and we want to use our brand as a force for good.

We’re going to continue shipping our bottled products because this allows us to support those small and local farmers who are seeing their markets disappear, but we’re going to be phasing out shipping our canned craft mead by the end of 2024.

The good news is that we’ll continue to be an Open-Source company, sharing our recipes for everything we’ve ever brewed! So if you want one of our craft meads, you can brew it at home! If you’re not a homebrewer (or even if you are), we urge you to buy from your local meadery.

We are also going to continue making canned craft mead, and lots of it, but we’re going to be selling it in our local market and through distributors. Shipping large volumes of lower-alcohol-content mead in small packages, all around the country (not pulling any punches here) primarily pads the pockets of big oil and doesn’t serve our community.

We cannot put into words how much our community of Meadiacs around the world means to us. Thank you for all you have given us and all the support you have given to each other.

We’re excited to start this new chapter for the company where we can deepen our commitment to our core values of restoring local economies, rejuvenating soils, and feasting with our community. Thank you for being a part of it.


Much love,

Ricky the Meadmaker and The Groennfell Team

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