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Light, clean-finishing mead from local honey. - GRIFFIN SWARTZELL
Light, clean-finishing mead from local honey. - GRIFFIN SWARTZELL

Black Forest Meadery of Colorado brews with local goods to satisfying results

Black Forest Meadery brews with local goods to satisfying results

By Griffin Swartzell
Colorado Springs Independent

Adam and Shawna Shapiro’s Black Forest Meadery tasting room on Shoup Road, just 10 months open, is too cold to house guests. The cozy building is something like 60 years old, and so is the heater inside, so it tends to throw tantrums from time to time. Such is life with a rental, they lament in the kitchen-cum-tasting-room at their farm and meadery on nearby Burgess road, where we sit around an island counter before a forest of bottles, flanked by a wall of white boxes.

Shawna explains that a friend of theirs recently sold them the remaining stock from his vineyard, Bijou Creek, now defunct, so they’re flush with product. In addition to their mead, the Shapiros resell wine from several Colorado vineyards at their tasting room, including Denver’s Cottonwood Cellars and Grand Junction’s Kahil Winery. They also offer ciders from Snow Capped Cider and Colorado Cider Company, and they’re hoping to bring in product from smaller cideries in the future.

Adam and Shawna started Black Forest Meadery in 2008, inspired by time spent in Spain during college. They fell in love with Spanish and French wines. Their 5-acre farm, Shapiro Family Farms, grew to help support their booze business — we hear two big turkeys gobbling periodically outside the tasting room.

The Shapiros’ mead is brewed more in the English and French style — it’s fermented and aged for at least a year and a half to produce a more wine-like profile. It starts with Colorado varietal honey. They use a few apiaries, especially Springs-based Schmidt Apiaries and Del Norte-based Haefeli’s Honey Farm. All four meads are aged on local oak chips to get a more authentic old-world flavor.

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Rob
A novice mead maker, but a huge mead enthusiast! I'm also the owner and Site Administrator of TheMeadery.net and reside in Manchester, New Hampshire.