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Greg Heller-Labelle (right) and Mike Manning (left) are the proud owners of Colony Meadery, the first meadery to grace the city of Allentown. They sell their honey-based wine at the Easton Farmers Market. (Jimi McCullian, THE MORNING CALL)
Greg Heller-Labelle (right) and Mike Manning (left) are the proud owners of Colony Meadery, the first meadery to grace the city of Allentown. They sell their honey-based wine at the Easton Farmers Market. (Jimi McCullian, THE MORNING CALL)

Pennsylvania: Colony Meadery plans to more than triple production

By Kathy Lauer-Williams
Of The Morning Call

When Greg Heller-Labelle and Michael Manning launched a business last year making one of the oldest fermented beverages in the world in the Bridgeworks Enterprise Center in Allentown, they thought they were onto something hot but had no idea just how successful their venture would be.

Just over a year later, mead — an ancient alcoholic drink made from honey — is a hit, served on tap at area bars and mixed into fancy cocktails at upscale restaurants in the Lehigh Valley. Now Colony Meadery is in the middle of an expansion that will more than triple the meadery’s 1,000-square-foot tasting and brewing space, and it has plans to more than triple production.

When Colony Meadery opened in January 2014 in the south Allentown business incubator run by the Allentown Economic Development Corp., it had what they thought was an ambitious business plan.

“Realistically we had made projections we thought were aggressive,” Heller-Labelle of Bethlehem said. “We blew them away in the first year. We knew we needed dramatically more capacity to keep filling demand.”

Last year the meadery produced 2,000 gallons and this year the men, who work full time at the meadery, are projecting a 7,000 gallon production.

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About Rob

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.