Wish You Were Beer—Pensacola’s First Meadery
by Joani Delezen, inweekly
Before Swan Neck Meadery & Winery set up shop on Nine Mile Road the closest place to get handcrafted mead in Florida was Jacksonville.
Since opening in July, the meadery sells all natural, hand-bottled meads and wines in their retail shop, and serves mead by the flight or glass in a cozy atmosphere with events including game nights, comedy shows and live music happening weekly. They also offer mead-making tours.
John Wilson, President and head brewer at Swan Neck, has only been in the brewing industry for a year but is already perfecting his mead, which is made from fermented honey.
After a few years in the military, Wilson started a job at Navy Federal as a mortgage broker and stayed with the company as it experienced tremendous growth.
“I was a mortgage officer and traveled all over the country and state,” Wilson said. “What got me into wine initially was meeting multi-millionaires and billionaires, going out to eat, drink and travel with them and getting to experience all the different wines. At that point I really started loving wines and other cultural drinks. So I decided that with all the love I had for wine, that I would love to start making it, so I did.”
A friend told Wilson that mead is the fastest-growing sector in the alcohol business, which prompted him to start experimenting with mead as well. Mead is also unique in that it is more versatile with types of flavor profiles it can accommodate compared to other types of alcohol.
“So I bought a bunch of books, continued brewing and eventually started buying the commercial equipment,” he said.
Full Story: Wish You Were Beer—Pensacola’s First Meadery
Meadery Profile: Swan Neck Meadery and Winery