Slim are the pickins: Sweden’s Slim Pickens Cider & Mead comes to town
by Meaghan Habuda – Creative Loafing, Tampa Bay
May 5, 2016 6:45 a.m.
It might sound like a Morgan & Morgan radio ad. But “by people, for people” is the inspiration behind a cider and mead company recently established by a Carrollwood resident — in Sweden.
Slim Pickens Cider & Mead is the brainchild of Todd Strauss, whom locals likely know from Tampa’s Cigar City Cider & Mead and Yeoman’s Road Pub. He became involved in the industry via Yeoman’s back when longtime pal and Cigar City Brewing CEO Joey Redner owned the place; the pub carried around 115 brews (a rarity at the time) and kickstarted Strauss’s beer-ducation.
About 25 years ago, right around high school, he got the name for his latest venture, not from the actor best remembered for his role in Dr. Strangelove, but through a poem penned by Redner.
“Slim are the pickins,” the prose read.
In this context, the poem was talking about blades of grass, but Strauss thought of humans — how we’re the same, but also different in a sense.
While “slim pickings” is generally defined as not a whole lot to choose from, Slim Pickens cider and mead reflects Strauss’s interpretation of people. Each creation — ciders for now, meads down the road — could be modeled after anyone, strangers you meet in the grocery store line included.
There’s the Ananas pineapple cider inspired by Anne Lunell, co-owner of a Swedish coffee shop that Strauss fell in love with, for instance, and Make Momma Proud, a sour apple-passion fruit cider, is dedicated to Strauss’s mother Sharon. Mom’s cider is his way of telling her, “Thanks for putting up with all my shit.”
Why start a mead and cider biz overseas, though?
It happened on a whim.
Meadery Profile: Slim Pickens Cider & Mead