But that’s OK with Arktos owner, who found experimentation is vital.
January 15, 2016 | By Pat Evans
Grand Rapids Business Journal
Michigan – Maciej Halaczkiewicz has a one-man operation at Arktos Meadery.
He makes the mead, sits behind the bar and pours mead for customers, and delivers his mead across the state.
But it wasn’t planned that way.
In 2012, Halaczkiewicz asked his brother Marcin to start the company with him. The day after that conversation, Marcin died in freeway accident.
“It pushed me to do it faster,” Halaczkiewicz said. “I might as well go on.”
Experimenting with making mead wasn’t something he saw himself doing when he got out of the Navy in 2011. For four years, he was a nuclear reactor operator — “basically, Homer Simpson,” he joked — and was waiting to start work on a geography degree at Grand Valley State University.
He had some free time and decided to experiment with making alcohol, boiling some apples and using the water to ferment the resulting sugars.
“I just wanted to see how it works,” he said. “I didn’t study the principles at all. I just wanted to see if I could do it.”
A few months later, he was ready to experiment some more but couldn’t decide whether to pursue making beer, wine or mead. He had never tasted mead prior to his brother bringing traditional Polish mead back from a trip that year. The Polish method uses a nearly 1:1 ratio of honey and water, the two crucial ingredients for mead.