By GARRET ELLISON, The Grand Rapids Press
Updated 1:13 am, Tuesday, September 30, 2014
GRAND RAPIDS, MI — In Greek, the word “Arktos” means “bear.” Based on the alcohol-by-volume content of mead out now from the new Arktos Meadery of Grand Rapids, you might need the tolerance of one to drink it.
Maciej Halaczkiewicz, a former nuclear submarine technician from Oak Park, began distributing initial bottle shipments last week from his new venture Arktos, currently Grand Rapids’ only mead-making operation.
At the moment, 500-ml bottles of “Queen Bee,” a traditional style of mead aged in oak barrels, can be found at Siciliano’s Market, Martha’s Vineyard and The Crushed Grape specialty beverage stores in Grand Rapids.
Queen Bee is Arktos’ flagship brand, something Halaczkiewicz described as his take on an ancient style of alcohol that’s enjoyed a resurgence of interest in recent years as craft beer and ciders gain nationwide market share.
“I wanted to go back to a traditional drink, something reminiscent of the beverage they would have drank thousands of years ago,” said Halaczkiewicz, who ages his meads at Arktos’ facility at 1251 Century Ave. SW.
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