ORLANDO, Fla. – An Orlando couple is looking to open up the area’s first meadery by the end of 2021.
Joe and Ginger Leigh are the pair behind Zymarium mead.
The couple started dabbling in making the fermented honey wine in 2014, according to Joe Leigh.
“For our first attempt, it was drinkable and was a great introduction to the process, but it admittedly didn’t compare to some of the amazing commercial meads we had tried,” he said.
The Leighs then spent the next three years sampling various meads from around the world. Joe Leigh said he studied the fermentation process and began brewing his own mead again in 2017, with Ginger Leigh — who also goes by Synthestruct in her work as a multi-sensory artist — contributing ideas for different flavor profiles.
“By 2018, (I) was entering and winning every American Mead Makers Association competition and started to dream of opening a meadery to share this passion,” Joe Leigh said.
The Leighs say they plan to offer 12, rotating taps in their tasting room with a lot of different variety for customers to sample.
“There will be a few carbonated Session meads, emulating craft beer styles and strength. A few pure honey meads, called Traditionals, which have a wonderfully balanced semi-sweet profile that is the perfect way to experience Florida’s incredible range of different honey flavors,” Joe Leigh said. “Then there will be the Imperial Meads, which are big and bold, letting you get lost in the flavors of honey, fruit, or other fun things like coconut, vanilla or chocolate.”
They also plan to offer mead to-go, including four packs of their session meads.
They do not have a set timeline yet but are hoping to have their tasting room up and running by November or December.
The couple said they are hoping to find a 5,000 to 7,000 square foot space, preferably somewhere in The Milk District, Mills50 or the Hourglass District, but said they are looking in other parts of the city as well. Ginger Leigh plans to design the interior of the space herself.