West End Update – City of Negaunee

Mead is pouring in city of Negaunee

Nate Heffron, city manager, city of Negaunee

NEGAUNEE — The history of mead goes back in time, way back in time. Many probably think that it was just the Vikings that drank that stuff, but history has shown that mead could be one of the oldest ancestral alcoholic beverages.

Vikings are known to have consumed the beverage around 800 AD to 1100 AD, but the chemical signatures of mead have been found in early Chinese pottery dating as far back as 7000-6500 BC.

What is mead? Mead is basically ‘honey wine’ because the process of making mead and wine is similar. The key difference is the use of honey rather than grapes as a source of sugar.

Now why I am even telling you this? I’m not going into the mead business anytime soon. However, two young men from Negaunee have! Meet brothers Sam (31) and Luke (23) Moser. As of late, you can find these industrious entrepreneurs working to not only produce their signature meads, but also finding ways to get it to stores near you.

“This was really just a hobby at first, then our mom (Lisa Geoffrion) convinced us to make this into a real business,” Sam said.

The Moser boys held tastings for their honey-based brews before perfecting the product to be bottled and sold to retailers.

Since initial production began in December of 2023, White Cedar Mead is already being stocked on a few store shelves.

“We are working hard to be offered in Negaunee establishments, we hope later this year we will be in a few places,” Sam said.

“We can only produce so much product with just the two of us. With our license we can produce up to 50,000-gallons, but that would take a whole team,” Luke said.

Currently the pair has said they are happy taking a slow approach – making 30 gallons of mead per week if possible. This roughly translates to 480 bottles per month.

White Cedar Mead currently offers three flavors; Copper Bee – a traditional mead, Seney Stretch – which is infused with blueberry flavor, and Ininaatig Maple Apple, an interesting name with a neat background story.

Ininaatig is an Anishinaabe word associated with the maple tree. This name was not just chosen out of a hat. It’s a nod to their heritage — their maternal great grandfather.

As they continue their adventures in the mead world, new flavors are being developed to tantalize your taste buds. Soon such offerings as cherry, grape, Cedar Bud, and Winter Spice could be among White Cedar’s offerings.

“We try to use and many local ingredients as possible. Our apples out are of Wisconsin, our honey and other fruits from the U.P.”, Sam said.

“We hope in the next few years that we will have higher production, with more staff, maybe a stand-alone location. This is something you need to work your way into”, Luke said.

Forging their own adventures from a hobby to business! Look for White Cedar Mead in a store near you. Should you have difficulties finding them, look them up on Facebook and they will be sure to help you find your favorite bottle of mead!

EDITOR’S NOTE: Nate Heffron is city manager of the city of Negaunee.


Today's breaking news and more in your inbox

I'm interested in (please check all that apply)
Are you a paying subscriber to the newspaper *

Starting at $4.62/week.

Subscribe Today