A rolling garage door camouflages Aesir Meadery’s location in the back alley of Colby. Knowing which metal garage door and the secret knock are key to obtaining Erik Newquist’s prize-winning mead, an ancient alcoholic beverage made from honey.
Throughout the first half of his career, Newquist made mead on the side as a hobby. When he became unemployed more than decade later, he took the dive and began the process of opening Aesir Meadery. Now, nearly two decades after making his first batch, he looks back upon the memory fondly.
A night spent in a college dorm room discussing the desire to make alcohol couple with the discovery of an old family recipe were the seeds that sowed Aesir Meadery’s creation. Newquist reflects fondly upon that humble start, reminiscing of discussing that fateful day and the moments that followed.
An employee of his college’s apiary was an essential character in the creation of Newquist’s first batch of mead, having supplied fresh honey from the college’s hive.
“He walked us out to the hives and starts pulling frames up,” said Newquist. “He doesn’t put on any beekeeper gear or anything...just pulls them up and brushes the bees off with his bare hands, knocks them into a bucket and says ‘have fun, let me know how it turns out.’”
The original family recipe Newquist began his mead-making journey with is one which he has since modified and perfected. This recipe, along with his various others, have won him a variety of awards, one of which is the Mazer Cup International, the equivalent of the Olympics for mead making. Newquist took gold in 2017, toting his first place ribbon on a bottle of Skald’s Song, a sarsaparilla root mead.
With a background in microbiology and chemistry, Newquist looks at the craft of brewing mead through a scientific lens. Every batch of mead produced at Aesir Meadery takes between two months and five years to brew. However, Newquist also performs several test batches of every recipe prior in order to perfect it. As you peer around his shop, you may notice tattered notebooks containing notes and secrets of Newquist’s tests, and the adaptations he’s made along the way.
Newquist is determined to recreate the sensation of familiar smells and tastes within his mead, and offers a seasonal menu with ingredients from local farmers and growers. He has a coffee mead, which by his description, “tastes the way coffee smells, not the way it tastes.” He also took a beloved family recipe for his grandfather’s persimmon pudding and reproduced it as a mead.
The name Aesir comes from Scandinavian mythology. Within Aesir Meadery’s logo you will find the Yggdrasil World Tree, Thor’s hammer, Odin's ravens, all enclosed within the shape of a viking helmet, which Newquist created as a nod to his ancestors.
Curious to try Newquist’s brews and discover Aesir Meadery? Dependent upon which one tickles your fancy, a bottle of mead from Aesir ranges from $17-$125.
Aesir Meadery currently only opens for tastings by appointment. Send Newquist a message through Aesir Meadery’s Facebook, or email him at email@example.com to schedule your private tasting.
Visit Aesir Meadery at: 2625 Colby Ave, Everett, WA 98201