ALBANY PARK — The North Side’s only meadery is officially open for business.
Second City Meadery co-founders Peter Schultz and Brian Davids moved into 4465 N. Elston Ave. in 2019 with plans to convert the old auto mechanic’s shop into a production facility and tasting room. It opened last week, and is the city’s second meadery tasting room and only meadery on the North Side.
Schultz was inspired to start making mead, an alcoholic beverage made from fermented honey, at home in 2014 because his wife loved the sweet flavor — but buying it off the shelf was “a little pricey,” he said.
The first few batches were terrible, Schultz said. But after experimenting and researching for a few years, he entered his meads in home brew competitions and started winning medals, he said.
Schultz’s wife was so impressed with his passion for brewing mead she encouraged him to quit his day job as an accountant and pursue brewing full-time.
Schultz teamed up with his friend, Davids, who had brewed beer at home for almost a decade, and the idea for Second City Meadery was born. They started by testing small batches of mead, giving it away for free in 2017.
The tasting room features a bar with eight stools, three standing tables and two longer tables with barstools at them. It has board games and is pet- and family-friendly.
“We also allow people to bring in food. There’s tons of great local restaurants, so they have a lot to choose from,” Schultz said.
Since opening the tasting room last week, Schultz has had neighbors unfamiliar with mead drop by the check out the space, he said.
“We want this to be an inclusive space where anyone can come by and enjoy mead, which I know a lot of people aren’t still that familiar with,” Schultz said. “Part of the experience for a lot of the people that came in this past weekend was education.”
The tasting room only has one mead on tap and is still waiting for the full keg system Schultz ordered in October to arrive. Once that system is in place, more tasting room exclusives will circulate on the Second City’s taps.
“We have a carbonated mead right now that’s 4 percent alcohol. It’s closer to maybe a hard seltzer or a sour beer than anything else we serve,” Schultz said. “It was a pretty big hit over the weekend.”
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