One of the most common questions I get asked is how I came to found Gosnells Meadery, and following that, why? Why mead?
The best origin stories are either born out of a lifelong passion or a moment of epiphany - for me it was somewhere in between.
I've always loved food and drink and as I grew up a bit more that interest in booze grew. I always enjoy taking on projects, especially in the kitchen, so it was only a matter of time until I started to experiment with fermentation at home.
I began, as most people do, brewing beer from a malt extract kit, this gradually turned in to full grain mash, and then eventually to cider. A good friend of mine has an orchard in Dorset, and it was autumns spent here, picking and milling apples that gave me the taste of production on a larger (though still small) scale. Making cider was fascinating, blending art with science, and really piqued my interest in alcohol production.
Shortly after this, around 2012, I was traveling along the East coast of the US, and it's here that I was first exposed to great mead - mead that was crafted with real, love, care, and respect for the honey. The mead I had in Maine, at Maine Mead Works, was amazing, and I was fascinated by their innovative fermentation techniques.
This really lit a fire in me, and I was determined to give mead making a go back in London. Shortly after I started experimenting, quickly outgrowing the domestic setting and renting some space in a microbrewery in Walthamstow.
Following this, I began to look for a permanent home and chanced upon a small first floor industrial unit in Peckham (Dubbed the Honey Cupboard). This industrial estate is still our home today, though I'm pleased to say we've really expanded and taken on a few of the units on the estate.
It has been an amazing journey over the past 4 years, covering a lot of highs, lows, and everything in between, but it's amazing to see what our small team has managed to achieve!