Ricky Klein AKA Ricky The Meadmaker
Bio: My name is Ricky the Meadmaker or, more accurately, I am called Ricky the Meadmaker. I have been living in Vermont for the better part of the last 15 years
(though not continuously). I am the head meadmaker at Groennfell Meadery in Colchester, and the kindly overlord of Colchester’s Mead Hall, the restaurant space we share with Havoc Mead. There is nowhere in the world except the state of Vermont that the only two Craft Meaderies in a state would decide to share a space and hang out rather than going head-to-head. Also, I have a curious fascination with getting my Subaru stuck in the last snow during mud season, so Vermont really is the only place I can call home. You can find out all about what I do on Groennfell.com and on my bi-weekly show Ask the Meadmaker on YouTube at youtube.com/user/Groennfell
Morning ritual: I assume that the sun does not rise without me getting up first, and I’m unwilling to risk testing the theory. So, I get up early, and I split two days’ worth of firewood. A well-stocked woodshed is the gift you give your future self.
Recreation outdoors: Make logs while the sun shines, as they say! Nothing like
the pure joy of knowing that you’re setting yourself up for a warm and cozy winter. Recreation Indoors: Summer calls for cocktails and the heady aroma of smoked meats which I prefer to enjoy indoors away from mosquitos. Winter recreation: Nothing keeps a cocktail ice cold like a little snow falling into it… Oh, and nothing warms you up like splitting just a little more firewood. Rainy day activity: I bet you’d guess I’m going to say mixing and drinking cocktails. Throw in the complete works of PG Wodehouse, and you have my perfect day.
Local cultural venue: There is something about the juxtaposition of Church Street and the Burlington Farmers Market that I absolutely love. Church Street is just so tremendously solid with its brick edifices, and nothing could be more ephemeral (and I mean that with nearly every connotation) than the Burlington Farmers Market.
Guilty pleasures? I like to visit the other brewers all around the state and pretend I was in the area, then chat to them for hours keeping them from their work and then they almost always send me home with free beer. It’s a fair cop, though, since they also do it to me.
I get my exercise, by: Carrying kegs and cases at work, felling trees for the firewood, splitting firewood, stacking firewood and then, when the time is ripe, carrying the firewood inside and restacking it. Friends are in town: I love to take my out-of-town friends down to Ripton and take them out hiking along the Natural Turnpike.
Friends with kids: Kids love visiting breweries, right? Actually, I tend to like the sorts of things little humans are into, like hanging out playing Legos and visiting the jail and blacksmith (and ignoring the artwork) at Shelburne Museum Parents: I love Vermont Farm Tours and recommend them to all of my friends with visiting parents. It’s one of the coolest ways to experience Vermont and its working landscape.
My favorite sunset vista is viewed from? My own porch in Swanton. We’re about 200 yards from the lake.
On the town, or out of town – nighttime festivities include: Sleeping. I have heard the term “night-life” and, until recently, thought it was a fanciful term for nocturnal animals. Early to bed, early to rise, and so on…
Turning in: I live in Swanton in a 200-year old house, so most of my time away from the Mead Hall is spent fixing or constructing something in my own home. I have lived all over the state, so I am wary of saying any one town is more beautiful or historic than another, but I feel so at home in Swanton with The Islands sitting out in front of me and the Green Mountains at my back. It’s about as far away as you can get and still feel like everything wonderful about Vermont is within your reach.
Learn more about Ricky the Meadmaker on social media:
Learn more about Groennfell on their social media and website: