This week, owner Dan Clapp got another chance when he met with the Ipswich Board of Selectmen.
He was invited in as part of a new initiative by the board to get new businesses in to introduce themselves.
While the extra attention was welcome, the 1634 Meadery has already attracted a lot of attention, Clapp said.
The previous media attention has been beneficial, he said. “It has brought a lot of people to the town,” he told the board.
Located on Short Street, the meadery holds tastings Thursday through Sunday. Selectman Ed Rauscher had visited, saying it was “a very high-quality product and delicious.”
One common question: What is mead? “I need to educate people on what mead is,” Clapp told selectmen.
The fastest-growing section of the U.S. alcohol industry, mead is fermented honey. “It’s closer to a wine than a beer, but it is its own thing,” he said.
Clapp said there has been a lot of initial interest. He is now working on how to draw back repeat customers, he said.
One option is to offer food or snacks, Clapp said. Another is to team up with area wineries, brewers, and distillers for Ipswich tasting tours, he said.
Asked by Selectman Judy Field how he learned the craft, Clapp said he was always passionate about brewing.
He said he first came across the drink on a visit to Denmark — his wife said he left her alone with one-year-old twins for the trip.
Upon his return, he started making it, filling up the house with equipment.
With his brews getting rave reviews (and his house getting cluttered), Clapp decided to set out on his own as a brewer.