Ferndale's B. Nektar meadery is releasing Star Wars-inspired Episode 13, a blend of orange blossom and buckwheat mead aged for a year in bourbon barrels. While the brew itself is nothing new, the story behind the name is somewhat unusual as CEO Brad Dahlhofer relates it to Eater.
The beverage was originally branded as a bourbon mead, Dahlhofer explains, but when the company attempted to sell its wares beyond Michigan boarders, the agencies in charge of interstate commerce said "No way." B. Nektar could not legally market mead aged in a bourbon barrel as a "mead." It would have to be called something else.
The brewers went back to the drawing board. "We figured we're kind of rebels in this mead world and this is our attack on the evil empire," Dahlhofer says. Thus, Episode 13 was born (the 13 alludes to the "batch number" of the bourbon brew).
A 375 mL bottle of Episode 13 runs $25 and can be found at the taproom and select bottle shops, with national distribution beginning in January 2015.
Later this winter, he adds, the company will be coming out with a brew called Apple Pi, an apple cider mixed with spices and honey.
As for the meadery, Dahlhofer adds that the company is "on a track right now to double our [production] capacity this year." The company is in the process of building out a new 20,000-square-foot brewing facility and taproom just a few blocks from their current building. The new facility is expected to open in July. May the pours b. with you.