In spring 2020, Downtown Phoenix will welcome a new branch of one of Arizona’s more unique businesses, Superstition Meadery, owned by Jeff and Jen Herbert. The original meadery and tasting room is located in downtown Prescott.
If you don’t know what mead is, you’re not alone. Mead is wine made from honey, but it’s not all sweet, Jeff explains. When you visit the tasting room, the Herberts and staff will give you the lowdown on mead and its many taste profiles. “It’s a lot of fun and that’s really what we’re all about – having an experience that’s fun and enlightening.”
Q: Where will you be opening the new tasting room in Downtown Phoenix?
A: At 1110 E. Washington St. The original Pizzeria Bianco is five blocks to our west, which is arguably the most famous restaurant in Arizona and a new location of Pane Bianco opened this year five blocks to the east. We are right in between two Biancos and people will now have a reason to hop on a beach cruiser and go from Bianco to Superstition to Bianco and back again.
Q: What kind of timeline are you on?
A: This process began a long time ago. We had to rezone the building and go through so many steps – probably 20 visits to the city with this process. Sometime in September, our building permit should be approved to do a complete and thorough, historic renovation of the first Asian market in Arizona [Ong’s Market]. It’s a really beautiful building with a ton of potential. That being said, potential is slang for you can see light coming through the bricks, so it’s a shell, but it’s a beautiful shell. The good news about that is every single light fixture, piece of electrical wire and plumbing will all be brand new.
Q: What attracted you to this area of Phoenix?
A: I spent about a year and a half of my career working in that neighborhood [with the Phoenix Fire Department] and I got to know it really well. I’ve seen a change over the years and it’s definitely up and coming. From meeting with the two principal developers of the Eastlake Garfield District, we hear that this will be the next area of Phoenix to be developed into a very cool, hip, living, shopping and dining district. We’re really proud to be part of that.
Q: What details can you tell us about the new tasting room?
A: When people come into Superstition Downtown, they’re going to be able to sample many different products. We will offer a flight of 12 meads that changes weekly. Usually, we start with a cider or two and work through some meads, going from cider to dry mead to semi-sweet to sweet. Every flavor will be unique.
Q: Will there be food available?
A: We’re going to have a restaurant. It will be the first mead and food pairing restaurant in the history of the world and our tapas-oriented, small plate menu will have recommended pairing options from our product line. My wife and I are going to work with our chef and mead makers to elevate the experience of both our product and the food because when you have a proper pairing, it makes the flavors taste better than they would on their own.
Q; When will the tasting room open?
A: It’s not totally up to me, but we’re planning to open spring 2020. March or April, but hoping to do it before it gets really hot. That’s our goal.