Why Terrapin Bluffs Meadery?

I contemplated long and hard what kind of name I would want for a meadery.  Did I want to evoke an image of something, choose a family name of heraldry (Jones wasn’t that interesting…), or even name it after a legend?  I was initially leaning towards the legend idea, as it would be fun to play on the history of mead with each of the new recipes.  However, finding a suitable legend proved difficult.

At first, I researched the story of the Red and White Dragons of Welsh mythology, where it required a cauldron of mead to quaff their thirsts such that they no longer fought and shook the castle walls.  The name was to be Lludd’s Tavern, after Lludd Llaw Eraint, the hero who eventually captured the dragons.  If he could create a mead (well, purchase really) that could entice dragons, it certainly would be fit for friends and family.  I am also predominantly Welsh on my father’s side, so it would have made sense from a historical perspective. Needless to say, I found out that a pub by the name of King Lud used to exist in England, and scrapped the idea.

Then I thought about Norse mythology.  Most people revert to knowledge of Beowulf when discussing mead’s origins, so I thought, why not play on the already popular ideas of Vikings drinking mead.  I thought of using Loki’s Tavern as the meadery name, where I could name all my meads about his deeds or those of other trickster gods from cultures around the world.  Unfortunately, I don’t really fancy myself being a trickster or prankster of sorts, so it didn’t really gel with my personality or ideals.  Back to the drawing board I went.

Finally, it dawned on my that I should really use something personal to me.  Since I was about 5 years old, I’ve kept turtles as pets.  I even went to the University of Maryland, despite being from Florida.  I really liked the idea of using the terrapin as the namesake for the meadery.  However, there already exists a Terrapin Beer Company in Athens, GA and a Terrapin Station Winery in Maryland.  How could I differentiate myself from these two companies and not run the risk of infringing on trademarked products?  After all, both already produce alcohol (albeit beer and wine are regulated differently, and neither of these two companies could sell eachother’s product, but that’s a topic for another blog!).  Terrapin Meadery was too simple, and I didn’t think it would fly with the two companies in existence.

Then I remembered all those times I’ve seen lots of turtles basking on the banks of rivers, streams, and lakes.  If I stretched the idea of these banks, I figured I could call them bluffs.  It also worked since I’m bluffing that I own a meadery (who knows, maybe I one day will).  After I thought more and more about it, the name just stuck.  Terrapin Bluffs Meadery.  It just fit, but then it came time to design a label…