Tag Archives: Algomah Acres

Best Practices for Crowdfunding your Meadery

Crowdfunding Header Image

The last few months I have analyzed the successful meadery Kickstarter projects, posting separate entries on each of the companies who have successfully secured backing (first post here). The series to me has opened up my eyes on the possibilities to make mead professionally, as the biggest barrier to entry in the market is the up front funding required. Below I have encapsulated some of the best practices that were identified during this initial analysis, specifically focusing on the items most likely to be funded on Kickstarter. Actually managing and running a Kickstarter project is a whole other topic (or series) on its own, and I may tackle this topic later with some updates to the initial guide. And if you haven’t seen it, the entire article series was published in the latest American Mead Maker Journal. Pretty cool!


Best Practices

Comparing the seven successful meadery Kickstarter projects has its limitations, so making direct analyses is difficult. Some of the success may be owed to popularity of the meadery owners, professionalism of the Kickstarter project, or sheer dumb luck at the time of founding. However, there are some important conclusions that can be drawn when looking at the individual projects.

Tickets, tours, and tastings. 

The popularity of Algomah Acres’ ticket invitation is similar to that of Bos Meadery’s tour and tasting, where both of these funding tiers received the most support for their respective projects.

Knickknacks pave the way. 

The Leaky Roof Meadery and Golden Coast Mead projects showed the popularity of stickers, t-shirts, glassware, and honey. Melovino’s project suggests that glassware is more valuable than t-shirts to backers, as many more backers purchased these items.  However the small sample size available cannot definitively say that glassware is more popular. (Anecdotally, I like to collect craft brewing pint glasses. I personally would not make a major push to collect logo-embossed wine glasses. Similarly, most of my beergeek friends collect pint glasses. Thus, for those making low alcohol meads, glassware should be in your Kickstarter project, as I expect the trend to follow for session meads.)

Avoid all inclusive funding levels to spread support. 

The Leaky Roof Meadery and Melovino Meadery mix and match options (funding tiers were not inclusive of prior levels, but instead specific items were offered) may be worth considering for future projects, as it spread support across a wide range of funding levels and provides improved options for a backer to purchase exactly what he or she wants.

Consider mead club membership options.

Bee Well Meadery’s concept of an exclusive membership option was unique to their project. It is important to note this idea received the greatest number of backers and most funding in Bee Well Meadery’s project. If a meadery is considering having a wine club in its future, providing an enhanced membership option to crowdfunding supporters may be a great idea.

If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again. 

The Vanaheim Gold projects show that even if a project is unsuccessful in its first go around, that does not mean it cannot find supporters in a subsequent project. A willingness to test the market seek crowd-sourced funding builds a sense of community from the project’s backers, and can only help with early promotion of the meadery.

Design your project with tiers for all funding levels. 

When designing a Kickstarter project, the range of funding options should be considered. Although some of these projects benefited from large donors purchasing the most expensive items, a large amount of support comes from low priced items. In addition, those who purchase low priced items might be the ones who shared the project with the donors purchasing the higher priced options. Therefore it is important to remember that providing funding options that all potential backers may be necessary to garner extensive support. Also note that according to the successful project owners, funding tiers less than $50 may not cover the distribution costs, but are fantastic for raising awareness and building a community to advertise your product for you.



The seven meaderies showcased in this article series present the only successful crowdfunded meadery project data points currently available. Further analysis of the unsuccessful projects may shed additional light on what items truly are most popular among backers, but are not included in this analysis for brevity. Additional research in winery, brewery, and distillery projects may also yield important trends between the beverage markets. Nonetheless, the crowdfunding concepts presented here may not guarantee success for a new crowdfunding project. However, they are worth considering if a small amount of funds are needed to bring your new product to market.


Crowdfunding your Meadery, Part 4: Algomah Acres

Crowdfunding Header Image

This is a continuation of our Crowdfunding your Meadery series, examining the funding tiers of successful mead Kickstarter projects to identify commonality between funding levels and determine what items are most likely to be purchased by a project’s backers. For a list of articles in this series, see the first article here. In this article, we will examine the Algomah Acres Honey House Meadery Kickstarter project, which can be found here.

Algomah Acres LogoAlgomah Acres Honey House Meadery started as a passion and a lifestyle for Melissa Hronkin and John Hersman. Seeking to support sustainable farming and artisanal products, they combined their love of beekeeping with arguably the most sustainable form of alcohol available, mead. Made from only honey, traditional meads require no irrigation, fertilizer, or toxic pesticides, and are still labor intensive as the process to raise bees can not be mechanized like the processing of fruit orchards and vineyards.

To support this dream, Melissa and John started a Kickstarter project in July 2011, and ran the project for 60 days. Their initial funding goal was $9,300, and 170 backers provided a total of $9,676 to beat their goal by 4%. These funds would support the initial licensing fees and equipment purchases necessary to get bring the Sweetness and the Light to the Upper Peninsula of Michigan.

The Algomah project included nine funding tiers from $1 up to $2,500, with options from thank you cards and beeswax lip balm at the low end, up to a gourmet meal for 2 that included all other items available. Details concerning the funding tiers, number of backers who supported the funding tiers, and the total amount of funding per funding tier can be found in the figures below.

Raw data of Bee Well Meadery’s Kickstarter project.
Raw data of Algomah Acres Honey House Meadery’s Kickstarter project.
Analysis of the backers and total funding received per funding tier for Algomah Acres’ Kickstarter project.
Analysis of the backers and total funding received per funding tier for Algomah Acres’ Kickstarter project.

The most purchased tier included a thank you card, lip balm, 4 oz jar of honey, and an invitation to the Harvest Party at the Algomah Acres Honey House a month after the conclusion of the project in October, with 69 total backers (almost 50% of the accounted for backers in the funding tier table above). However, this funding tier only accounted for 24% of the total funding received. The tiers that included a t-shirt and gift box, and a custom painted bee hive in addition to the other funding tier projects, brought in 24% and 21% of the total funding, despite only having 7 and 3 backers respectively. The two most expensive tiers, which included the option to help craft a production mead recipe and the option for a special dinner for two prepared by the head meadmaker, did not receive any backers.

While Algomah didn’t include a mead club membership option in their funding tiers, their project shows that unique ticket based options can drive backer purchases. Unfortunately, this tier’s success cannot fully be attributed to the Harvest Party invitation, as it included 4 oz of honey from the Algomah Acres. However, $25 for 4 oz of honey is an extremely steep price, so it is assumed that the majority of the interest in this funding tier was related to the Harvest Party ticket (if not only due to the this being a relatively cost friendly tier with the lower tier at $5 and the next most expensive tier at $50).

Check back with us next week as we continue our Crowdfunding your Meadery series, determining the most popular products amongst the successfully funded meadery Kickstarter projects. Next up, Golden Coast Mead, whose Kickstarter project can be found here.