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Illinois’ 1st Meadery Plans to Give South Side Honey & Mead Later This Month

Wild Blossom’s tasting room should open in January

Construction at Wild Blossom Meadery is about 90 percent complete.
Ashok Selvam is the editor of Eater Chicago and a native Chicagoan armed with more than two decades of award-winning journalism. Now covering the world of restaurants and food, his nut graphs are super nutty.

Illinois’ first full-blown meadery should open this month in Beverly. Despite delays from securing permits, Wild Blossom Meadery’s Greg Fischer said they’ll soon serve fresh mead, beer and ciders at their new tasting room. The tasting room is part of Bev Art’s new facility where they’ll host private events, offer brewing classes and, of course, keep bees.

They’ll concentrate on honey beers and incorporate fruit from California in their elixirs. Fischer said they’re about “99 percent” finished with construction. The design has changed quite a bit since last spring. The tasting room will have room for about 60 people, featuring 10 high tops and eight seats at the bar with a granite countertop. They just finished installing a 24-tap system and will feature guest drafts, as well as a large selection of craft bottles and cans. There’s wine, too. Food trucks, always a friend to breweries, will be courted to take care of the eats.

Mead is the ancient boozy beverage made with fermented honey. It’s heavily referenced in Norse mythology, as Thor and his viking pals imbibed quite a bit of it.

The location backs up to the Dan Ryan Woods near the Rock Island 91st Street Metra Station. That will provide a scenic backdrop when Wild Blossom opens up its outdoor area. Fischer said he’s consulting with the Chicago Botanical Garden for advice on landscaping.

Bev Art has offered brewing classes for years at their current location at 10033 S. Western Ave. When they move, they’ll have more room at their new digs for retail and classes. Fischer said Wild Blossom will enable Bev Art to offer a barrel share program, where participants split barrels with so they could see how barrel-aging affects the taste of their home-brewing attempts.

“It’s pretty new and unique,” Fischer said. “Other places have done it before with wine.”

Wedding planners should also take note: They’ll have a catering kitchen onsite. That’s a big boon as some restaurants, including those owned by chef Rick Bayless, won’t cater events unless they’re able to cook on the premises. Stay tuned for more.