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Startup Allentown mead maker earns national honors

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Mike Manning, left, and Greg Heller-LaBelle at the grand opening of the Colony Meadery. (File photo)
Mike Manning, left, and Greg Heller-LaBelle at the grand opening of the Colony Meadery. (File photo)

In its first time “out of the hive” at a national mead competition, the Colony Meadery has taken home top honors.

The meadery, in the Allentown Bridgeworks manufacturing incubator, was awarded the first “Commercial Mead Marker of the Year” award at the Mead Free or Die competition held in New Hampshire.

It won five awards for individual meads it produces. Mead is an alcoholic beverage made from fermented honey

The meadery took a first place prize in the Open Category Meads for its raspberry and chipotle flavored mead, Favorite Child.

The Allentown meadery, which launched late last year, also took home two second- and two third-place awards, including a second and third place award in the traditional mead category, which Colony Meadery co-founder Greg Heller-Labelle called it the toughest competition.

“It’s definitely a big honor for [mead maker Mike Manning] and I,” Heller-Labelle said. “For eight months, we’ve committed ourselves to make a quality product, and this is the first opportunity we’ve had to get that validation from our peers. It’s a big deal for us.”

In addition to selling mead of the Bridgeworks, the meadery sells its products at Fegley’s Brew Works, Strange Brew Tavern and Hulmeville Inn. Additionally, it recently ventured across state lines, distributing mead to New Jersey with Hunterdon Brewing.

Stacy Wescoe

Stacy Wescoe

Writer and online editor Stacy Wescoe has her finger on the pulse of the business community in the Greater Lehigh Valley and keeps you up-to-date with technology and trends, plus what coworkers and competitors are talking about around the water cooler — and on social media. She can be reached at stacyw@lvb.com or 610-807-9619, ext. 104. Follow her on Twitter at @morestacy and on Facebook. Circle Stacy Wescoe on .

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