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Featured Alumni Business: House Bear Brewing

House Bear Brewing LogoName of Business:
House Bear Brewing

Mission/ Description:House Bear Brewing Founders
House Bear Brewing makes mead, an alcoholic beverage crafted from fermented honey, using quality honey from responsible apiaries and fresh ingredients. We source “fresh, local, responsible” whenever possible because it’s good for the bees, the environment, our partners and our recipes.

Name and Email:
Beth Borges M’10;
Carl Hirschfeld;

Amesbury, MA

Inspiration for Business:
Coming from a very social, multi-cultural background with a mother who cooked dishes from scratch I (Beth) grew up with a fairly wide palette. I spent a lot of time in the kitchen learning recipes, trying to include interesting flavor profiles in dishes. When I learned to brew mead in college that seemed like a natural extension of cooking and coming up with interesting recipes. It was a wonderful way of tying my passion for gardening and cooking with my passion for brewing.

How The Idea Began:
On one of my birthdays I (Beth) treated myself to a trip to the Sunset Grill for a libation and saw that they had mead on the menu. It was a 2 oz. serving for $5.00 and it wasn’t very good. My worst batch ever was better. It occurred to me that there really weren’t any good commercially available meads. Ten years later while getting my MBA from Babson I asked myself what I wanted to do with my MBA and realized I didn’t want to do with it what I thought I wanted to do when I applied to the program. I looked around my apartment and saw 8 carboys (fermentation vessels) sitting there gurgling away. I realized this is what I want to do. I wanted to start a meadery! I started researching the market and how I would go about turning my homebrews into a commercial venture. It was then that I realized that mead was actually on the rise in the US and while still very early on was also growing very quickly.

Favorite Thing About The Business:
Working on an endeavor I am passionate about with my best friend. (See worst things about business below.) We complement each other well. I like who I work with. I like what I do. I can’t wait to get started everyday and it’s great that we have full control over our work day. No two days are the same. Getting validation for the ideas we have had questions about and finding out that we were right on target is particularly rewarding.

Worst Thing About The Business:
1. Working on an endeavor I am passionate about with my best friend (we bicker like children, really): There are some decisions we need to make together …and this can sometimes take us longer than we would like. Every decision matters when you are working on your own baby rather than working for someone else.

2. Doubt and fears: The uncertainty of an entrepreneurial venture is a constant part of the mental landscape. Some days it can get the best of you but the longer you keep at it the easier it is to see the fruits of your labors and quell the uncertainty.

Most Recent Business Accomplishment:
Finalists in BETA challenge; signing lease on facility.