Trazo Meadery is family owned and operated by David, Becky, and Travis Powell. We are proud to be the first Meadery in Tennessee. The origins of our mead run deep in our family, dating back to Travis’s beekeeping adventure.
Travis began beekeeping with his grandfather when he was nine years old. Their first attempt failed miserably, with half of the bees dying in shipping (they ship bees in the regular US mail!) and the rest taking out their anger on Granddaddy, stinging his face and hands. After just a week, the bees abandoned their hive. Travis’s science project that year was entitled “How Not to Keep Bees.” Travis didn’t give up, though, and thanks to the guidance of the Williamson County Beekeepers Association, managed to grow from one to five hives by the time he took off for college. Travis’s love for the bees inspired us and we supported him any way we could, including becoming the bees’ caretakers when he went off to college.
Our yeast strain has been in the family for decades. It’s a sourdough bread yeast that David’s mother, Zola, fed and nurtured throughout the years. Tuesday was bread-making day in Zola’s kitchen and one of Travis’ favorite days to hang out with his grandmother. Once diagnosed with stage four lung cancer, Zola entrusted Travis with her bread recipe, passing on the responsibility to keep the yeast alive (yes, it lives!). Travis religiously fed the yeast (yes, yeast eats!) and made bread until he went off to college, Becky took over. Even though the majority of the yeast now goes into making mead, there’s always enough left over to bake the occasional loaf of bread.
Travis and David spent many hours plotting business ideas with the by-products of the bees. Travis even went so far as to start his own little company while in high school selling organic lip balm. From the beginning, the idea of mead stood out. As a history major, the idea of mead stood out to Travis for its ancient origins and impressive, storied history. By using water harvested at a nearby limestone spring found deep in the woods of Montgomery County TN, we began experimenting with brewing the perfect mead.
It took awhile to figure out how to take the three ingredients and turn them into a delicious mead. The first batch we made turned to vinegar. One bottle spontaneously popped its cork because we bottled it before the fermentation process stopped. After much experimentation, David hit upon the perfect combination of honey, water, and yeast. His first successful batch won a gold medal from the Tennessee Viticultural and Oenological Society.
Every bottle we produce draws from our family heritage, and we are proud to be able to share it with you.