Meridian Hive

Austin, TX

Cayce Rivers, 47

Mike Simmons, 44

Eric Lowe, 41

  • Meridian Hive is a modern meadery that took the ancient fermented honey drink and updated it for today’s tastes. Mead used to be the drink of kings and traditionally is a wine like drink served warm. Meridian Hive’s version is carbonated so it can be served more like a cider– cold and in cans or on tap – as well as a traditional line. They’re also known for their unique flavored meads.

  • Backstory – Mike and Eric met at a brewing club in Austin. Both were looking to turn their hobby into a business, and Eric suggested mead as a blend of his wine and Mike’s beer knowledge. After Mike tried making a batch of mead, he was all in. Mike brought in his long time friend, Cayce, as an advisor and investor but as the business has grown Cayce has taken a more active role as the company’s CEO.

  • The Leap – The team’s goal is to get some major funding in the next 60 days. Funding, combined with both Eric and Mike leaving their 9-to-5’s, Eric at the end of the summer and Mike sometime in the fall, will position Meridian Hive for success when it comes to handling their major expansion plans for the next year.

  • Business Plan – Once funding is secured in the next 60 days, they hope to find a location for their tasting room in the heart of the city and will need to design, build-out, and work on partnerships for that space. The plan is to grow the team and hire some people experienced in sales, marketing and operations to help them scale up their business. They’ll also be expanding their marketing in areas around their out of state distributors that they’ve been neglecting. The team is also ramping up their presence in Austin by being sponsors and part of more events, with the goal of sponsoring SXSW. They’ll also be preparing their meads for the International Mazer Cup at the end of winter, where they hope to take home a record-setting 10 medals.

  • Struggles – The main challenge is educating both the public and distributors about what mead is and its deliciousness. To achieve the growth they want, it means a big chunk of money so getting funding is essential. No one has ever built a large-scale meadery before so every step they take has a big learning curve.

  • Stakes – All three founders have put a lot of their own personal money and thousands of hours of unpaid time into getting Meridian Hive to this point, so that plus their pride is at stake. They have all put their careers on the line, and if this fails they’ll have to go back to working for the man.

  • 3-Month Milestone – Their biggest project is getting their tasting room open and getting more of Austin on the mead train. They hope everything is together and set to launch with SXSW in the spring.