Have you ever had mead? It's a an alcoholic beverage made by fermenting honey with water various fruits, spices, grains, or hops. It's sometimes called “honey wine” and was enjoyed in ancient times by kings, peasants and everyone in between. There is actually evidence that mead existed as early as 7000 BCE! That's some serious staying power.
Nowadays mead is not quite as mainstream. It definitely has a following but usually one doesn't just saunter into a local pub and ask for a pint of mead.
But for the past nine years Jeff and Jennifer Herbert, owners of the new Superstition Downtown Meadery, have been working to change that. In 2012 the duo opened up a meadery inside a a larger winery in Skull Valley. Soon after, the couple learned that a building in Prescott's Courthouse Square was being renovated and they jumped at the opportunity to build a Tasting Room in such an amazing location.
In November 2020 they made the leap to expand in to the Valley and open the world's first mead and food pairing restaurant, Superstition Downtown in Phoenix.“There are more Superstition fans in Phoenix than in any other city,” said Jeff. “We wanted to offer our customers in the Valley a new drinking and dining experience.”
With Phoenix being one of the fastest-growing cities in the country with many diverse mixed-use structures going up they knew it was the right thing to do. According to developers and city officials, Washington and Van Buren heading east from 7th Street is the next district of Phoenix highlighted for revitalization. “The area offers easy access to some fantastic establishments,” Jeff said.
Jeff said his interest in mead started when his wife gave me a homebrew kit for Father’s Day in 2009. He fell in love with brewing beer and making mead. He said there were lots of breweries that were making super creative beers but there were very few meaderies thinking outside of the box. “I saw an opportunity to create meads with new ingredients.”
Prior to opening Superstition, Jeff was a firefighter for 20 years. He retired from the Phoenix Fire Department in 2019 and started Superstition slowly, working at the business on his days away from the fire station.
Now he's running one hot establishment that serves up not only delicious mead and ciders but an eclectic menu of food to accompany it. The menu is inspired by the couple's travels. They took notes on their trips and used those as a direct connection to those experiences working with Chef Adolpho to create the menu. The result is cuisine that pairs perfectly with the vast range of flavors found in our mead products.
Each menu item has a well thought out mead suggestion that pairs perfectly to create a unique and memorable dining experience.
The Herberts want the masses to know that Mead is one of the most delicious things you have never tasted! Jeff says it is challenging to explain mead to someone without having them try it. The fact that mead is an entirely new category of beverage, just as independent as wine, beer, or spirits, is mind blowing. “Mead can be bone dry, semi-sweet or sweet, it can be still or sparkling, it can be a crushable session mead in a can or a decadent after dinner drink,” he said. “There is a mead for every occasion.”
Best sellers at Superstition include the Blueberry Spaceship Box, a top rated cider with assertive blueberry and apple characters which pours like purple prosecco. Their top-selling mead is Marion, which combines Arizona wildflower honey with raspberries, blackberries and blueberries to create a 13.5 percent ABV semi-sweet drink which also happens to be a great introduction to the Superstition style. The most popular bites are the Pork Belly Bao Buns, handmade Taiwanese-style bao stuffed with chile honey and mead glazed pork belly, pickled carrot, shaved daikon, radish and cilantro.
Superstition Downtown strives to provide each customer with an authentic cultural experience that they will take with them and remember fondly so that they will return with friends to keep sharing the experience. They have big plans to earn a reputation as one of the very best restaurants in Arizona.
Superstition Downtown is located at 1110 E Washington St, Phoenix, 85034. For more information visit https://superstitionmeadery.com/superstition-downtown-phoenix/.