Bløm Meadworks coming to Ann Arbor in 2018

New drink in town: Meads will be brewed on-site using local ingredients

By Meredith Bruckner - Community News Producer

Bløm Meadworks will only use Michigan honey to make their meads

ANN ARBOR - Bløm Meadworks, owned by husband and wife team Matthew Ritchey and Lauren Bloom, will open early next year downtown at 100 S. Fourth Ave. 

What is mead?

Also called honey wine, it's one of the oldest known alcoholic beverages and its roots can be traced to ancient times. It is made by fermenting honey with water, and oftentimes brewers use fruits and/or spices to adjust the flavor. 

It can be carbonated, still, or naturally sparkling, and, like wine, can be made sweet, semi-sweet or dry.

OK, now we're in the mood to try the stuff.

Sourcing local: Bløm's meads and ciders will change flavors with the seasons

But the concept of this new meadery (which will also brew and serve locally-sourced ciders) came by chance.

Ritchey, who founded and co-owns Begyle Brewing Co. in Chicago, recently learned he has a gluten allergy. This new reality inspired him to explore meads. His meads are known to be dry and low in alcohol content.

So, essentially, Bløm Meadworks will be a haven for gluten-free locals.

According to their website, they aim to make it an interactive space:

We are driven by community. Our taproom - located in downtown Ann Arbor - will be a space where you can sample our meads and ciders, ask us questions, sit down with a glass, or watch the fermentation process in action. Because we use local fruits and spices, our offerings will change with the seasons.

As mentioned above, Ritchey and Bloom plan on brewing their meads using only locally sourced ingredients. “We are excited to bring what we believe is a unique beverage and food offering and community gathering space to the vibrant downtown Ann Arbor neighborhood,” Bloom said in a statement.

Bløm co-owners Matthew Ritchey and Lauren Bloom (Photo: Matthew Ritchey/Lauren Bloom)

What will really set them apart from other breweries in town is their unique Community Supported Mead (CSM) membership program, which they say is loosely based on the popular farming model, community supported agriculture (CSA). Bløm will offer growler subscriptions in 6-month increments and each month, members will be able to receive one or two 64oz growlers of mead and/or cider. Members will also enjoy discounts on other beverage purchases and merchandise.

Ritchey and Bloom hired designers Adam Smith and Lisa Sauve, co-founders of Ann Arbor-based Synecdoche Design, and O'Neal Construction to design the brewery and taproom. Smith and Sauve have already made their mark on several Ann Arbor businesses, such as Duo Security, Spencer and Nightcap, so it's bound to be a cool space.

We'll be following the opening closely and will keep you posted on when they open and what tasty drinks (and bites) they serve up.

To learn more, visit their website.

Know of another restaurant, brewery or bar opening up in town? Write to Eats at

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