Alcohol Professor: Kentucky’s Hive & Barrel Meadery Puts the Buzz in the Barrel

Here’s my most recent story for the national website Alcohol Professor: a profile of Kentucky’s own Hive & Barrel Meadery. If you like sweet drinks like cider and fruit-based wines, you will really dig mead — for those who have never tried it.

Hive & Barrel is located in the same space as 3rd Turn Brewing in Crestwood, Ky. If you’ve never been, you’re missing out on an awesome outdoor drinking experience, as the expansive space is set under a canopy of greenery.

Hive & Barrel logo

In fact, they call it the Oldham Gardens, and it’s quaint, charming and easy to stay distanced. It’s located right down the street from Kentucky Artisan Distillery, where Jefferson’s is based.

I met up with head brewer and co-owner Joel Halbleib at Hive & Barrel this fall to talk and sample mead, and also hear more about his barrel-aging experiments and his dabbling with cider and winemaking. Here’s an excerpt from the article:

Halbleib credits brewing for changing his life for the better, and the path that brought him to mead is like the cherry on top, he says. Nearly two decades ago, he was in the IT world, pecking away on keyboards all day long and making a hobby out of homebrewing at night. He realized brewing was such an important, creative drive for him, he took the risky leap to pursue it full time. He quickly worked his way up the ladder in Louisville’s bustling brewery scene and spent 14 years as head brewer at Goodwood. And when the opportunity to dive into mead presented itself 3 years ago, he took the leap — mainly because he loves learning and welcomes a challenge. “This is my happy place. It really is. I’ve found it, and it excites me to do creative stuff,” Halbleib says. “I still do administrative stuff to keep my busier than I want to be on a computer, but it makes me happy to be creative.”


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