Tucked into the alleyway of State Street in Bellingham, Washington hangs a full moon casting its shadow against the vibrant exterior of Honey Moon Mead & Cider. A production facility by day, Honey Moon transforms into a performance bar at night for locals to mingle and make themselves at home.
“We are more about building community than building a business,” says co-owner Anna Evans.
Originally a homebrewer, Evans’ husband and partner Murphy has always had a passion for experimenting, making wine before trying his hand at cider when the two came to Bellingham over 20 years ago.
“When we moved here with an abundance of produce and fruit, Murphy started experimenting and we would have a variety of things boiling away in the basement,” says Evans. “That’s when I told him, ‘you have got to get this out of the here.’”
Enter Honey Moon Mead & Cider: “a basement hobby run amuck,” as Evans calls it. Fifteen years later, the duo is still cranking out new recipes with fellow cidermaker, Sam Maxwell. Their latest concoction was the Bellingham Extra CiderHead, made from all of the extra apples that local residents donated instead of throwing out. A truly one-of-a-kind cider, the recipe can’t be replicated due to the random assortment of fruit donated.
With a focus on community and local roots, every tap, keg and can of cider and mead from Honey Moon is produced in house, ciders proudly made with apples from Washington to boot.
“There is something about being able to pick the apple off the tree and see it through the whole process, help with the bottling and labeling and then finally pour it into the glass,” says Scot Casey, Honey Moon head of sales and marketing.
Though Casey strays far from the typical salesmen approach when it comes to selling products —something he calls “anti-marketing.”
“I want guests to believe in our products and genuinely desire it, not sell them on it,” he says. “Here at Honey Moon [there] is a sense of, ‘is it going to be a beautiful thing?’ And then, ‘is it going to make any money?’”
People come to the Honey Moon for more than just a refreshing bevvie, but to check out the local talent and celebrate their community. Six days a week you can hear the bustle of open mic night, live bands or “Gather Round: True Stories Told Live.”
While Honey Moon will always call Bellingham home, the local joint has started to gain buzz outside of the city, hitting the shelves of Seattle stores. But that’s no surprise.
“We make some kick-ass cider,” Evans says.
Cheers to that!