KINGMAN – The Valle Vista based Hive Five Meadery is spreading its wings to downtown Kingman where it will offer products it brews at the Cella winery. The company has just celebrated its first anniversary of commercial fermentation production.

“It’s a similar process as to wine, very similar, except the fact that it takes a lot longer,” explained Hive Five owner Matthew Young. “The sugar source for the fermentation is honey instead of grapes and to get the alcohol and taste where you want it, it takes close to 3 months where with wine it’s technically drinkable in less than about a month.”

Young said he and his wife Shawndy are renovating a former auto repair shop at 731 E. Andy Devine where they plan to open a tasting venue by early June, if not sooner. He explained they see great potential with the location, even though it’s a few blocks from the heart of the Beale St. business district.

“We went back and forth. We really did want to be downtown on Beale but to be perfectly honest, once we were at 731, we saw the traffic on Rt. 66 and we’re right there by the stoplight,” Young said. “We’re going to get a lot more exposure. So, we might not get that person that specifically came down to Beale, but I think the exposure we’re going to get is going to be really good for us.”

Young said the tasting room will help them market mead beyond Valle Vista. He said they plan to expand in slow, steady and methodical fashion, possibly taking the operation to the next step of production for the wholesale market.

“Typically we’ll have anywhere from 10 to 15 different flavors to choose from and what we’re going to do is have flights so you can get multiple flavors in one tasting in different little glasses,” Young said. He said their most popular concoction is a double black cherry vanilla.

“It’s just super smooth,” Young said. “I’ve had several people say, ‘I’ve tried mead and I just don’t like it,’ and then they loved it and they changed their mind about mead.”