Mead maker


Will Truce is the co-owner of Black Rabbit Mead Co., 401. E. Fourth St., one of the businesses organizing and hosting a Dec. 28 event in the brewery district called “Warm Drinks 4 Warm Hearts.” The event works a bit like a crawl, with area businesses serving warm holiday drinks. A part of the proceeds will go to provide meals at the homeless shelter. Cards for the event can be purchased at two locations for $15—the Jesse, 306 E. Fourth St.; or Forged Coffee Roasting Company, 700 E. Fourth St.

Where did the idea for the event originate?

The idea for this event originated primarily through being excited to have more places here in the brewery district to work together to hold fun events. And along with that was our hopes that the small businesses can have a more harmonious relationship with the issue of homelessness in our neighborhood. So, we’re trying to explore that in a variety of different ways—but one of the best ways is just to create a fun atmosphere and serve some delicious things and, in the midst of that, also help raise awareness about the vulnerable populations that our neighborhood is not only helping out, but also home to.

Who’s going to benefit?

The neighborhood as a whole will benefit from the event, and that, of course, includes the small businesses—but also the vulnerable populations that are in our neighborhood. When it comes to small businesses, the walk benefits us by just creating more awareness and excitement for all of the small businesses that are down here and coming down here and just all of the good times that are to be had. It’s good marketing for each business. But then beyond that, it’s just great marketing for the neighborhood as a whole. But central to our neighborhood and to the philosophy and heart of our neighborhood is the vulnerable populations that are down here. And, so, that’s why part of the proceeds go to helping provide a meal for those at the shelter at night. They’re probably more directly benefited than we are.

OK, so it’ll be a part of the proceeds that go to providing meals.

The other part that’s not going to that doesn’t directly benefit the businesses themselves. The proceeds are going to, in part, be used for printing costs and social media boosts and things of that nature. The businesses themselves, they might get a little bit of money, just to reduce the costs they made on alcohol. But I think, in truth, every business will, in the end, lose a bit of money on this. Now, it’s not purely altruistic, of course. The businesses get great marketing for themselves, and, also, when the neighborhood gets portrayed in a really community-oriented light, that’s great for our neighborhood too.

Which businesses are participating in the event?

Even though we’re enthusiastic to make this walk and do more walks like this throughout the year, this time was just a small test run at it. So we have seven businesses involved. We have the Jesse and the Stella—part of the same business complex—us, Black Rabbit Mead Company; Lead Dog Brewery; Wineries on Fourth, which includes Basin and Range Cellars and then Nevada Sunset Winery; Abby’s Highway 40; and Ferino Distillery. … They also have a great little pour-over coffee shop in there, too. And then speaking of coffee, the Forged coffee shop is involved. … Forged is within Pitch Black Printing Company.

What warm drink will you guys do?

We are doing a hot, spiced mead. Yes, we use mulling spices and a few other things to make a really warm-tasting mead.