Martensville residents and visitors now have access to one of Saskatchewan’s first craft meaderies, and so far, feedback on the sweet honey-wine has been excellent. Aurora Meadery opened its doors to over 50 customers for the first time on Saturday, October 27.
Steve Killick, who owns and operates Aurora Meadery along with his wife Amy and father Jim, started to brew mead about a decade ago after learning to successfully brew beer. “I was looking for something else unique to create so I tried brewing mead – it was an experiment that worked, said Killick. “I started travelling around trying to find other meads, but never found one I liked as much as my own, so I kept refining it, and it turned into a real passion for me.”
Aurora offers walk-in and private group tastings of its mead flavours which include: Traditional, Peach, Elderflower, Lavender, Apple Pie, all of which offer a unique taste to wine and spirit enthusiasts. While these are their most popular flavours, Aurora plans to offer mead for every season, including Haskap and Sask Cherry, and a fall-winter flavour called Fall Spice which is a sweet mead with cinnamon. “Each batch we make is slightly different, depending on the type, quality and season of honey that we use, which is all locally sourced in Saskatchewan. For example, a clover/alfalfa honey will produce a totally different flavour than another type of honey and we’re always searching for those new and unique flavours that people will love.”
One customer, Landen Sorokan of Saskatoon, said the meadery has an ‘old-school’ cabin feel when you walk in the door. “The staff are immediately ready to give you a sample of any of their products. Each mead has its own distinct flavour and there are a lot of options to choose from. I had never tried mead but I’m hooked.”
In addition to tastings, Aurora also supplies mead for events from weddings and all types of celebrations to corporate events.
Kent Muench, Mayor of the City of Martensville, said having a unique business like a meadery will draw visitors to the city which is good news economically for everyone in the region. “Aurora Meadery is another example of unique things to do right here in Martensville without having to travel to Saskatoon or other areas of the province,” said Muench.
A resident of Warman, Killick said he chose Martensville to set up his business based on the interest the City showed after learning more about the product. That interest led to strong support, and the space Killick was able to lease in Martensville helped him make his final decision. “The City was willing to work with us, the landlord allowed us to make the renovations that were needed, but most importantly, the building was new and clean, which was our biggest requirement as brewing requires a sterile, clean environment.”
City of Martensville Community & Economic Development Manager Dillon Shewchuk believes continued interest in starting a business in Martensville stems from the City’s willingness to work together to make it a success. “We believe the success of our city rests on the success of our business owners,” said Shewchuk. “We are always willing to work with existing and potential business owners and entrepreneurs not only to strengthen our commercial sector and offer more choice for residents, but to continue to make our City a great place to do business.”
Killick said the most asked question he received on Saturday was around how mead is different from wine. “People are very interested in the story of mead, because they’ve never heard of it, but it’s really the oldest fermented beverage. From my research, mead was first created thousands of years ago as a result of people trying to keep bees away from honey. The fermentable sugars in mead are from our Saskatchewan honey, which is some of the best in the world, rather than from grapes, which are fermented to make wine.”
Aurora Meadery is open Wednesday to Saturday from 12:00 to 8:00 p.m. at 721A Centennial Drive South. You can also find them on Facebook and Instagram.