Even after having closed their doors more than a year ago, the owners of Chinook Arch Meadery are still making their presence known.

In February of 2023, Art and Cherie Andrews, owners and founders of Chinook Honey Company, announced they were closing up shop.

Within a month, they'd ceased production of an array of honey and beeswax products that they had been for nearly 20 years, with one notable being the continuation of their meadery.

Chinook Arch Meadery has continued producing a selection of meads, which are still seeing relatively wide distribution in Southern Alberta, and they recently won two double gold medals at the All Canadian Wine Championships (ACWC).

"We're not quite sure how long it's going to be, but we're still producing mead. We're in something like 40 liquor stores now in the Calgary area," says Art. "I haven't entered into too many competitions lately, the All Canada one in Ontario, this was the first time I'd entered there in seven, maybe eight years."

In the 2024 ACWC, Chinook Arch Meadery's Cherry Seduction took the doubled gold medal in the Dessert category and their Fire 'n Spice also earned the same honour in the Metheglin (spiced mead) category.

(Photo courtesy of Chinook Arch Meadery)(Photo courtesy of Chinook Arch Meadery)

In years past, the Andrews' meads regularly accrued accolades in wine competitions, including the Mazer Cup International Mead Competition.

"We've done quite well there. The Fire 'n Spice one has got a silver and a bronze in the world competition, the John Cameron Classic Mead won some good medals, and we had the Ginger Bochet Mead which won silver a few years ago... We've been quite lucky with our medals and so on. It's a tough business, trying to make mead. Sometimes you're lucky, sometimes you're not."

It's unclear how long Chinook Arch Meadery will be sticking around, as the Andrews are still looking to sell the business.

In the meantime, Art is still enjoying his time as a mazer and plans on submitting Chinook Arch meads in one or two more competitions.

"I think we'll give it a year or two and see how it goes. I do love the job; I like making it. It's a real challenge and it's nice when you do win a medal."