At Silver Hand Meadery, it's our passion to rediscover and reimagine, not just mead, but everything. Though mead is an old drink, we are not attempting to recreate what it once was. Our rediscovery of mead seeks to reimagine and reinvent mead, to bring it into current times, and make it relevant for today. We carry this principle of rediscovering and reimagining into the meadery in other ways. From the brick and corrugated metal on the walls, to the use of old barn wood and old doors to create our bar tops and tables, we want to use old things of beauty and give them a new purpose.
Our mission is simple: To create exceptional meads and unique experiences so that our guests can savor what is good together.
Glenn Lavender, Owner and Meadmaker of Silver Hand Meadery, had a 12 year career touring North America and Europe with his Juno award winning band, Downhere. He spent a lot of time on tour reading beekeeping books and historical fiction novels by author, Stephen Lawhead. It was through his readings that Glenn discovered and developed a passion for the ancient drink of mead. He quickly learned how delicious and versatile this drink was, which inspired him to try his hand at making it. Glenn was pleasantly surprised with his results and decided to continue the craft of fermenting honey to make mead. With every batch, Glenn gained a deeper understanding for the process and enjoyed the whole experience.
In 2012, with growing families, the band decided to stop touring. Glenn, his wife Sherri, and their three boys moved from Cambridge, Ontario, Canada to Williamsburg, Virginia so that Glenn could pursue a job with a local church. Within their first couple of years living in Williamsburg, Glenn and Sherri decided to enter a few of their meads into the largest mead competition in the world, the Mazer Cup. They wanted to see what they could learn and, in the process, their entries ended up winning two awards. This exciting surprise gave Glenn and Sherri the confidence and motivation to open a meadery of their own.
In 2015, Glenn and Sherri immersed themselves in research and planning. Glenn visited many other meaderies and took courses at the University of California Davis, which is the premier wine making and viticulture school in the world. This, coupled with their curiosity for the historic beverage, shaped the beginning of Silver Hand Meadery. The location was secured and in May of 2015 the former doctor's office underwent a major renovation to turn it into a meadery. Soon after, licenses were issued, renovations were completed, and by mid November of 2015, Silver Hand Meadery started fermenting its first batches of mead and excitedly opened its doors.
Owner and Meadmaker
Glenn had a 12 year career touring North America and Europe with his Juno award winning band, Downhere. He spent a lot of time on tour reading beekeeping books and historical fiction novels by author, Stephen Lawhead. It was through his readings that Glenn discovered and developed a passion for the ancient drink of mead. After exploring the world of meadmaking as a hobby for a few years, Glenn decided to take things to the next level by receiving some formal training at UC Davis, the world's premier winemaking institute. In 2015, he and his wife Sherri opened Williamsburg's first and only Meadery; the rest, they say, is history! Today, Glenn is a passionate, award-winning meadmaker and amateur beekeeper that maintains his insatiable appetite for innovation, collaboration and learning.
Ever since the idea of opening a Meadery was first mentioned, Sherri has been instrumental to the founding of Silver Hand Meadery. In the hobby days Sherri played a key role in developing recipes which went on to win awards and are now currently part of Silver Hand’s regular line up. Many of the values of Silver Hand Meadery come from Sherri’s desire to make the most of every moment (savor what is good), and to be good stewards with what we’ve been given (rediscover and reimagine). Even though she prefers staying behind the scenes her personality and influence permeate through the entire staff team and to the customers every day.
Tasting Room and Retail Shop Manager
Sarah was born and raised right outside of Williamsburg, Virginia. After a brief career in elementary school teaching, she came to the Meadery in the spring of 2016.
Though Sarah started as a volunteer, it became clear as time went on that she had the potential for much more. Now the manager of honey and retail, or as she likes to be called, the Honey Queen, she has a passion for teaching our guests about mead and the honey varietals that go into each one.
Administrative Assistant, Insider Club Manager
Kayla was born in Alabama, but has lived all over the world, first as a military child, and then as a military spouse. In 2014, Kayla moved to Williamsburg with her husband and two sons. With her background in business administration and love of all things historic, Kayla joined our team in the winter of 2018 as our Administrative Assistant. Along with providing administrative support, Kayla also manages our Insider Mead Club and helps manage wholesale operations for the meadery.
Sam Straight, Ph.D.
Director of Production
Growing up in Central New York State, Sam recalls first hearing about mead when reading Beowulf in high school. Many years later, during his academic career as a researcher and educator at the University of Michigan, Sam put his Ph.D. in Microbiology to a tastier use: crafting fermented beverages! For over fifteen years he created award-winning beers, ciders and meads as a hobbyist. Always the student, Sam pursued more formal training and practical experiences in fermentation science. In 2014 Sam and wife Angela, moved to the Hampton Roads area and in early 2020, Sam was chosen to lead the mead production team at Silver Hand Meadery where he will continue the mission to rediscover and reimagine this unique, ancient beverage.
Kevin was born and raised in Virginia, and after spending some time in South Carolina, he moved to Hampton Roads in the fall of 2017. He first learned about mead from the Elder Scrolls game "Skyrim", and first tried it right in Silver Hand Meadery's tasting room. After joining the insider club and being a regular customer for several months, he joined our staff in October 2019. Kevin lives in Hampton with his wife Laura and their two children, where he also teaches at a local private school. Kevin loves working as a Tasting Room host in our shop, but also travels the state managing our wholesale operations.