Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Who Is Ancient Fire?

As we begin to ramp up the buzz around Ancient Fire Mead & Cider we thought we would take a moment to share more about who we are and what our mission is.


Founding Team 

Jason Phelps has nearly 15 years of fermentation experience and has experimented with the production of a vast range of beer, wine, cider and mead styles during this time. Jason has been and is regularly featured as a guest on several craft beverage related podcasts including GotMead Live and the Tap Handle Show. Jason is regularly contacted by hobbyists and commercial producers for feedback and advice on fermentation protocols and other beverage production topics.

Since beginning to enter amateur homebrew competitions in 2006 Jason’s creations have been awarded with 120 medals, and 50 of those have been for mead and cider in just the last 6 years alone!

Jason has also been a presenter at the annual WineMaker Magazine Conference three times, and has seen his writing and photography published by both WineMaker and Brew Your Own magazines several times.

Jason is a BJCP Certified Beer and Mead judge and is planning on attaining the same certification for cider in 2017 or 2018. In his role as a judge Jason has provided feedback on both amateur and commercial products at competitions all over the country including: the National Homebrewers Competition, the International Mazer Cup, the Northeast Regional Homebrew Competition, the WineMaker Magazine International Wine Competition as well as numerous other regional and local competitions.

Jason is a 25-year veteran of the technology industry having worked for or consulted with companies including CIGNA (now Prudential), Gillette (now P&G), Evergreen Solar, Fidelity Investments, Loomis Sayles, Pioneer Investments and most recently Amadeus Hospitality. Jason’s responsibilities have ranged from software engineering to customer support, including his current role as a team lead and Scrum master for small teams of software engineers. For a number of years Jason worked as an independent consultant, creating direct relationships with customers and helping them use software and technology to grow and succeed.

Margot Phelps is a Project Management, Process and Operations professional with over 20 years of experience in various industries. Margot has leveraged her Masters Degree in Organizational Leadership to work with companies to implement organizational change, improve communication and streamline processes in an array of business areas including product management, operations, sales, accounting, regulatory compliance and marketing. In her current role as a Product Owner for Amadeus Hospitality Margot is responsible for the product direction of vendor integration and cloud service products helping create the future of hospitality and travel worldwide.

Working alongside Jason, Margot has over 10 years of fermentation experience, and continues to learn about the craft beverage industry and the production of world class products. Margot continues to develop her sensory analysis and evaluation skills, and is working towards attaining BJCP Mead Judge Certification.

Over the last four years Margot has played an integral part in facilitating the administration of the Northeast Regional Homebrew Competition and has also acted as a steward and competition staff at a number of other local, regional and national homebrewing competition events.

Purpose, Values & Mission

The Ancient Fire team has a very simple purpose, to produce delicious and distinctive beverages that bring joy and happiness to our customers, and to have fun while doing it.

Along with this simple mission we have a set of values that further conceptualize the reasons Ancient Fire exists and will be successful.

  • Craft world-class, distinctive and high quality beverages.
  • Be committed to curiosity, creativity and experimentation in all that we do.
  • Foster the education and experience of both team members and consumers. Be ambassadors for mead, cider and unique fermented beverages.
  • Promotion of community and culture through the creation of authentic and meaningful relationships with vendors, consumers, industry peers and the community at-large. 
  • Responsible social consumption.
  • Continuous innovation and improvement of both products and services.
  • Having fun and spreading joy.

Like so many stories, the story of Ancient Fire began with difficulty and challenge.

Ancient Fire was the name that the Margot and Jason associated with their home-brewed fermentations over a decade ago. The genesis of their homebrewing hobby was an experience with cancer (Jason, 2003) and a resulting desire to take a different path in life. With a newfound appreciation for life and all of its little moments, Margot and Jason quickly developed expertise for producing high-quality beers, wines, meads and ciders. As the passion grew it became clear that sharing their creations with others created substantial joy, and in those moments where family and friends raised glasses in celebration it was clear that something special had been born. Over the ensuing years Margot and Jason were honored more than 100 awards for their creations, further fermenting (pun intended) the significance of their still extensive homebrew projects.

The name Ancient Fire is a reference to the sun and was taken from a line in the IMAX movie Seasons. In the segment of the movie from which this phrase is drawn the theme is of celebration, including celebrating the bounty of the Earth, the seasons which drive food production, and the many cultural customs humans have for celebrating the life giving force of the sun. To Margot and Jason the name Ancient Fire seemed fitting to represent the joy and celebration that had been found through their distinctive fermentations, all of which are agricultural products and would not be possible without the sun.

Commercializing these creations is the next step in spreading this joy and celebration with the hope that the Ancient Fire team can inspire everyone to fully and completely enjoy their own lives and everything they bring.

So that is who we are and what is driving us. We are embarking on an exciting journey and we hope you will join us!


Margot & Jason

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

When #!%& Gets Real!

I mean really, real, you dig?

Ancient Fire is getting a big boost this week as Jason focuses full time on the project. Jason has left the Software Engineer building!

We are generating all sorts of buzz for what we are doing through local tastings, pod cast interviews and industry events, but we are still very much underground. We've not yet moved ahead with swag, a web site or any specific visual branding, but fear not, it is coming.

For now the best way to keep tabs on what we are doing is by liking us on Facebook at:

Monday, March 6, 2017

Gather Around the Ancient Fire

Gather around the Ancient Fire everyone, we're going to tell you a story. More like we're going to share more of the unfolding story of Ancient Fire Mead & Cider.

Have you liked us on Facebook yet? While we will continue to update our blog as things progress, Facebook is where the day to day updates, including photos and shares from elsewhere in the mead industry will be found.

Please like Ancient Fire Mead & Cider on Facebook!

Startup activities are still moving along at a slow and measured pace. We feel like we want to do it right, rather than do it fast. Our fellow entrepreneurs continue to confirm this way of thinking.

We are still scouting for a location, and we continue looking in Derry, Londonderry, Manchester and Hooksett.

We recently held our first consumer tasting. The feedback on both the meads and ciders as well as the process was very insightful and helpful. Thank you Lyn, Dave, Kelly, Angel, Eric and Sam for your help. Having friends and fans assist us in determining what our starting lineup might be is very exciting, and we have several more tastings planned as we head into Spring.

We have also been busy piloting lots of different recipes. We have eleven new session mead recipes that will be kegged and ready to drink soon. We can't wait to share them all!

We also have a busy event schedule this Spring. Jason will be heading to the Mazer Cup on Wednesday March 8th to help judge, compete in the home competition and network with industry peers and enthusiasts. He will also be attending our second in-person meeting as members of the American Mead Makers Association (AMMA), the trade association focused on the mead industry.

Mead Free or Die is also fast approaching. On Sunday April 30th the judging for Mead Free or Die will be held at Moonlight Meadery in Londonderry, NH. The competition organizers are actively seeking entries and volunteers (both judges and stewards). You can get more information and register online.

We've also entered the National Homebrewers Competition again this year. This is actually only our second go at this competition and having had a mead advance to the final round back in 2013 we are hoping good things for our entries which include a beer, a cider and several meads.

Please like Ancient Fire Mead & Cider on Facebook!


Margot & Jason