Meet the Mead Maker
My name is Rico Bianchi. I am the Owner and Mead Maker at Foxes Den Meadery. Currently, I reside in Yorkville, IL where I share a home with my wife Jenna and our two children. Having been part of the Yorkville community for over 22 years and a YHS graduate, there was no doubt about where I wanted to establish our Meadery's roots.
My first introduction to Mead was in 2014 when I was given a sample of Schramms "The Statement" at a craft beer tasting. Instantly, my perception of what a fermented beverage could be, was forever changed. I immediately knew that this was something that I wanted to further explore. Many Mead enthusiasts have what they refer to as a "Gateway Mead" or their first transformative experience with Mead. The Statement will forever hold a special place in my heart and is the sole reason that I fell in love with this craft.
Curious of the fermentation process, my interest in craft beer led to home brewing beer in 2014 with my long time friend and brew partner, Blake. After much research, trial and error, experiments and taste testing, I was confident in my brewing practices and process. Being self-taught, I garnered my information via books, internet forums and fellow brewers. Blake had suggested making a Mead as Christmas presents for our family and the rest is history. After home brewing beer for a year, we made our first batch of Mead in 2015 and never brewed another beer again. Those late brew nights were some of the best times of my life and I owe a lot to my long time friend and brewing partner, Blake for pushing the idea. The hobby of Mead making quickly turned into a passion that led us to where we are today.
After some encouraging initial reviews, we created a Facebook page to display our hard work and acquire non bias feedback through free giveaways. Once our Meads started gaining attention from Mead enthusiasts from around the country, the demand increased significantly. Since then, I have accrued over 7+ years of Mead making experience, producing and bottling over 70 different unique recipes. A vast majority of our reviews are posted on Untappd which is a craft beverage rating website. Currently, we have 553 check ins/ reviews boasting an overall rating of 4.46 out of 5.
My love for the craft is unparalleled and I try to express that in every bottle of mead that I produce. From unique recipe design to corking and labeling every bottle by hand, I put my heart and soul into every batch. Taking a modern approach on an ancient beverage, my goal is to provide a memorable drinking experience in every glass. I hold myself to the highest Mead making standards and intend to maintain those standards as we upscale commercially.
I could have never gotten to this point without the support of my family, friends and the Mead community. You have helped turn my dream into a reality. Thank you to everyone who has believed in me and supported me through the years especially, my wife Jenna. She will be overseeing administrative operations at the Meadery. The Queen Bee.
I am incredibly excited to share this journey with you and thrilled to be a part of our community as Yorkville's very first Meadery.