Two Warriors and Their Battle to Sell Honey Wine

Cameron Myers (left) and Curtis Sims (right)
Everything has been an uphill battle. We could have quit at any moment. 
You never stop fighting.
Have a plan, stick to the plan, and don’t stop fighting.
You’re gonna have challenges – we have had challenges. But if we can overcome this, we can do anything.”

Disabled veterans Cameron Myers and Curtis Sims were enjoying cigars together when Myers asked the question, “you ever thought about making mead?”.  Both men were beekeepers – Myers had just started keeping his own bees at the time of the conversation. They had a surplus of honey and a shared history of being stationed overseas in Germany where they both had tried traditional mead. Myers, 6’7” and “kinda Viking” in heritage, often joked about making his own mead.

Sims replied, “how hard could it be?”

Reinventing history

Mead is the oldest known alcoholic beverage in the world, and Myers and Sims were drawn to the very traditional recipes. Google translate quickly became their friend as the pair researched recipes dating back to the 1200s and 1300s. According to Sims there “was a lot [they] had to convert over to modern technology.”

Sims and Myers quickly learned how to speak mead. The recipe would say: “Fill a vat of water with enough honey to float an egg the size of a quails egg” – they knew this was referring to density. Another read “Put in one oak leaf” – they knew this meant tannins. Sims, lovingly referred to as The Mad Scientist by Myers, was tasked with the mission of “deconstructing what had been done in the past and translating it to the future.” Using the recipes as a guide, they created their own mead-making methods, reinventing history.

Awards season

Myers and Sims started making mead and giving it away. People were enjoying it. Myers entered them into a few contests as a homebrewer, because why not?

They ended up winning second place with a couple of their meads in the Texas Mead Cup, the second largest mead competition in the world. In 2017, they entered the largest mead competition in the world, The Mazer Cup, and placed third.

The competitions not only boosted their confidence, but they were able to use the valuable feedback from the judges to tweak and improve their mead.

They were growing fast – and in demand now. People wanted to buy from them. After going through the lengthy process of commercializing their mead, they were able to lease a building.

Right before Christmas 2019, the pair had a soft opening and to their surprise, sold out. They knew they had to make more and in February 2020 they had their official grand opening.

The fight begins

“It was very scary, but we pulled through. We did amazing for that year, we really did.”

Opening a business at the height of the Covid-19 pandemic was not something that anyone could have predicted or planned for. However, Two Warriors Meadery not only survived, but achieved groundbreaking business goals. Karl Malone, former NBA all star and member of the Dream Team, lives in Louisiana where he founded a distribution company called PF Importers. Two Warriors Meadery were among the first few brands to be added to the PF Importers product line that year.

Sims and Myers started distribution meaning they now could get their award-winning honey wine into the hands of people all around the country. They purchased their building. Things were looking up.

Just one month after they bought their building a tragic fire burned it down. The boarding house next-door had caught on fire, which unfortunately spread to the meadery. They lost everything and were devastated. While this definitely set them back, it did not dwindle their spirits. That same night they took to Facebook to update their community on the news, thank everyone for their support, and reassure them that they look forward to rebuilding. 

Our ethos

“We are both disabled vets. We love Louisiana so everything we do is local. We buy local products.
Local honey, local fruits, local vets.”

Two Warriors sources farms throughout Louisiana for different fruits, such as peaches, mayhaw, and blackberry.

Honey is expensive and something that they could save up to 30% on if they bought wholesale – but that’s not who these men are. As soldiers who fought for their country, they never lost the drive to fight for others. They look at a lot of small batch Louisiana honey and make much of their mead from that. It may be pricier, but it fulfills their commitment to their community.

Myers asked if I had ever heard of cotton honey – I hadn’t.

“Cotton honey is made by beekeepers taking their bees out when the cotton plants are blooming and they normally take all that honey, because its very earthy – its dry tasting, it has a very strange taste – and they mix it back with their flower honey. We got some of it and it made a beautiful chardonnay-style mead. 

We source everything locally, and we donate a portion to help local veterans charities. We’re very very big on giving back. We love our community.”

Giving back

Two Warriors donates to a few different local veteran charities, but the CVMA (Combat Veterans Motorcycle Association) is the biggest one. 

Myers explained that “everything they do goes to buying wheelchairs and wheelchair batteries for veterans as well as building ramps for veterans who need it. There is a big need for [the CVMA]”.

In addition to simply donating a portion of their sales, Two Warriors puts on a big yearly event called The Louisiana Viking Feast. The event includes “a pig roast, all you can eat, all you can drink, axe throwing, the whole 9 yards.” All the proceeds from the event go to charity.

The pair also made a mead for a World War II Veteran. The veteran was about to turn 100 and unfortunately passed before it could be done – but it is just another example of how the Warriors continue to find new ways to appreciate their fellow veterans.

It's "Honey Wine"

What really is mead anyway? Myers realized that most people probably don’t know the answer to that question. He shared an anecdote about a moment when something clicked.

“I asked a lady in the store if she wanted to try some mead. She was about 80 years old and had two big ol’ things of wine with her. I said, ‘ma’am would you like to try some mead?’ And she said, ‘oh, no thank you. I already ate.’ And I said, ‘No, would you like to try some honey wine?’ It was like a lightbulb moment. Her eyes lit up and she said, ‘oh, I would love to try some!’

Even though we are a meadery, we sell Louisiana Honey Wine.”

The warriors have not only had to educate their customer base, but being the first meadery in Louisiana they also were tasked with educating the lawmakers. In the beginning, no one understood that what they really were was a winery.

Meet the meads

Two Warriors keeps three main meads always in production: Louisiana Nectar, Valkyrie’s Flight, and Oden’s Love, which all take around 30 days to make.

Louisiana Nectar is their standard honey wine. This mead is made in 300-gallon batches. 150 gallons will become Valkyrie’s Flight which is sweet and the other 150 gallons will remain the drier Louisiana Nectar.

Oden’s Love is currently being served at Superior’s Steakhouse – one of Louisiana’s best steakhouses – in their Old Fashioneds. Oden’s Love is a spiced mead with ginger, lemon, cinnamon, and cloves. To get the “perfect Old Fashioned”, Myers recommends subbing simple syrup for 1.5 oz of this mead.

They also make two big seasonal meads: Bobby’s Bochet and Light of Valhalla.

“Bochet is a French mead. [The French] would toast the honey until it was black. This gives notes of toasted marshmallow, it tastes like you’re drinking a s’more. We make that during the holidays and it takes about 4 months to make. We do a very long, slow ferment because of the acid notes. It’s very acidic after you toast it, so it takes a long time for that yeast to catch on”

Myers and Sims are particularly passionate about cigars, so it only makes sense they would make a honey wine that can be enjoyed alongside one. The Light of Valhalla is an 8–9-month oak-aged mead that is 14% alcohol and Myers describes it as the “perfect mead to drink when enjoying a cigar.”

Find out more about their honey wines HERE.

Big things coming

Since starting their business, everything has been an uphill battle for the warriors.

“There had never been a meadery in Louisiana. We had to educate the lawmakers and get them to change the laws. We fought and fought and fought”

“Once we were opened, covid hit. Then our building was foreclosed on and we had to buy the building that we were in. Literally a month after we bought the building, the building burned down. We had to rebuild. Everything has been a fight but since we were in the army, we have warrior ethos.”

Two Warriors Meadery is continuing rebuilding efforts and is hoping to reopen in March 2023. They have a huge space that will include a bar and a tasting room that will host everything from tastings to live music events.

The governor, who is also a veteran, supported Myers and Sims and will be attending their grand reopening.

Its hard to tell who is more excited for the grand reopening – the warriors or the community that never stopped supporting them. Either way, it will surely be a warm embrace.

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