Scott Neeley wants you to celebrate the yuletide like a Viking at KingView Meadhouse & Winery.
The much-anticipated tasting room at 101 Beverly Road in Mt. Lebanon will hold a soft opening on Wednesdays through Sundays from Dec. 9-31. Guests can try the world’s oldest known alcohol, which is made from fermented honey. Hours are 4 to 10 p.m. on Wednesday and Thursday, 11 a.m. to midnight on Friday and Saturday, and 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Sunday.
The 1,500-square-foot former Gulf gas station is equipped with 40 taps pouring KingView brand mead, wine and cider, as well as other Pennsylvania-made beer, wine and spirits.
In addition to sipping the ancient beverage, customers can participate in the KingView Christmas Tree Contest to raise money for the Make-A-Wish Foundation. Trees will be set up outside in the courtyard on Nov. 29 for families, businesses and nonprofit organizations to trim by Dec. 8. Send an email to Neeley by Friday, Nov. 25, for details on participating. There is one decorating rule: Neeley asks that participants use LED lights to save on energy costs.
From Dec. 9 to 25, trees will be judged by the public by placing money in corresponding donation jars inside KingView. All money raised will be donated to the Make-A-Wish Foundation, and winners will have their name or logo on a plaque that hangs in the taproom. The business will handle clean-up at the end of the season.
Neeley’s uncle, Jack Neuser, was in charge of decorating the windows at Kaufmann’s and Macy’s department stores Downtown for more than 20 years. He’s featured in Rick Sebak’s “Happy Holidays in Pittsburgh” documentary.
“He would have 13 trees decorated in his house in Bethel Park and it holds fantastic nostalgia for the family, so I want to recreate that and also tie into the Beverly Brite Nite,” Neeley says, referencing the Beverly Road holiday celebration on Dec. 9.
Launched in 2015, KingView churns out about 30,000 gallons of booze a year. The business has a retail location (that also serves cocktails and beer) at the Tanger Outlets in Washington, PA. KingView Farm & Meadery, the company’s 33-acre property in Springfield Township, is available for weddings and other private gatherings. It boasts between 500 and 600 beehives.
Through the state’s PA Preferred program, 75 percent of the company’s output is made from ingredients from Pennsylvania, including apples and honey. Production on a batch of mead can take anywhere from one month to an entire year, depending on the style.
At the 2021 Pennsylvania Farm Show, KingView won a gold medal for its Happy Apple Pie mead and a silver medal for its Triple-Beere, a blackberry, blueberry and red raspberry mead. Viking Grog, a mix of grape, juniper berry and cranberry mead, also earned a silver medal.
Enjoy the elixir out of a KingView drinking horn if you want to feel like a medieval warrior. Skål!