Closing Ancient Fire

We will be closing down Ancient Fire this year. The pandemic ultimately got us. This pandemic has been tough on everyone financially and psychologically, so that’s part of the story, but the timing and sustained challenges have created a much riskier future proposition for us and our fledgling business, more risky than we have the appetite for right now. Ultimately, and we bet you’ve heard this bit already from others, this situation gave us a chance to reflect on our lifestyle and where we wanted to go next. Closing down will be the best way for us to work on solving the challenges this project and the times we are currently living in have created for us.

Here is the short answer to the question: why? We had just celebrated our second birthday as a company when the 2020 pandemic shutdowns arrived here in NH. While we had accomplished a lot by then, our next phase of growth had taken some time to sort out, but in early 2020 we had had some very exciting plans. Then the pandemic set in and the ongoing impacts have sapped our resources and ground down our will. This may be a surprise to some of you, especially if you haven’t been to visit recently, but for others the details (linked/shared below) will make lots of sense based on what we’ve been saying when you’ve asked about how things were going. What would have come next requires compromises, sacrifices and risks that we are just not willing to make.

Thank you very much for supporting us for the last 4+ years as we got this project off the ground and explored the opportunity.

That’s the headline, and the short story. The TL/DR for some of you. Keep reading, especially if you “have questions.”

So what’s next?

We want to celebrate what we have accomplished, and we want you to come celebrate with us. There is a season for everything, and while this announcement and change can certainly feel rotten, we plan to remain cheerful for the opportunity we have had, the awesome team we put together and of course the community and customers the brand has been able to create around us.


How about some details? Well, we’ve never done this before so we don’t exactly know every detail, but we have some ideas. Firstly, our production will be ramping down as we work through the ingredients on hand. We have one new honey-wine to release, but we will otherwise be sticking close to our flagship products as that is what the majority of our on-hand materials are generally a fit for. Products will disappear, and many have already seen their last batch come and go. As a fun walk down memory lane we have selected a lineup of four of our draft style meads that were fan favorites from each year we have been open to share as we wind down. We will work backward from 2021, finally arriving back in 2018 a few weeks after we first opened. Tell us which ones!!!!

Mango Tea-some
Watch Me Whip ‘86
Moontower Tea
MUCH Higher Love

We also have put together, and more will be coming, a number of gift packs and multi-bottle packs that make for great gifts or a fun share with friends. And don’t forget the half case and full case discounts that will still be available if you want to “stock up.”

The tap room hours and services will stay as they are into November. As we see how the response impacts our inventory we will make and announce necessary adjustments. Our ultimate goal is to complete table service and retail sales before the middle of December.

So please come celebrate with us. We’ve done something wonderful here at Ancient Fire, and we want to make sure everyone can join in the celebration of it.

Below is our continuation of thanks and gratitude for all the support in doing what we have done, it has been a blast! We also share a little more of the story, including places where we want to again thank everyone for being there for us.

Let’s start back before the pandemic. In the two years we were open prior to the pandemic we had accomplished many of our initial goals, but more importantly had learned a lot about what was possible and what you all wanted from us. We knew what we had launched was a version 1.0 and a significant revision was going to be coming along once we got a foothold. A heartfelt thank you goes out to each one of you for helping us be on this journey. It was always about the community, and that has been the hardest part to see suffer in the last year or so. When the seats at the bar were taken away by the pandemic, the soul of our taproom was badly damaged. Not having been able to get back to that yet has not been without public comment. We continue to hear you.

In late 2019 we had begun putting plans in motion to expand our team and ultimately make a number of significant changes to do some growing. It hadn’t been an easy road to get there, we were behind of our own doing and we knew it wasn’t going to be any easier from then on, but we were optimistic. We had reason to be. The excitement for what we were doing was clearly building. The three months of December 2019 through January/February 2020 were our pre-pandemic best, an incredible run for the winter time here in NH. We could feel the energy. It was motivating and rewarding. Once again, thank you!

Then the pandemic hit, and all of the newer and untapped priorities went out the window because we had to re-focus on a standalone Take Out model, something that wasn’t our “normal” business. So we did. With your help and support we made a surprising go of it early on, something we are forever grateful for. Being frightened at the prospect of not making it all that far into the pandemic was not a great psychological place for us to have been, but you all made that less of a concern. Thank you for supporting us at that moment, we needed it more than you will ever know.

The pandemic pre-empted a huge amount of growth revenue in both 2020 and 2021, and has also bled off all the reserve resources we had available, so very little has changed for us in the 16+ months since it began. Costs are up everywhere, logistics and freight continue to force longer lead times and the inevitable crunches on cash, and together with staffing and scheduling in a tight labor market all of these things are further inhibiting growth at the worst possible time.

Unfortunately we didn’t lose enough money in 2020 to get much taxpayer funded assistance, and much of what we did get was allocated to be paid to staff rather than capital expenses. It made sense for the business model of the moment. What was left was used to cover expenses for PPE and cleaning supplies. The growth we haven’t experienced due to the lack of public events during the pandemic means a huge amount of lost visibility and “new” revenue that would have been the backbone of that next round of growth. Now, we’d have to borrow that money to even begin to try to get back on that plan. Talk about bad timing.

Suffice it to say we’ve learned a lot more during the pandemic, and while we readily admit that we are in fact “still here”, when we take all that we’ve learned collectively we feel that what is needed next is beyond the risks we are willing to take. So, it is time for us to make a graceful exit.


Margot & Jason

The Return Of The Sweet, Ancient Flavor

Check out this very exciting interview style article with Jason about the resurgence of mead at!!!

Mead: The Return Of The Sweet, Ancient Flavor


WMUR Viewers Name Ancient Fire One Of The Top 10 NH Wineries!!!

Thank you to all of our fans who got out and voted. We tied for 6th in the 2018 viewers poll for best New Hampshire winery!

WMUR Viewers Choice: Best Winery 2018

What a huge honor!

Wine Enthusiast Magazine Says It’s Time to Pay Attention to New Hampshire Wine

Wine Enthusiast Magazine Says It’s Time to Pay Attention to New Hampshire Wine

And we AGREE!

This was a great article to be part of. Congratulations to all of our industry peers who were also featured.

The New Hampshire wine industry is very diverse. We have something for everyone. Come visit!

Press Roundup Fall 2018

Ancient Fire has definitely been getting its name out with a variety of media outlets. Here are some recent digital mentions that we hadn’t posted yet.

Hippo Press – Merry Mead

Hippo Press – Need For Mead

Winemaker Magazine – From Hobby to Startup


Ancient Fire in the Hippo Press!

We had a great feature in the food section of the Hippo Press on February 1st, 2018.

Give The Gift Of Ancient Fire For The Holidays!


Looking for a gift for that difficult-to-buy-for craft beverage lover in your life? Well, we’ve got you covered with Ancient Fire gift cards.

From now until December 24th Ancient Fire is offering a 20% discount on the face value of gift cards!

Visit our 2017 Holiday Gift Card Promotion page for complete details and purchasing links.



Mead & Cider Making at the 2018 Winemaker Magazine Conference

Interested in taking your mead and cider game to the next level? Come to the Winemaker Magazine Annual Conference next May in San Diego!

Jason will be leading two hands-on boot camps before and after the conference. One focused on cidermaking and the other meadmaking.

During the conference itself Jason will host a seminar on meadmaking in the General Winemaking track. Attend all of these great sessions to get tips on recipe construction, small batch processes, hints on how to make award winners as well as the chance to socialize with other mead and cider makers.

Interested Jason’s credentials? Check out the conference speakers list.

See you in San Diego!

Demolition and Renovations Start at Ancient Fire

Last week the demolition and renovation work at Ancient Fire kicked off. Tradespeople from Paxor Construction, LLC of Merrimack, NH started removing walls, re-orienting doors and repairing drywall at the home of Ancient Fire.

This is standing near the inside end of the tap room looking towards the retail area, bathrooms and entrance to the manufacturing area (right). The remaining wall framing will be removed soon. In the completed design the bar will be the significant feature in this view, with tables and chairs around the are where the shot was taken. Across the way, to the left of the front door (which is obscured in this photo) will be our retail area where you will find swag, glassware, bottles to go, cocktail recipe cards, books, gifts and locally made foods for purchase.

This is a shot from the manufacturing area through what will be windowed double doors toward the front door. The prior photo would have been taken from inside the space to the left after the threshold for the door.

Jason is excited to be part of the construction team working on cleaning the concrete floors, painting and getting our sinks and fixtures on site and ready to go.

We are crowdfunding now to complete and decorate the tap room and retail areas. Check out The Mead Must Flow at Indiegogo.

Updates will be posted as additional progress is made.

Featured in the Hippo Press about Cider

Just hitting newsstands locally today!

The Hippo Press, the weekly Manchester area Arts & Culture magazine, is a great resource for what is happening in Manchester and beyond.

A few weeks ago Jason visited the Hippo offices and met Matt Ingersoll, the Food & Drink writer, and Matt asked about whether we could help him with an article on cider in New Hampshire. Of course we could! Contributing both via an interview, including a plug for Ancient Fire, as well as recommendations of other cider processionals to talk to in the state, the resulting article is a fantastic piece on the cider game here in New Hampshire. Take a look at Serious Cider.

Find a copy and take a read, better yet enjoy it over a pint of cider!

A basic process for making cider and tips for pairing cider with food were also provided by Ancient Fire. We are passionate about cider and we hope this article will spur more consumers to seek out what the ciders our region have to offer. When we open in 2018 you’ll be able to come and enjoy our unique expressions of cider as well!


Margot & Jason

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