There is an uncanny serendipity to the story of Cellarmen’s that begs to be shared. At one point, all four of the guys were working at B. Nektar Meadery in Ferndale, with Radogost-Givens and Petrocik on mead making duty. Between the two of them, you probably can’t find two mead makers with more collective international medals, scooping up awards from highly-respected juried competitions like the Mazer Cup, the Michigan Mead Cup, and the Finger Lakes International Wine Competition, in addition to receiving national recognition from the likes of Esquire, Thrillist, and RateBeer.com.
What I’ve learned in one year since opening a meadery… and just a heads up, this might just be the last of this series I’ve been posting up here.
One important thing I’ve learned is, you can’t “homebrew” your way in creating a successful meadery. What I mean by that is, just because you never filtered or sulfited your meads at home, doesn’t mean that is going to be the best practice once going commercial. When a good batch goes wrong in the bottle and starts fermenting again, not only will it get you pretty distraught, but the consumer relations process of rectifying the situation is enough to make you pony up the few grand for a sterile filtration and stabilization solution. Trust me, even though it was only 2 out of 30+ batches I’ve produced, it was enough of a lessoned learned, even though all of our customers were still totally cool with it and understanding. Since then, I had vowed to never let that happen again. (Additionally to original post: this is another reason why I am glad I haven’t began distribution yet. Gave me a chance to better “re-learn” my craft on a commercial scale)
8 months since opening for business
Things couldn’t be going any better. Well, they could (and will) be going a lot better as we move forward. Solely based on our business activity at the moment revolved only around tours & tastings with no distribution, we are kicking more ass than Van Damme.
Melovino has released 10 different meads thus far, with another 10 new ones coming out within the next 3 weeks, and a lot more after that. It has been a great experience producing and having customers come in and tasting all of these recipes, for the main reason of which being that we have been caught off guard as to some of the big favorites. In my opinion, if we only produced and stuck with 3-4 meads, we would have never have had the information we needed in knowing what other meads would really set sales over the top more than others. The great part about it all right now is that once we actually DO begin distributing our products, we will have all the data we need in making the decision on which 3-4 meads we send out our doors. The rest of the recipes will just stay on premise for direct to consumer sales in the tasting room and online. Will give customers the option of picking up some of our staples at their local liquor store, as well as purchase those off the wall limited releases direct from us. This also generates more sales from the same clientele.