Posts

american gods

american gods

Ferndale, Mich. — B. Nektar will be hosting a bottle release party for the first release of the branded beverage line made for American Gods, a FremantleMedia North America TV series that airs on STARZ, inspired by the award-winning novel written by Neil Gaiman.

Believe is a mead made from orange blossom honey and fresh-pressed Michigan cider.
ABV 6.5%
$5.99/bottle
Bottles and pours available in the B. Nektar Taproom.

Also available on 11/10 is Gin Barrel Aged Scurvy Shyster Bastard – Orange blossom honey, Gewurztraminer grapes, grapefruit juice, elderflower, hops and grapefruit zest. Aged in Gin Barrels for 5 months. 12%

 

cellarmen's

Cellarmen’s first-ever bottled release, Beet Your Meade, is a Beet and Black Currant Saison Mead that will be sold at their Hazel Park taproom on August 5th in celebration of National Mead Day. The magenta hued honey wine is made with all-Michigan ingredients, including a red beet varietal that was brought over by Cadillac and his landing party when they arrived in Detroit, and is now grown Biodynamically in the city. The mead also is made with Michigan Wildflower Honey and Black Currants from Coons Farm in Coleman, MI.

Beet Your Meade is the first in Cellarmen’s “Farm-to-Glass” series celebrating Michigan-grown produce and honey. The beets are sourced from ROI Urban Farms, Detroit’s first Biodynamic farm, orchard and compost operation. Biodynamic agriculture is a type of organic farming that uses holistic and self-sustaining methods to achieve ecological, social, and economic sustainability.

“By incorporating Biodynamic produce, Cellarmen’s is reaching for the highest standards in their products” said Jamie Meyers, owner at ROI Urban Farms. “The payoff is higher quality and better nutrition. It’s pure, unadulterated Michigan fruits, vegetables and honey.”

The 13.5%abv 375ml bottles cost $60 and will be available at Cellarmen’s on August 5th. In addition to the bottled release, Cellarmen’s plans to release up to a dozen new meads and ciders on draft that day. The TruckShuka food truck will also be on site for the event.

Ferndale, Mich — Seriously, we are celebrating 9 years of this meadery being open. Feels much longer, maybe it’s like dog years. That could be a thing, right?  Well anyway, we wanted to announce to the masses that we are NINE! Oh and we are throwing a party for it, August 5th. Actually, we are throwing parties all week. We like to call it Mead Week, check it out here.  We would love for you to join us!

BUT the BIG party –Summer Mead Fest – is really something that we are excited about. August 5, 2pm-8pm, at our Jarvis headquarters in Ferndale! Free Admission!

There will be food provided by Ruckus Taco, Co., Treat Dreams, LazyBones BBQ and CC Creperie, LIVE music and the Detroit Roller Derby Girls pouring for you.

We will have limited releases of meads, ciders, and beers with a slew of NEW products. Funky Monky will make a return in a new batch made with Shannon Long from Pure Brews America.

Also we’ll have out Tuco-Style Freakout aged in Tequila barrels available in bottles and on draft!  AND a HUGE release will be Miel de Garde #3 (Double Whisky Barrel Aged).  We used barrels from Motor City Gas in Royal Oak and this one is BONKERS good.

We are beyond proud of the crew here at B. Nektar and so proud to still be rocking in Ferndale or as we like to call it #MeadCityUSA!  We really would be delighted to have you celebrate with us!

Additional information on the event can be found here.

b. nektar

 

cellarmens

Hazel Park, MI– Cellarmen’s celebrates its first anniversary with special hours and releases Monday, October 17, but the party lasts all weekend long.

The celebration will get an early start Friday, October 14 when Bluegrass trio Behind The Times stops by the taproom to play some tunes from 8pm-11pm.

The party continues Saturday as Oozing Wound, Electric Hawk and Cockhorse play Cellarmen’s taproom. $5 at the door.

On Monday, October 17, the official first anniversary party will feature a surprise tap list featuring never-before-released meads and ciders. The Mac Shack food truck will be parked outside the taproom serving up Detroit’s tastiest mac n’ cheese.

  • Friday, October 14– Bluegrass trio Behind The Times will be providing music from 8pm-11pm.

  • Saturday, October 15– Oozing Wound, Electric Hawk and Cockhorse play 8pm-midnight. $5 at the door.

  • Monday, October 17– Special releases on tap, 5pm-midnight. All mead releases will be available by the glass, or in 32oz crowlers to-go.

For more information visit http://cellarmens.com/ and follow Cellarmen’s on Facebook

 

Celebrate National Mead Day with a meadery bus tour to Dragonmead, Kuhnhenn and B. Nektar Meadery with Motor City Brew Tours on Saturday, August 6! Meet the mead makers and learn about the world’s oldest alcoholic beverage.

Mead has been enjoyed by kings and queens and common workers alike throughout its history long history. Now it is gaining in popularity among beer consumers and connoisseur. Mead is created by fermenting honey and contains three simple ingredients: honey, yeast and water. Archaeologists have discovered Chinese pottery vessels dating from 7000 B.C. with remnants of mead inside them, making mead older than both wine and beer. Throughout time and the world over, mead has been made; Vikings, Mayans, Egyptians, Greeks and Romans experimented and shared this tasty beverage.

 

motor city brew tours

The first stop on the tour is Dragonmead Brewery, located in Warren, MI. Dragonmead creators have been making this wonderful elixir since 1997. They currently boast over 15 different mead and wine offerings.

Next stop is at Kuhnhenn Brewery, also in Warren. Enjoy samples of their available mead and a private tour of the facilities. Head Mead Brewer Frank Retell has medaled many times in the Mazer Cup, a yearly international competition that ranks meads into subcategories. He creates between 70 – 80 different mead styles per year and is always pushing boundaries and experimenting with new flavors.

The final stop is at B. Nektar Brewery. Not only will you sample great mead, but you will also participate in their anniversary celebration! They first opened their doors on August 2, 2008 which also happened to be National Mead Day. B. Nektar was also the first meadery to be listed as one of the top 100 breweries in the world by Ratebeer.com, and they have stayed on the list since 2013.

Motor City Brew Tours is excited to share these three great meaderies with you on our yearly Meadery Bus trip. We will meet to start the tour at B. Nektar Meadery at 11 a.m. and end at 3 p.m., back at the same location. Tickets are $55 each and include: mead samples at Dragonmead and Kuhnhenn, pizza, tours and mead talk and five tasting tickets for the B. Nektar Party at the end of the trip.

Tickets are available here: http://www.motorcitybrewtours.com/

 

b nektar

In its eight years of existence, B. Nektar Meadery has grown steadily, upgrading from fermenting in carboys and 55-gallon food-grade drums to producing up to 150 barrels of liquid a week.

“We just keep getting bigger,” said William McCune, production manager at B. Nektar.

Now, the meadery’s annual festivals draw crowds of over 1200 people to its quiet neighborhood in Ferndale, Michigan.

“The amazing thing is that’s all just people for us,” McCune said. People who want B. Nektar’s unique brand of mead, cider, and beer.

Stop and think how mead, a traditionally heavy, syrupy drink sipped by the likes of Beowulf, could possibly draw crowds that huge in the warmest months of the year.

The answer is in B. Nektar’s one-of-a-kind approach—one informed in various ways by wine making, the craft brewing industry, and traditional mead making. Its effect has been to vastly widen mead’s audience, paving the way for meaderies everywhere.

“Ever since we’ve started, we’ve kind of been seen as the ‘big guy,’” McCune said. “After our success, that’s where you’re seeing all these meaderies popping up across the country.”

Drawing more people to mead called for a little beverage re-branding and finding the right audience.

“We wanted to make something that was drinkable and enjoyable and not too high of an ABV,” said Miranda Johnson, B. Nektar’s marketing director. “Taking Beowulf and Vikings away from it, but also throwing in session meads for easy drinkability.”

Though B. Nektar’s mead making process and tools share a lot in common with wine making, the connections with that industry stop there. The meadery is more interested in engaging the curious palates of craft beer drinkers.

“We want to continue pushing pretty hard to set the precedent for stepping outside of the box in mead, and really introducing it into the craft beer realm of people,” Johnson said.

The meadery is achieving this not only by making sessionable meads and ciders, but also by brewing a few beers. Those selections are only available at B. Nektar’s taproom in Ferndale. With varieties such as a Jasmine Green Tea Belgian IPA and a Sage Lime Witbier, they bear the same experimental style of B. Nektar’s meads.

But simply being experimental and still drinkable doesn’t get you extra points in the Michigan craft industry. B. Nektar surpasses that by making nuanced flavor combinations that are well suited to the beverages. Lime zest and juice complement agave nectar and orange blossom honey in Tuco-Style Freak Out. Michigan grapes sing with wildflower honey in Grapes Gone Wild.

Those successful recipes meant taking risks and being smart about them. B. Nektar’s company culture fosters the creativity showcased in their concoctions.

“Everything in our social media says ‘we let our imagination guide us,’” Johnson said. “It’s not a joke. Sometimes the imagination’s a little crazy, but thankfully we have enough people that are like ‘Whoa, whoa, whoa, wait, let’s talk about this.’”

“It’s a really fun environment and creativity is welcomed and there is no lack of it, that’s for sure,” Johnson said.

B.Nektar’s 2016 Summer Mead Fest is set for August 6. Learn more here.

 

Photography: Steven Michael Holmes

Cellarmen's

HAZEL PARK, MI – If you hear loud music coming from 24310 John R, you can be sure the four bearded men inside the building are hard at work brewing up something deliciousand none of the neighbors are complaining.  

The 12,000-square-foot former lumberyard is now home to Cellarmen’s, Hazel Park’s first brewery, cidery, and meadery. The meadery opened this October, just in time for the Fall Beer Fest in Detroit.

Cellarmen’s tasting room is decked out in wood paneling and second hand furniture sets. The space gets its personality from homemade tables (made from wood from the lumberyard), local art for sale, and a soundtrack that skews toward heavy metal.

Cellarmen's

“It looks a little bit like your grandpa’s basement,” said Ian Radogost-Givens, one of the four cofounders of Cellarmen’s.

Radogost-Givens cut his teeth at B. Nektar meadery in Ferndale, along with Cellarmen’s cofounders Jason Petrocik, Dominic Calzetta, and Andrew Zalewski. With five years experience under their belt, the men are ready to produce anything they can think of.

Current offerings in the taproom usually include 9-12 meads, ciders, and beers. Most are made with Michigan-sourced ingredients when possible, and they never use fruit concentrates—only fresh fruit and juice.

“The French Oak Wildflower is what a mead-head will drink. Then we have our Trasher beer, a Lager style Ale that we made for people in the town to relate to,” Radogost-Givens said. The Trasher is their best seller.

Not much has changed since the space served as a lumberyard, including the free popcorn that is kept ready for customers.

“For customers who came in and bought lumber here their whole lives, now if they came in for a beer, the space would still feel familiar,” Radogost-Givens said. “The place only needed a spit shine,” he added.

The guys feel right at home in Hazel Park, where, along with James Rigato’s new spot, Mabel Grey, they have helped the neighborhood earn its reputation as an up-and-comer.

“Hazel Park has gone beyond what most cities do to get small businesses off the ground. We’ve gotten so much support from city officials to open our doors, and now quite a few of them come here to drink,” Radagost-Givens said.

Mead has taken off in Michigan, and Radogost-Givens would like to put Hazel Park and Cellarmen’s on the mead drinker’s map.

“My goal is to bridge the space between Warren, where Dragonmead and Kuhnhenn are, and Ferndale, where Schramm’s and B. Nektar are,” said Radogost-Givens.

The brewery’s current production capacity is 8.5 barrels of cider and mead, and 1 barrel of beer at a time. They hope to bump cider and mead production to 10 barrels soon.

“Now that we have wrapped our heads around filling the taproom, we have been able to supply a few local bars with kegs,” Radogost-Givens said.

The men aim to start canning mead in the spring or summer of 2016.

Over the holidays, Cellarmen’s plans to release the second run of Cranpus, a cranberry orange zest mead made with allspice and two kinds of honey. For New Year’s Eve, they will host a party featuring a champagne mead that climbs to 14% ABV.

“If you’re looking for a nice friendly atmosphere, good drinks and good music, come by. We’re just four hard working sons of bitches making a dream happen,” Radogost-Givens said.

Cellarmen’s is open Thursday 5pm-Midnight, Friday 3pm-Midnight, Saturday 12pm-Midnight and Sunday 12pm-8pm. You can find more info on their Facebook page.

Mead isn’t mainstream. It’s where beer was in the early 1980s, when breweries like Sierra Nevada and Bell’s Brewery were just getting started. Michigan, however, has one of the hottest scenes, and B. Nektar has established itself as one of the major mead players in the nation. So, MittenBrew traveled to its facility in Ferndale for a chat.