Microbrewery worker leaves beer behind, opens Apis Meadery in Carnegie
A bar dedicated to ancient, honey-based wine is all the buzz in Carnegie.
David Cerminara, a brewer at the North Side's Penn Brewery, will open Apis Meadery in July, where he will brew and ferment mead, an alcohol created by fermenting honey with water and other fruits, spices or grain.
“The city doesn't have anything like this,” said Cerminara, 31. “We have a great cidery now – we need a great meadery. We have a million great breweries that keep popping up and getting better and better. This is the next step, I think.”
The meadery, at 212 East Main St. in Carnegie, is still in the renovation process. Though it will not open until July, Cerminara is beginning the brewing and fermenting process.
“When it opens, most will have been fermented three to five months,” he said. “Ideally, some would be up to a year, but you can't do that when you're working commercially. As we grow, we'll be able to have an aged series, an oak series.”
He said reaction has been mixed.
“You say ‘meadery,' and most people say, ‘Oh, what kind of salami are you going to sell?' and you have to say, ‘No, not meat, mead,'” he said. “The people who know what it is think it's great.”
Bill Larkin, owner of Arsenal Cider House in Lawrenceville, said markets for niche products like cider and mead are expanding.
“From a cider standpoint, the category has been growing. We've helped it tremendously,” he said. “We've converted a lot of people to cider drinkers, and I suspect Dave will convert a lot of people to mead drinkers.”
Cerminara said the location itself will have the feel of a wine or cider bar – patrons can get 750 milliliter bottles from the drafts at the bar. They can either drink in, or fill their bottle and leave.
“It's about coming and having conversation,” he said. “There are no TVs. It's not like a big sports bar – not that that's bad, but that's a whole different kind of place.”
Seating for about 35 will be available, but food will be limited to fruits and cheeses.
“I'm going for more of a sit down and talk to your friends kind of feel,” he said. “There's nothing like that, and there are so few of those around.”
Carnegie Mayor Jack Kobistek said he thinks Cerminara will find a good home for his meadery in Carnegie.
“I think it's going to be such a unique establishment that it will attract people from all over,” he said. “I'm excited about it myself — I can't wait to try it.”
Cerminara said the meadery will have six varieties on draft and one in a bottle that he will recommend aging. Of the six varieties, four will be seasonal, and there will be two varietals – basic, honey-based meads – that will remain static.
Despite the sit-down style of the meadery, he said he hopes most of his business will occur outside of the location. He said he has about 20 local contracts lined up with bars and restaurants throughout the city that are interested in selling and promoting the mead.
“I'm banking on selling a lot outside of the location,” he said. “The goal is to be in those places where people go to look for unique things like this.”
He said he is using locally sourced honey and fruit when possible, and he has commissioned a local artist to work on labels and art for the meadery.
Cerminara will leave his job at the Penn Brewery in the summer when the meadery opens. He said it is a big step for him.
“I've been brewing beer for so long, this is a big transition – a scary transition. But I feel like it's time,” he said. “I've given beer so much time. I love it and wouldn't give it up for anything – except for this.”
Megan Guza is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-388-5810 or email@example.com.
Add Megan Guza to your Google+ circles.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- For Crafton Elementary school students, loom business is booming
- Bob’s Diner owner buys Carnegie location
- Carnegie church brightens Christmas with free meals
- 1904 grade separation plan provides insight into community
- Couple celebrates 61st anniversary on Christmas Eve
- Longtime Heidelberg manager leaving post, council begins search
- Carnegie couple to celebrate 40th anniversary Dec. 21
- Bridgeville council OKs sewage rate increase
- Crafton Elementary teacher earns straight A’s from staff
- Morning radio show displays ‘ugly’ sweaters at Collier business