Schramm's Mead in Ferndale is gearing up for a major expansion. Owner Ken Schramm tells Eater that he recently acquired a facility on Livernois near Marshall Street, which will allow the company to grow capacity from 400 gallons per month to nearly 3,000 gallons per month.
Currently, the tasting room on 9 Mile houses both the production area and the kitchen says Schramm. Within the next month he hopes to see the production equipment moved to the Livernois location and to install four 500-gallon brewing systems and one small-batch brewing system for test batches and ultra-seasonal creations. The new facility will also have enough space for equipment required to produce sparkling meads.
Schramm founded his meadery just two years ago, but is widely regarded in the mead making community for writing an essential mead guide in 2003 called The Compleat Meadmaker. Schramm says expansion was always part of the business plan. "We knew we wanted to keep getting bigger and I always wanted to turn this into my day job."
While the meadery remains mainly a family operation at the moment with Schramm's daughter Alyson Schramm Naeger running daily operations and son-in-law James Naeger assisting in the brewing process. However, the meadery will soon hire more production staff. Additionally, Schramm's is aiming to expand its market into more regions of Michigan. "It's a delicious beverage. Once people get exposed to it, they like it, they tend to keep buying," Schramm says.
Other local distillers and brewers have increased production in the area. Valentine Vodka announced last spring that it was doubling manufacturing capacity at a 15,000-square-foot Ferndale facility. Meanwhile, B. Nektar meadery told Eater last winter that it was on track to double production this year.
Correction: The original article mistated the amount of mead being produced during the expansion. It's 3,000 gallons.