Dragonmead Microbrewery

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Commercial Meadery Category: Commercial MeaderiesCommercial Meadery Tags: bill wrobel, brewpub, dragonmead, earl scherbarth, larry channel, mi, microbrewery, and warren

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  • The Dragonmead is a U.S. microbrewery, meadery and brewpub that was founded by Earl Scherbarth, Larry Channel, and Bill Wrobel in January 1997. For a very small brewery, they produce many varieties of beer, and have received a number of awards, including gold medals at the World Beer Cup.


    Before opening the Dragonmead Larry Channel and Bill Wrobel worked for Chrysler while Earl Scherbarth worked at Ford. Channel said that their first interest in beer and brewing started with a home brew kit that was bought for Earl Scherbarth’s birthday. After their first encounter with a home brew kit, they decided to try different methods and ingredients to create new formulas and new beers. During this time period the group of friends were looking into starting a business in the areas of computers or printing. Wrobel proposed that they start a brewery after they became familiar with beer and the process of brewing. A year after proposing the idea the partners opened Dragonmead in May 1998. The company still sells to the home-brew community.


    In 1998, the Bay City Times wrote: “Word about Dragonmead’s magic is spreading, though they only make 18 barrels weekly and won’t reach full capacity at their hospital-clean 5,200-square-foot factory until spring 1999. Detroit celebrity chef Jimmy Schmidt stocks Dragonmead at various high end restaurants. Johnny Klein, owner of Steamers Pub on Bay City’s West Side and Steamers Pub South in Saginaw praised the brewery and its product.


    In 2015, the brewery surpassed its “nanobrewery” character, upgrading to an 11,000 square foot facility, with a 1,000 square foot taproom, and re-purposing old equipment. It was using a three-barrel system to produce 2,500 barrels per year. The brewery purchased and installed a computer-automated Braumat software driven unit. According to Channell, the increased capacity will enable the pub to increase the number of “taps from 52 to 103 or more, and have at least one of each Beer Judge Certification Program-accepted style and sub-style available”. The brewers intend to extend their distribution. More seasonal brews are expected with the expansion.


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