By Dave Zuchowski
October 30, 2015 12:00 AM
Carnegie, Pennsylvania – Since he opened a meadery, David Cerminara has been as busy as the bees that make the honey used in his mead.
Mr. Cerminara opened Apis Mead & Winery on Main Street in Carnegie in the summer of last year, and he has been working overtime ever since. The former cellar master and brewer at Penn Brewery on the North Side said he is happy he switched from beer to mead — a form of wine made by combining honey, water and yeast — even though he’s putting in a 70-hour workweek.
“The .jump from beer to mead was an extravagant change for me and a challenge,” said Mr. Cerminara, 33, of Carnegie. “But it was something I felt the city needed ”
Mead, however, is not that well-known in the area. Some hear meadery and think “meatery,” as in chops, steaks and roasts, but the word is getting out about the region’s rarest of alcohol crafters.
When Mr. Cerminara opened Apis, which is the Latin word for bee, he offered mead in six flavors. The flavors are created by using fruits or herbs.Now he’s up to 15 on tap and 21 different bottle selections. Mr. Cerminara uses only fresh fruits or juices and no artificial flavors.
“Since I first opened, I’ve seen at least a 10 percent increase in patrons each week,” he said. “On Fridays and Saturdays, it’s sometimes difficult to find a seat.”
About half of his sales are in-house and half are to local bars, restaurants and breweries. Currently, he puts in 25 hours fermenting about 160 gallons of mead each week. For the rest of his 70-hour workweek, he mans his meadery Thursday through Saturday and makes deliveries to nearly 40 establishments, some as far away as Zelienople.
Meadery Profile: Apis Mead & Winery