Age-old tastes at heart of Wellburn-area business
Dishing It Out, by Andrea Macko
St. Marys Journal Argus
It’s impossible not to use the simile of being “busy as a bee” when describing Tallgrass Mead and company owner/founder Elaine Ferrier. Not only is she one of few female mead-makers (“mazer”) in the world, she’s doing it part-time, while commuting from Michigan to Wellburn.
Despite the distance, becoming a mazer isn’t that much of a stretch for Ferrier. Her education and experience is in environmental policy and field biology; she currently works for the Great Lakes Commission, an inter-state agency that oversees the use and development of the Great Lakes. Just as bees are attracted to flowers, she was attracted to mead production for its sustainability and low impact on the environment.
Growing up on the Ferrier family farm also was an influence. “It’s an interesting blend of science and art to make mead,” Ferrier explains, noting that her father Dave also made wine while pursuing a more technical career of engineering (both Ferrier’s parents are retired and assist with Tallgrass).
Ferrier was introduced to mead by friends, who would bring it from out-of-province, she recalls. After travelling to Colorado the Mazer Cup — the Olympics of mead production — she was hooked. “I thought this would be really cool to bring to Ontario,” she says.
Meadery Profile: Tallgrass Mead