New meadery expected to be big draw for Medina

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 28 September 2014 at 12:00 am

810 Meadworks features honey, historic location

Photos by Tom Rivers – Bryan DeGraw, back left, talks about mead with people on the Ale in Autumn tasting event Saturday in Medina. 810 Meadworks is currently fermenting 200 gallons of mead. The business plans to officially open in early December.

MEDINA – For the past several months, a former barbershop has been transformed into a meadery in the historic R.H. Newell Building in downtown Medina.

Bryan and Larissa DeGraw and their friend Morris Babcock still have work to do, but on Saturday they gave 750 people on the Ale in Autumn beer-tasting event a sneak peek of what’s to come.

The DeGraws and Babcock in early December plan to open 810 Meadworks at 113 West Center St., Suite 1. They have 200 gallons of mead fermenting. They will produce meads, which are alcoholic drinks made by fermenting honey with water and often fruits, spices, grains and hops.

Mr. DeGraw has been a home brewer and mead maker for five years.

The business features a sign made from wood and a piece of stainless from the former barbershop.

810 Meadworks will be the only meadery between Albany and Ohio. That uniqueness will be a draw for “foodies,” people looking for authentic food experiences, said Michael Gaughn, owner of a media marketing company called deus X media.

“This winery really stands out,” Gaughn said Saturday at 810 Meadworks during the Ale in Autumn event. “It is the only meadery within 200 miles of here and you have a winery in the middle of town. This will be huge. This is radically different for wine trails.”

Gaughn works for the Medina Railroad Museum, the Niagara Wine Trail and other clients. He just produced a commercial for the Niagara Wine Trail, highlighting its closer proximity to Rochester than the Finger Lakes. The commercial is being shown on the Food Network, HGTV, and Bravo. Click here to see it.

Bryan DeGraw, left, and Morris Babcock are pictured with some of the 55-gallon drums where they will ferment mead. The meads are alcoholic drinks made by fermenting honey with water and often fruits, spices, grains and hops. DeGraw and Babcock did much of the renovations for 810 Meadworks themselves.

The DeGraws about a year ago moved from New Jersey, Mr. DeGraw’s native state, to Orleans County. Mrs. DeGraw’s parents live in Kent. The DeGraws were attracted to the revitalization in downtown Medina, especially in its historic business district.

They believe their business will complement others in the community, including other ventures in the Newell building, including the Boiler 54 entertainment venue, Shirt Factory Café and the Hart Hotel.

The Niagara Wine Trail was officially extended last year past Niagara County, through Orleans and all the way to Route 390 in Rochester. Medina finds itself ideally situated in the middle of the expanded Niagara Wine Trail. That was another reason why the business partners wanted to open 810 Meadworks in downtown Medina.

Larissa DeGraw is pictured with some of the chocolates she made for Ale in Autumn. 810 Meadworks will also sell her chocolates.

810 Meadworks uses “810” in its name from the Bible verse Nehemiah 8:10: “Go and enjoy choice food and sweet drinks, and send some to those who have nothing prepared. This day is holy to our Lord. Do not grieve, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.”

Besides serving mead, 810 Meadworks will offer chocolates made by Mrs. DeGraw.

“They conceived of their idea, got the permits and did the construction in less than a year,” Gaughn said. “They’ve done an amazing job.”

810 Meadworks is expected to draw visitors to the R.H. Newell Building and for other businesses in Medina.