Schramm’s Mead tasting room has permanently closed.
The Ferndale-based makers of several varieties of mead – a honey wine – announced the tasting room closure in a Facebook post early on Friday. The tasting room was shut down in March because of the coronavirus pandemic and it never reopened.
“We have come to the extraordinarily difficult decision that we must close our tasting room in downtown Ferndale before the end of the year,” the post read.
Alyson Schramm Naeger – CEO and co-owner along with her father Ken Schramm, who is well-known and respected as a mead maker – said by phone Friday afternoon that its tasting room lease at 327 W. Nine Mile is up in December and they will no longer rent the space.
Citing the coronavirus pandemic, the Facebook post also reflected on its tasting room being a very “small, very intimate gathering space,” and not being able to operate safely with high-risk team members.
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“The tasting room was too small for us when we opened 7 years ago,” she said.
Schramm’s, according to the post, looked to the recommendations from the CDC, WHO, Oakland County, and the State of Michigan, before arriving at its decision.
They concluded that “our tasting room is not suitable for appropriate social distancing or the implementation of the other measures needed to prevent the spread of COVID-19,” the post read.
Comments from fans expressed sadness and were sorry to hear about the closure, though many commented that they also understood. Some commenters said that they will miss the coziness of the tasting room and wished Schramm’s Mead all the best.
Co-owner and head mead maker Ken Schramm commented on the post thanking everyone for their support. “This was a trying decision, and we could not be more sorry that it came to this, for both our staff and our customers,” Schramm posted.
All operations will switch to its production facility on Livernois and to Schramm’s Orchards in Rochester Hills, Schramm Naeger said.
“We are pivoting and just reworking the business that makes more sense in a COVID world,” she said.
Hopefully, she said, they will have a tasting room in the next few years.
Schramm’s will continue to offer curbside pick-ups and shipping. Plans are to retain all team members at its orchard and production facility.
At Schramm’s Orchards they grow a variety of berries, currants, apples, peaches and plums that go into their most premium meads.
Its mead products are also sold at area Busch’s Fresh Food Market and Plum Market, as well as Holiday Market. Schramm’s mead is also available on tap at several places, including Brown Iron Brewhouse in Royal Oak.