Meet Your Maker: Dimitri

November 10, 2017

We love mead. Heck, that’s why we spend literally every waking moment making, tasting, and enjoying it.

But have you ever thought about the brave humans who wade waist-deep in the honey to create this exquisite beverage, the oldest known alcoholic beverage in the world?

We figured it was high time to give our makers the spotlight, and to gain some insight into what their jobs entail- the hardships, the not-so-hardships (the easyships?), the agony and the ecstasy of artfully creating liquid gold.

Everyone, meet Dimitri!

 DIMITRI

Who are you and what do you do?

My name is Dimitri and I am Specific Gravity meter.

Can you describe your typical workday?

I am busiest in the morning when Renee’ the Red comes in.  She picks me up at my box and we commute to the production area where together we take the specific gravity of all the fermenting product. We do this to monitor the progression of fermentation. It is very important because if you don’t monitor fermentation, you have no idea what the yeast needs. Do they need to be fed? Are they done eating? I measure the amount of sugar in solution so the awesome humans can determine what to do with their ferments. I love my job. I get to drink delicious fermenting beverages everyday.

 

Can you describe an atypical workday?

An atypical workday is when I drink a little too much the day before and then Renee’ the Red has to get my butt back into calibration.  I don’t like being calibrated, she makes me drink distilled water. ::sigh:: It’s worth it though- I want to give the most accurate readings that I can so the production team can make the right calls on how to move forward with a ferment.

Do you have any hobbies?

Basically I live in the shop so whenever the team is out I like to host parties and dances for the other lab equipment. You should see Erl N. Meyer the Flask breakdance. It’s awesome! I, too, love dancing.  I more or less just hop up and down and wave my arms around, but I don’t care!  I love dancing so much!

How much science do you know?

Hmm…I know a little bit of science. I like to see how much sugar is in a solution.  I can sometimes calculate the amount of alcohol in something too.  Really, I am just a drunk.  A drunk that loves to dance.

Tell us about the hardest day you’ve had so far on the job:

The worst day EVER was when I was left behind at our other location and Renee’ forgot to take me with her.  I was so bored.  No one to talk to or dance with, no yummy ferments to drink to see how they were progressing.  It was so wonderful when the team finally remembered where I was and came to bring me back home to my box.

What has been the most important lesson you’ve learned in meadmaking?

Patience is the most important thing I have learned. To get a specific gravity right you have to take a few minutes to really measure those sugars.  I take pride in being right all the time. Sometimes, I have to take 2 or 3 minutes to make sure that I am right before I let the team know how much sugar is in solution, but they understand.  They are good humans like that.

Any advice for someone who wants to pursue a career in meadmaking/brewing?

Drink!

What is best in life?

Dancing.  Dancing can make any bad day into a good one.

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  • SATURDAY! Join us at 2 p.m. in the B. Nektar taproom for the release of The Zombies Take Manhattan. Apple and cherry mead aged in Rye Whiskey barrels for 9 months.
#theneedformead #mead #whiskey #rye #zombies
  • Saturday...The Zombies Take Manhattan! Apple mead w/ cherry, aged in rye whiskey barrels. 500ml bottles, 11.8% abv. Lightly carbonated.
Bottle sales begin in our taproom on 5/18 at 2 p.m. #theneedformead #zombies #mead #ferndale
  • Chocolate + Coffee Sanchez bottles drop at 2 p.m. Saturday, May 11th in our taproom! Live music by @afteroursband and food by @detroitpanzerotti later in the evening! Check out bnektar.com for more info! #springMAYhem #theneedformead #ferndale #mead #coffee #raspberry #chocolate
  • Taproom release 5/4, 2 p.m.!
Go to Bnektar.com for details.
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  • Spring MAYhem is coming! We have some BIG releases in our taproom starting May 4th, plus lots of other fun events! Episode 13 3 Year Reserve, Chocolate Coffee Sanchez, Vanilla Cinnamon, AND the return of Zombies Take Manhattan!!!
Go to BNektar.com or check out our Facebook page for dates, times, and deets. Let’s party friends! #theneedformead #springmayhem
  • Showcase Showdown! @brewdogoxford 👏👏
・・・
Our @bnektar showcase went down a treat and we’ve still got a few of their delicious meads left! 🐝
Fancy something a little bit different? Head down to the bar and get stuck in! 🍻
#brewdog #brewdogoxford #oxford #visitoxford #bnektar #bnektarmeadery #mead #americanmead #americancraft #craftmead #drinkcraftnotcrap #gimmegimmegimme #webleedcraftbeer #meadlife
  • New Punk Lemonade T’s are in stock in our taproom and on our website!
Soft & stretchy black cotton with our pal Bee Bee Damone printed on front. Get yours today before they buzz off! #punklemonade #upthepunx
  • Whatcha doin’ this weekend? We’ve got some cool adult beverages in our taproom! Check out our website (link in bio) for our current tap list and hours. FYI, we’re open Easter Sunday from 2-8 p.m. #theneedformead
  • Stupid Man Suit (cider w/cherry, raspberry, & black currant) bottles are for sale in our taproom! If you’re not local to Ferndale, start looking for these bad bois on May 1st in your area. #sparklemotion
  • TOMORROW (4/10) in the B. Nektar Taproom we will be opening up some archived bottles of 2016 (batch#414; 24 btls ONLY), tapping a rare keg of 2017 (batch#563) and the recent 2019 release (batch#726) for a vertical tasting experience. (1oz pours only) 
Comment sheets will be available so you can let us know what you think when you taste.
#dragonsarereal
  • #DragonsAreReal drops tomorrow at 2 p.m.! We have an entire day and night of fun stuff in our taproom, too! Live music, food, and plenty of mead! Check out BNektar.com or our Facebook page for more info!
#dragons #springiscoming #gameofthrones #ferndale #mead
  • Well, @neilhimself has a bottle of Believe- an apple mead fit for the Gods! Many thanks to the team at @Starz and @FremantleUS.  Tune in for Season 2 this March!