Godwin Meniru is one busy guy. For starters, he’s a gynecologist with his own practice, the Junaelo Women’s Clinic in suburban Canton. He’s also the owner of the Meniru Meadery, where he makes both mead and wine.
Soon, he’ll launch a small brewery, as well. Oh, and he’s married. Where does he find the time to make mead, wine and now beer along with being a husband and practicing doctor?
"I don’t know how I do it," he said with a laugh during a recent visit to his small operation in a corner plaza storefront at 5866-5868 Fulton Drive N.W. in Jackson Township. "It takes interest and drive. It’s a form of relaxation for me."
Meniru, a native of Nigeria who came to the U.S. in 1999, is an accomplished mead and winemaker whose amateur awards include winning the "Winemaker of the Year" honor last year at the WineMaker International Amateur Wine Competition sponsored by WineMaker Magazine. He turned professional in October when he opened the meadery and winery.
Meniru Meadery has a quaint tasting room complete with a four-seat bar, a few tables, flat-screen television and small decorative guitars hanging on one wall.
Customers can sample anything from a cherry honey wine to chardonnay to apple cyser on premise, or take home a bottle or growler.
"It’s been growing gradually just like any business," Meniru said about his clientele.
All the mead, wine and beer-making equipment is in the back.
Making mead and wine professionally wasn’t Meniru’s first choice. His initial goal was to open a brewery and he attended a course at the Siebel Institute of Technology in Chicago to learn the business side about becoming a brewer.
The plan now is to open a nanobrewery this summer to complement the winery and meadery. Several Ohio wineries, including Debonne Vineyards in Madison, have opened breweries in an attempt to attract more visitors.
At Meniru Meadery, Meniru will use a small Speidel Braumeister brewing system — producing less than a barrel a batch — to provide draft beer at the tasting room and hopefully draw in people who aren’t fans of wine and mead. A brewing license also will allow him to make grain-based meads, he said.
As for the beer styles he plans to make, Meniru said a "combination of what I know customers like and what I know they will grow to like."
That means a Budweiser clone, pale ale, India pale ale, Russian imperial stout and porter, he said. Then, he also wants to throw in some fruit beers and exotic fare such as ales with grapes, spices and perhaps oysters.
If the brewing takes off, Meniru said he would purchase a larger brewing system.
When the brewery opens, the business will go by the name Meniru Meadery and Brewery and be open more often. Now, the business is open from 4 to 8 p.m. Thursday and Friday, and 3 to 10 p.m. Saturday.