Your Home Governing Committee is here to help!
As the elected members of the home mead making committee of the AMMA, we’d like to take a moment to remind our membership that there are a number of ways to use the people on this committee.
Educational Services. Many of the members of the committee have much experience educating and running classes on mead making, mead education, and judge training. Homebrew shops, mead retailers, and commercial meaderies looking to host or hold events can contact us to set up a class or series of classes to hold at your facility.
Event Promotion. Hosting an event and looking to spread the word? Reach out to the committee members and we can help promote your event.
Mead Competitions. We are committed to helping mead competitions. Personally reaching out to find judges, stewards, and other volunteers is just one of the ways we can help your competition. The home governing committee wants to help grow the size of mead competitions globally and assist in maintaining quality judging.
Festivals. As home mead makers we have much experience serving meads at festivals to the public. Looking to expand the mead presence at a given festival and need knowledgeable pourers? Our board members could help serve mead at your festival and help organize other volunteers.
Andrew Luberto (Long Island, New York)
As a professional educator, I enjoy running educational classes. I’ve organized classes on mead making, mead judging, and mead tasting events at bottle retailers, homebrew shops, festivals, events, and commercial meaderies. As a Grandmaster II BJCP mead judge and Advanced Cicerone, I’d be happy to help with any training or educational events. Also, If holding a mead competition in the Northeast area please feel free to reach out and I will do my best to get qualified judges to sign up for your competition. Contact me anytime at LIBMEandrew@gmail.com.
Kevin Meintsma (Minneapolis, Minnesota)
I started homebrewing somewhere around 1981 or 82. I stovetop extract brewed (it was the ONLY thing you could do) using a scavenged 4-gallon pot for about 4 years then took a lot of years off to devote time to my children and career. I resumed homebrewing in 2009, again starting with extract and switching to all grain in early 2010. After returning from a 7-month work assignment in England in late 2010, I got serious about homebrewing and started entering competitions. I stewarded and judged (unexpectedly) at Mashout that year, and some years later completed the BJCP certification process. I am also an endorsed Mead Judge. I have won multiple Best Of Show’s for Beer, Cider, and Mead, including a beer Pro-Am with Minneapolis-based Town Hall that sent me to the GABF Pro-Am competition which has been one of the highlights of my brewing “hobby”.
I started making mead in 2017 with the exception of one Eastern Buckwheat methyglin that was “drinkable” but not good, somewhere around 1990. My mead making has been focused on process and technique more than ingredients or yeast. Almost all of the medals and best of shows I’ve received have used “generic” ingredients and very prosaic yeast choices. Process and Technique continue to be major focus areas for me as I now shift toward the use of varietal honey and more exotic ingredients.
From a professional standpoint, I’ve owned and operated two small businesses and spent most of my career in Information Technology as a programmer, analyst, project manager, consultant, and systems architect. I am now retired from the corporate world so I can focus on other things that interest me.
Please feel free to contact me with ideas for improving the AMMA, or help resolving issues.
Amy Olsen (Southeast Michigan)
My name is Amy Olsen. I’m a Chef/Teacher by day & a mead maker by night. In the world of mead making, I’m still pretty new. I’ve only been making mead for about 5 years. During that time, I have tried to learn as much as I can and improve my skills. I’ve attended 2 UC Davis courses, numerous workshops, and dove into the competition circuit, where I have been pretty successful. In my limited experience, I have won 3 BOS, 1 ProAm, 3 AHA 1st round ribbons, over 40 assorted medals, and 7 Mazer Cups. It’s important to me to share what I have learned with others, especially those new to the craft. I took the BJCP mead exam and have become a Mead judge. I am making an effort to judge as often as possible and develop those skills. I also helped to form the Michigan Mead Coalition and was recently elected Vice President. I try hard to take advice from those much more experienced than myself and putting their wisdom into practice has yielded some wonderful results. I’m eager to continue learning and share my knowledge with others.
Dr. Tom Repas is a 4th generation beekeeper and winemaker who first began keeping bees in 1981 at age 13. He lives with his family in the Black Hills of western South Dakota where he breeds queen bees for sale to local beekeepers. He focuses on breeding honey bees which are winter-hardy, gentle, productive, and tolerant of Varroa mites. Tom performs instrumental insemination of the queens in his breeding lines in order to have more control over the genetics of his breeding program. He is also certified as a Master Beekeeper through the University of Montana.
Tom began home brewing beer, wine, cider, and mead over 25 years ago. He is a BJCP certified Mead Judge and has had the privilege of being awarded numerous medals for his mead in competitions, including the Mazer Cup International Home Best of Show in 2015 and 2017. He was the 2018 National Mead Maker of the Year of American Mead Makers Association after coming in first place after a series of six mead-only competitions across the US- for which he is both honored and humbled.
Beyond keeping bees, breeding queens, and making mead, Tom greatly enjoys teaching and helping others. He has been honored to give presentations on mead making and/or beekeeping at the American Beekeeping Federation annual meeting; the American Mead Makers Association Mead Makers annual conferences; and at other mead making or beekeeping conferences across the US.
Bob Slanzi (Putnam Valley, New York)
I have been a homebrewer and beekeeper for over 10 years. I proudly serve on the AMMA Board Of Directors as Homebrew Liaison. I have held the position for the past three years. I also serve as President of the home governing committee. I have held office in local beekeeping and homebrew groups. I have been a train conductor since 1997 for the country’s largest commuter railroad. I champion charitable causes such as animal rescue. I believe the AMMA has and will continue to bring value to the membership. This in turn will help the AMMA become a valuable resource to its members.
Matt Weide (Minneapolis MN)
By trade, I am a salesperson that travels extensively for work. When I’m not with my family of four I enjoy making, talking, and learning about mead. I have been a homebrewer for over 20 years, winning AHA’s Mead Maker of the Year in 2014. I am a certified BJCP judge with a mead endorsement. I have also taken Mead courses at UC Davis. Previously, I have also held leadership positions within the Minnesota Home Brewers Association home brew club including Vice President. Above all, I enjoy the camaraderie that comes with the homebrewing community.
Carvin Wilson (Southwest Arizona)
By trade, I am a software engineer and entrepreneur who owns twelve different companies. In the mead realm, I have been making mead for over 10 years with over 150 awards to include AMMA Mead Maker of The Year. I’m a BCJP Beer and Mead judge, member of the AHA Governing Committee, Mazer Cup home organizer, bee keeper, and a hoarder of over 400 different varieties of honey. I am always willing to travel to mead competitions and do talks for clubs about mead, honey, or beekeeping.
Annie Zipser (Southeast Michigan)
I am a self-professed “Mead Geek” and a retired educator. I love teaching about mead and spreading the word about what mead is. I have worked in a homebrew supply shop where I taught mead making classes. I have also led seminars in the homebrew clubs that I am a member of. I am a BJCP mead judge and on the organizing committee for the Michigan Mead Cup. I am currently working with other Michigan mead makers to get the Michigan Mead Coalition, a club for mead makers, up and running. I am one of AMMA’s liaisons with the American Homebrewers Association and organize the AMMA booth at their yearly conference. I would be happy to talk about increasing mead awareness in your area, my experiences with teaching beginning mead making, and the importance of making connections with the greater mead making community (especially when you are putting on events!).