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.
The Home Governing Committee By-laws can be found here: Link
Kevin Meintsma (Minneapolis, Minnesota)
I started making mead in 2017 with the exception of one Eastern Buckwheat methyglin that was “drinkable” but not good. 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. My interest area and emphasis for the AMMA is to explore techniques and provide education that can be easily referenced and used by members.
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.
Tim Leber (Seattle Washington)
I have been making mead, cider, wine, and beer since 1991, but consider myself a mead maker first. I am very passionate to learn about the hobby and share what I know with other mead makers. I have made several appearances on Basic Brewing Radio over the years discussing various mead making experiments to share my knowledge of mead making. I am a BJPC National Beer Judge, a Mead Judge, and a Cider judge. I also proctor BJCP exams and work as a grader. I have organized many homebrew competitions over the years and was the Judge Coordinator for the Seattle NHC Round 1 for over five years.
I have experience running volunteer organizations. I have been an officer of homebrew clubs and other service organizations. I was president of my homeowner’s association for several years and restructured our budget to provide more services and create a cash reserve without increasing the assessment. I have a strong background in planning and data analysis. Skills that I feel would be very useful as the AMMA grows into a larger organization.
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!).
Michael Severin (Weed, California)
Hello, from the new 42 year old kid on the block! My Mother, Ara Severin, introduced me to mead in 2017 and suggested I brew it. Three years later I love it more and more! I have been a home-brewer since 2002. I recently made the transition to all-grain brewing two years ago and am moving back to Colorado to pursue brewing for a full time career. This year I am entering five different meads to the National Homebrewers Competition and I’m excited to see how they compare to other meads!
I attended Humboldt State University and graduated with a B.S. degree in Forestry Management, 2003. My forestry background has led me into the realm of foraging up and down the West Coast of California, Oregon, Washington, and Alaska. I enjoy foraging for different kinds of ingredients to amend into both my meads and beers. I have grown my own hops, fruits, vegetables, and also kept bees. During the pandemic I began practicing fermenting and preserving foods with honey and will be putting those flavors into future meads like Capsicumels.
I am honored to be elected to the Home Governing Committee within the American Mead Makers Association and look forward to both learning from experienced brewers and contributing ideas!
Jonathan Zybala (Western New York)
I am a family man and a Geologist who enjoys people, nature, art, science, philosophy, and anything that pertains to fermentation – process & products with all the associated textures, colors, aromas & flavors. I made my first Mead in 2018 and have been smitten ever since. Mead is by far my favorite of all fermented beverages for its sugar source (bees!), history, versatility & nuances. Mead is one of the easiest, most flexible, rewarding, and fun of all the fermented foods I have experienced making at home and enjoy sharing with my friends and family. My passion for making and enjoying Mead brought me to the AMMA and I am grateful to be able to serve on the Home Governing Committee.
Arthur Franke (New Jersey)
Arthur is a home mead maker from northern New Jersey, where he is a member of the Bergen County Brew Crew homebrew club. He has been making mead since 2013. His brews have won medals at competitions including the NJ State Fair, Valhalla, and the AHA NHC first round. He is passionate about exploring mead terroir, novel mead flavor profiles, and learning more about mead traditions worldwide.