2022 MeadCon Presenters

Women Mead Bosses Panel Discussion

The Mead industry has a high percentage of female owners. Women are charting our course in the mead world as leaders in every aspect of running a mead business. What leads us into mead? What skills and talents do we need to succeed? Let’s hear from four women in mead about their pathways, explore their business models, challenges and successes. We hope to show aspiring mead makers, movers and shakers of all genders that there are several paths to success in mead. This will be a panel-led discussion relevant to starting or growing a mead business.

Presenters: Diane Currier, Becky Starr, Jeri Carter, Alyson Schramm Naeger

A Study in Terroir: Making Wildflower Traditionals from Six Upstate NY Honeys

Wildflower honeys can have very unique expressions of local flora, despite being sometimes relegated to supporting roles in melomels and metheglins. This talk will summarize a project to brew six wildflower traditionals sourced from different apiaries within 100 miles of each other in the NY state North Country. The session will cover notes from each beekeeper on their honey, and public data sources for comparing bee forage by geography. After a brief overview of process, the presenter will summarize tasting notes from homebrew club members and local BJCP judges.

Presenter: Arthur Franke

Pasteurization History to Pasteurization Tasting- and Everything in Between

Presenter Tom Gosnell will cover not just everything you need to know about pasteurization, but everything you want to know. Tom will cover the history of pasteurization, pasteurization in other industries, the science of pasteurization and pasteurization units, practical application, types of pasteurizer, comparison of preservation methods, and finally, tasting, and comparing sulphiting to pasteurization. Take notes! Nothing is getting left out during this session!

Presenter: Tom Gosnell

Bench Trials – Scaling from small to large

How do you scale from an idea to a 20, 100, 1000, or 10,000-liter batch and ensure they will all turn out the same? How do you test different possible flavor combinations before investing in the ingredients for a full-sized batch? How can you figure out what amount of acid/back sweetening/sulfur/etc. works for your taste and isn’t just someone’s “one-size-fits-all” answer? This session will focus on bench trials, including flavoring in secondary, back sweetening, acid adjustments, blending and so much more. Brad Dahlhofer will discuss the must have and nice-to-have tools you’ll need to rig out your own trial laboratory. No matter if you’re a home or a large commercial mead maker, all of these are within reach. Attendees will also learn the calculations that will help scale anything up from a small 50ml test to 8000 liters, ensuring you hit your mark.

Presenter: Brad Dahlhofer

The questions (and some answers) of self distribution

One of the hardest areas to navigate for new meaderies is self-distribution. Even if it’s legal in your state, is it a good idea? How do you do it successfully? Is there a way to set up structures that can grow with your business? Presenter Greg Heller-LaBelle of the Colony Meadery will take attendees through the questions you should be asking, the numbers you should be running, and how to think about self-distribution of mead in your own markets.

Presenter: Greg Heller-LaBelle

Doctor Strange New World: or how I learned to stop worrying about the pandemic and make more mead!

Ben Chaney did all the homework, wrote the business plan, and secured the financing and licensing (though not without challenges) to open the fourth meadery in Arizona, and his meadery Scale & Feather was starting strong in the summer of 2019. Little did he know a worldwide pandemic was looming and cause the tasting room to close just 10 months in. Now celebrating three years of successful business growth despite Covid-19 and related challenges, Ben shares his tips, tricks, and pitfalls to avoid if you want to open your own meadery. He’ll share some of the tactics and pivots necessary to make it through a pandemic that literally shut the meadery down before its first anniversary and threatened to close it forever.

Presenter: Ben Chaney

Fining, Filtering and ‘Fuging: A sensory evaluation of two common (and one not-so-common) methods for clarification in mead

As centrifuges become smaller and more affordable for the mid-size meadery, many folks wonder if the machine is worth the price? Presenter Brian Wing will taste through three samples of the same mead that has been split and clarified through three different methods and see if he can answer this big question. Samples subjected to finings and time, lenticular filtration, and centrifuge will be blindly evaluated by the group while he discusses other pros/cons to this relatively new method of clarification.

Presenter: Brian Wing

Good mead with Di-Hydrogen Monoxide – Water the odds

It’s taste test time. In this special presentation, Kevin Meintsma will conduct an empirical test of four water profiles used to make a traditional mead with Bee Seasonal’s Acacia-Angico honey from Brazil. These meads were fermented under nearly identical conditions with mineral salts being the variable. You can decide which water profile makes the most desirable mead. Samples will be provided.

Presenter: Kevin Meintsma

Trademarks: Land Mines and Lessons Learned

Trademarks can help protect a brand and can be an important business asset. Mistakes regarding trademarks can be both disruptive and expensive. In this presentation Stephen Ausband will review what trademarks are, different types of trademarks, and what kinds of protections trademarks do and don’t offer. Stephen will also consider why obtaining federal trademark recognition may be a worthwhile investment and discuss why some awareness of trademarks is important for all meadery owners.

Presenter: Stephen Ausband

Modern Meadmaker and the Power of Liquid Gold

Honey is something we humans have been exploiting since the beginning. The magical elixir that, perhaps, is one of the best tangible and enduring expressions of mother nature. These bee-derived concoctions have powerful economic and ecological implications behind them. Presenter Brian Woerner will explore honey origins around the world and the ways that today’s mead makers play a part in protecting and promoting liquid gold and the places whence it comes.

Presenter: Brian Woerner

Insight Into Marketing Mead

Presenter Keith Seiz will dig into results from surveys conducted by The National Honey Board. He will share insights into the perception of mead and how to best market the product collected from mead makers, craft beer drinkers, sommeliers and consumers.

Presenter: Keith Seiz

Ethical Honey Sourcing

U.S. consumption of honey across retail, foodservice, and food manufacturing (including meadmaking!) tallies north of 600 million pounds annually. A net importer of honey, the U.S. plays a significant role in the global honey market. Presenter Evan Himes will provide context on the market as well as insight on current honey sourcing considerations, the 2022 anti-dumping duty assignments, and updated standards to True Source Certification discussed.

Presenter: Even Himes

Formula and Label Approval with the TTB

The TTB will host two informative sessions at MeadCon22. The first session will walk through the formula submission process- how to know when you need to submit and all the steps you need to take to get your mead formula approved. The second session will discuss obtaining a certificate of label approval (or exemption), explaining mandatory label info, brand names and more.

Healthy Fermentation

Michael Jones from Scott Labs will lead a discussion that will provide you with invaluable information on starting and maintaining a healthy fermentation in your meads, providing you with the best product in the least amount of time.

Presenter: Scott Labs