2023 marks year 6 of the National Mead Maker of the Year competition for the American Mead Makers Association.

The purpose of this competition is not only to help spur even more participation in mead competitions, but to also motivate higher standards of mead making practices from amateur mead makers around the country.


Only active Individual level members of the AMMA may qualify for the NMMY award. Entrants must be an active AMMA member at the time of each competition in order for those points to qualify towards the NMMY award. Commercial meadery owners, meaderies in planning and employees thereof are not eligible for this award.


The competition circuit begins at the start of every calendar year with the winners announced at the following year’s annual AMMA Membership meeting in March.


Throughout the year, we will be keeping a running tally of points from qualifying competitions that all count towards your chance of winning the race for the most prestigious amateur mead making award to date! Competition categories must be open to all legitimate AMMA members without any added restrictions. Prizes will also be awarded to the 1st & 2nd runners up. We will be keeping a Current Leader Board updated on the AMMA site once the first competition results in the circuit are posted.

Points will be awarded as follows:

  • Gold medals awarded 6 points
  • Silver medals awarded 4 points
  • Bronze medals awarded 2 points
  • BOS awarded 4 points (only first place)

In the event of a tie, we will use the total amount of 1st place medals.

*Entrants must be an active AMMA member at the completion of each competition in order for those points to qualify towards the NMMY award.


Send in your entries as normal into any of the qualifying competitions listed below. The AMMA will be doing all the work of calculating points after the results from each competition are published.


Besides ULTIMATE bragging rights for the year, the winner of the NMMY award wins a glorious trophy worthy of displaying and a FULL PASS ticket to the AMMA Conference. The trophy will be awarded at the AMMA conference or by mail at the winners’ discretion. Prizes for the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place will be determined over the next few months.


Qualifying competitions will change as needed to ensure a broad judging pool.

Here is the race for 2023:

  1. Domras Cup – Entries opened Dec 1, 2022, RECEIVING deadline Jan. 16, 2023, Results on or after Feb. 4th
  2. Valkyries Horn – Entries opened July 28, RECEIVING deadline September 8th, Results after September 23rd
  3. Mazer Cup International – Entries open September 2, 2023 through October 6, 2023. RECEIVING deadline Oct. 20, 2023. Results on November 5, 2023.
  4. Michigan Mead Cup – Entries open September 17, 2023 through September 30, 2023. RECEIVING deadline October 6, 2023.
  5. Valhalla – The Meading of Life – November (possibly).

*Any questions on the competitions chosen, please contact info@mead-makers.org

Standings for the 2023 Competition

Entrants get 6 points for 1st, 4 for 2nd, 2 for 3rd, and 4 for a BOS in each participating competition.

Bill Boyer 24
Nicholas Argyle 12
Amy Olsen 10
Kevin Meintsma 8
Nathan Steigman 8
Nick Ferndino 6
Daniel Kukuk 6
Allen Martin 4
Burt REnard 4
Brian Stephens 4

Get your fermenters ready! Do you have what it takes to win the race?


AMMA Mead Maker Of the Year Circuit

The program will be operated as follows:

  • All included competitions will be expected to meet the standards and requirements listed below.

  • The three largest domestic mead only competitions will be offered a spot on the circuit.

  • Two “wild card” competitions will be offered spots on a rotating basis each year to promote regional diversity.

Standards and requirements:

  • To be included for consideration, the competition must be established for a minimum of one year before the start of the new circuit calendar year.

  • Must offer a Best Of Show for mead.

  • Each flight should include at least one BJCP endorsed mead judge, or other qualified mead industry judge.

  • The BOS panel must include at least one BJCP endorsed mead judge.

  • Participation in the competition must be open to all AMMA amateur members without any additional requirements.

  • Competitions must follow BJCP guidelines and be sanctioned by the BJCP organization.

Differentiating factors:

  • Quality of judging.

  • Quality of organization (timeliness, communication, awards, etc.).

  • Location (regional diversity, size of the qualified judge pool).

  • Size (total entries, number of categories, ability to retain all defined categories without combining).

If for some reason, an eligible competition is not able to be part of the circuit, the team will offer the open slot to another competition that is capable of meeting the standards and requirements defined above. This may include a competition that combines mead with other beverages.

Decisions will be evaluated annually by the Home Governing Committee to determine if there are beneficial changes needed for the program.