2024 Mead Crafters Competition

The Mead Crafters Competition is a free competition hosted by the National Honey Board, open to all commercial mead makers in the United States.


How to Enter

The Mead Crafters Competition is open to all active meaderies and breweries operating within the United States that commercially produce meads in the following categories: bracket/braggot, cyser, dessert mead, other fruit/vegetable melomel, metheglin, pyment, session mead, specialty (open category), traditional and varietal. Multiple entries per category will be accepted, but each mead may only be submitted once. Meaderies will be limited to 3 entries.

Registration for the competition is free. Each meadery and/or brewery may submit multiple entries per category into the competition as long as the styles are within our guidelines. The 2024 Mead Crafters Competition will be limited to 300 entries. All applicants must complete the online registration form to be considered registered for the competition.


Judging

The 2024 Mead Crafters Competition will take place in St. Louis, Missouri on Tuesday, August 13 - Wednesday, August 14. The judging will be closed to the public.

The Mead Crafters Competition medals will be awarded on a merit basis by a majority vote. Judges are asked to evaluate the meads in silence until everyone on the panel has finished their evaluation. A moderator records the judges' votes.

Meads are presented to judges in a blind tasting format. Judging is absolutely anonymous; no mead bottles are visible to the judges at any time until the competition is over. Judging is not based on personal preference, but by product quality.

The judges' decision is final and awards will not be changed after the judging is finished.

  • Session / Draft Meads: This category will be judged based on established BJCP guidelines. One gold, silver and bronze medal will be given out per category.
  • All Other Meads: These categories will be judged like a traditional wine competition with a panel of sommeliers and mead judges analyzing a flight of up to 10 meads at a time and blindly judging the meads based solely on their quality, and not in comparison to other meads in the category. Under this process, multiple gold, silver and bronze medals may be awarded.

All entries will receive judges' notes and all winners will receive a physical medal and a digital seal for use on packaging and promotional materials.

All entries will be judged for the design and packaging awards. There is no additional registration required. 


Shipping

Package your meads to ensure they won’t break during transit. The National Honey Board is not responsible for broken shipments, however we will contact the meadery and/or brewery if broken bottles are received. If meaderies and/or breweries wish, they can include cold packs in their shipments.

Meads sent in coolers or other special containers will not be returned, and any unused meads will not be sent back to the applicant after the competition.

Please consider the environment before shipping your entries. We encourage all meaderies and/or breweries to use recyclable packaging and materials when possible. 

  • Shipping close date: Friday, July 26.
  • Shipping address: National Honey Board 8 East Main Street Mascoutah, IL 62258.
  • All entrants must submit at least two 750ml bottles, or the equivalent of, per entry.
  • Shipments must include a copy of the registration email confirmation.
  • Each entrant is responsible for shipping costs.
  • Please note that your shipment must arrive before the final shipping date for the competition organizers to ensure they are judged. Late entries are subject to not being judged.

Categories

Bracket or Braggot

Honeywine made with malt, must be fermented from at least 20% honey.

Cyser

Honeywine made with apple cider, apple juice or apples.

Dessert Mead

Honeywine win an ABV of 14% alcohol or over. This category may also include any ingredients from other categories.

  • Dessert Mead – Semi-Sweet
  • Dessert Mead – Sweet
Other Fruit/Vegetable Melomel

This is an open category for all other melomels. (Meads made with grapes or grape juices should be entered in Category: Pyment)

  • Other Fruit/Vegetable Melomel – Dry
  • Other Fruit/Vegetable Melomel – Semi-Sweet
  • Other Fruit/Vegetable Melomel – Sweet
Metheglin

Honeywine made with any herbs or spices. T’ej should be entered in this category.

  • Metheglin – Dry
  • Metheglin – Semi-Sweet
  • Metheglin – Sweet
Pyment

Honeywine made with grapes/grape juice/grape concentrate.

Session Mead

Honeywine produced with an ABV of 7.5% alcohol or below. This category may include any ingredients from other categories.

  • Session Mead – Dry
  • Session Mead – Semi-Sweet
  • Session Mead – Sweet
Specialty (Open Category)

This open category is for Honeywine that does not fit into any other category. This is also the proper category for fruit/vegetable with spice/herb mead entries (Methomel, Melometh).

  • Special (Open Category) – Dry
  • Special (Open Category) – Semi-Sweet
  • Special (Open Category) – Sweet
Traditional

Honeywine from a mixed variety of honeys, no fruits, herbs or spices added.

  • Traditional – Dry
  • Traditional – Semi-Sweet
  • Traditional – Sweet
Varietal

Honeywine made from single-bloom or variety of honey; no fruits, herbs, spices or other major flavor ingredients.

  • Varietal – Dry
  • Varietal – Semi-Sweet
  • Varietal – Sweet


*The National Honey Board reserves the right to add additional categories if sufficient numbers of meads in a particular style cause the organizers to deem it necessary.


*Categories may be combined if there are not enough entries to judge in that category. In the event of combined categories, judges will be advised of the original category and instructed to judge the entry according to the original category.

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