Wednesday, March 14

We have included a menu listing the items from the 2018 MeadCon for your Convenience.

2018 MeadCon Tuesday March 13 Wednesday March 14 Thursday March 15

Daily Program-at-a-Glance

Time Event Location
7:30 am – 3:00 pm Registration Centennial Foyer
8:30 am – 5:00 pm Exhibitors Centennial Foyer
Morning 8:30 am – 12:30 pm
8:30 am – 9:30 am Keynote: Dr. Patrick McGovern
Ancient Brews Rediscovered and Re-Created
Centennial E and F
9:30 am – 10:00 am Coffee break and trade show Centennial Foyer
10:00 am – 11:00 am Pairing Mead and Food
Chrissie Manion Zarpoor
Centennial E
10:00 am – 11:00 am How to Work with the TTB
Greg Heller-LaBelle
Centennial F
11:00 am – 12:00 pm How to Become a Beekeeper
Tom Repas
Centennial E
11:00 am – 12:00 pm Conducting Bench Trials
Eric Lowe
Centennial F
12:00 pm – 1:00 pm Lunch on your own
Afternoon 1:00 pm – 7:00 pm
1:00 pm – 2:00 pm Mead Recipe Creation
Robin Kosoris
Centennial E
1:00 pm – 2:00 pm

Mead Cocktails: You Won’t Believe How Good They Are
Fred Minnick

Centennial F
2:00 pm – 2:30 pm Refreshment Break and Trade Show Centennial Foyer
2:30 pm – 3:30 pm Making Balanced Mead
Mike Manning
Centennial E
2:30 pm – 3:30 pm Solo-preneur: Exploring the Pros and Cons of going it alone (and how to get the right help when you need it)
Diane Currier
Centennial F
3:30 pm – 4:00 pm Refreshment Break and Trade Show Centennial Foyer
4:00 pm – 5:00 pm Finings and Related Additions
Tom Repas
Centennial E
4:00 pm – 5:00 pm AMMA Grant Sour Mead Tasting and Feedback Session
Carolyn Peepall
Centennial F
Evening 6:00 pm – 10:00 pm
 7:00 pm – 9:pm Evening Reception and Mead Tasting
Appetizers and Mead available – ticket required
Private Dining Room

Wednesday, March 14

7:30 am – 3:00 pm Registration Centennial Foyer


Keynote: Dr. Patrick McGovern
Ancient Brews Rediscovered and Re-Created

8:30 am – 9:30 am Both Tracks Centennial E and F

Patrick McGovern takes us on a fascinating journey through time to the dawn of brewing when our ancestors might well have made a Palaeo-brew of wild fruits, honey, cereals, and botanicals.  Early beverage-makers must have marveled at the magical process of fermentation.  Their amazement grew as they drank the mind-altering drinks, which were to become the medicines, religious symbols, and social lubricants of later cultures.

McGovern recounts how the re-created Ancient Ales and Spirits of Dogfish Head Brewery came about as he circles the globe—to China, Turkey, Egypt, Italy, Scandinavia, Honduras, Peru, and Mexico.  He interweaves archaeology and science, and tells the stories and struggles in making the most authentic versions of these liquid time capsules as possible.  Accompanying homebrew interpretations–brimming with unusual spicy, fruity, and malty aromas and tastes–and matching meal recipes help bring the past alive, as our senses and imaginations travel “Back to the Future.”

9:30 am – 10:00 pm Coffee Break Centennial Foyer

Pairing Mead and Food

Presenter: Chrissie Manion Zarpoor, Author of “The Art of Mead Tasting and Food Pairing”

10:00 am – 11:00 pm Home Track Centennial E

We all know dry meads pair with chicken and seafood, and sweet meads are great with dessert, but what about Impact, Mirror and Amplify, Contrast, Spicy foods, Capsumels, Oak, and Ethnic foods? In this presentation, Chrissie builds on her book, and challenges you to master mead pairings as a key technical and marketing skill for your business. Connect with your customers in the tasting room and your social meadia over the foods they cook at home, and they’ll drink your mead more often. Know the ethnic restaurants and foods most popular in your market and be sure to offer meads compatible with those foods. Research restaurant menus before pitching to the chef and the somm. Dare to pitch to America’s best national chains. Work with your commercial accounts to design custom products and labels for their businesses. Track wine, beer, cider, and soft drink trends to understand how they may apply to the mead industry. And keep asking everywhere you go, “May I see the mead list?”

How to Work With the TTB

Presenter: Greg Heller-LaBelle, The Colony Meadery

10:00 am – 11:00 am Pro Track Centennial F

A wide-ranging talk on how to successfully interact with the TTB, featuring everything from formulas to labels, with a robust time for Q&A.


How to Become a Beekeeper

Presenter: Tom Repas, Canyon Rim Honey Bees

11:00 am – 12:00 pm Home Track Centennial E

As mead makers it is only natural for us to be interested in honey bees. For some of us the natural next step is to become a beekeeper and get some bees of our own. In this seminar I will review questions to consider before deciding whether or not you should become a beekeeper; and also how and where you can learn more. (This is seminar will be directed towards those who are thinking of becoming a beekeeper but who do not yet have bees).


Conducting Bench Trials

Presenter: Eric Lowe, Meridian Hive Meadery

11:00 am – 12:00 pm Pro Track Centennial F

My experience as a National ranked BJCP beer and Certified Mead judge has taught me that the vast majority of meads out there, whether pro or commercial, would benefit from the judicious addition of acid, tannin, and/or back-sweetening. I will present my proven methodology for carrying out bench trials which we use at Meridian Hive to fine tune all of our recipes. These techniques have been shared with several local mead makers who took their meads from low-mid 30’s to winning best of show when applied to their recipes.


12:00 pm – 1:00 pm Lunch on your own


Mead Recipe Creation

Presenter: Robin Kosoris, Viking Alchemist Meadery

1:00 pm – 2:00 pm Home Track Centennial E

This is inspired by a comment on FB by Carvin Wilson. He mentioned the difficulty and hard work of creating recipes. I think it would be useful to have Carvin or other experienced mead makers talk about how they go about creating new recipes. Flavor profile ideas, deciding on ingredients, how/where to find info on ingredients that go together (potentially, at least), the process of development and experimentation, etc.


Mead Cocktails: You Won’t Believe How Good They Are

Fred Minnick, author of “Mead: The Libations, Legends, and Lore of History’s Oldest Drink”

1:00 pm – 2:00 pm Pro Track Centennial F

Yeah, yeah, I know, mead cocktailing isn’t exactly a popular subject amongst mead makers. After all, you put all that time and effort into crafting your preferred flavors and the perfect honey wine. But just hear me out. Don’t go hitting the delete button just yet. Bartenders love mead. They love its versatility, flexibility and wide range of styles, from the fruit forward styles to the spicy meads. All across the world, mead cocktails are appearing on menus, and it’s catching steam. I believe mead deserves cocktail placement alongside Vermouth and Amaro. In this seminar, I’ll discuss the history of mixing with mead, why it’s popular now, how it’s being used and share some great recipes that can be used at home. I have a feeling mead makers may have a different perspective after hearing this seminar. About me I’m a drinks writer and have written seven books. My latest is on Mead and comes out in June. I have written for USA Today, New York Times, Whisky Advocate, Parade Magazine and many others.


2:00 pm – 2:30 pm Refreshment Break and Trade Show Centennial Foyer


Making Balanced Mead

Presenter: Mike Manning, The Colony Meadery

2:30 pm – 3:30 pm Home Track Centennial E

This seminar is intended to help mead makers create balanced meads, regardless of the strength or sweetness of the mead. It will discuss things such as acidity, actual sweetness vs. perceived sweetness, balancing alcohol with the sweetness and boldness of the flavor among other things. This will also include some in depth discussion on creating session meads, both carbonated and still.


Solo-preneur: Exploring the Pros and Cons of going it alone (and how to get the right help when you need it)

Presenter: Diane Currier, Honeygirl Meadery

2:30 pm – 3:30 pm Pro Track Centennial F

There are many ways to get your Meadery started – Honeygirl Meadery started with a team of one and slowly grew to employ two full time and nine part-time employees. Learn about the positives and the pitfalls of solo entrepreneurship; the power of the universal we; and how we built our business with lessons learned over our first three years of operation. We’ll talk about things you can do yourself and suggestions for getting help, for all phases from business planning to start-up, including licensing, marketing and growth.


 3:30 pm – 4:00 pm Refreshment Break and Trade Show Centennial E


Finings and Related Additions

Presenter: Tom Repas, Canyon Rim Honey Bees

4:00 pm – 5:00 pm Home Track Centennial E

Tom will review the various options available in regards to fining and clarification of mead (filtration will not be discussed). He will review the use of bentonite, gelatin, casein, PVPP, chitosan, silicasol/kieselsol and Sparkalloid. He will also review some of the other additions used for clarification (such as pectic enzymes & other enzymes), additions for adjusting bitterness & astringency, and for improving mouth feel (tannins etc). (This presentation will be directed towards beginning & advanced home mead makers as well as meaderies in planning & commercial meaderies interested in learning more about finings and related additions)


AMMA Grant: Sour Mead Tasting and Feedback Session

Presenter: Carolyn Peepall

4:00 pm – 5:00 apm Home Track Centennial F

This session provides attendees the opportunity to taste, and provide feedback on, traditional meads made with 13 different bacteria free, lactic acid producing, sour yeast strains.

These 13 meads are products of the 2017 AMMA Grant and this session will provide vital feedback to complete the Sour Mead Project. A short presentation will be done at the beginning of the session explain the background and details of the AMMA Sour Mead project. The objective of this session is to allow attendees, as much time as possible to taste and document their feedback. Tasting sheets, as well as information on each mead, will be provided.

Copyright 2018-2019 American Mead Makers Association.