The Bright Side of the Mead Crafters Competition

Posted November 17, 2021 by Alyssa Stahr

Throughout the year, Brightly Creative gives our alcohol-fueled blood, sweat and tears to three National Honey Board competitions: beer, spirits and mead. Yes, they’re hard work. Yes, they take a ton of organizational and behind-the-scenes planning that really starts a year in advance. And yes, they are highly rewarding. We just finished our last competition of the year — Mead Crafters Competition — and I’m typing this breathing a satisfying sigh of accomplishment, in awe of the fun side of these events. 

Fun Fact No. 1: Learning Something New

As a writer, each day I learn something new, and in the case of our competitions, I definitely know more about mead than I did two years ago when we started this thing. From metheglin (a mead that contains spices) to methomel (a mead that contains fruit), the educational aspect of mead has grown throughout the community. And, it’s only just begun. The evolution and innovation in the mead industry is not unlike other food and beverage production — an growing space. 

Fun Fact No. 2: The Camaraderie

Part of my job at the competitions is to steward (serve the beer, spirit or mead). So, I got to chat with the judges and provide comedic relief during the two-day event. We had more than 380 entries; that’s a lot of mead, which can contribute to long days. I love joking around and chatting about what’s coming their way next. I also live in a different city than my colleagues, so it’s great to hang out with them and catch up on their lives.

Fun Fact No. 3: Expect the Unexpected

Sometimes in a competition, no matter how much planning goes into it, something probably will go as unplanned. The conversations about mead, last-minute meadery tours and an occasional spill (I did not miss my calling as a server) will happen. Those are where the memories are made (fermented if you will), and what I’ll remember most about our last competition of 2021. 

Special shoutout to all of the medalists in the third annual Mead Crafters Competition! The judges named three Best of Show medalists from South Carolina, Texas and California this year, showing that great mead definitely comes from all parts of the country — another positive aspect of this fun event.

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