View Full Version : IMA and Homemeadmakers

Dan McFeeley
01-26-2005, 12:58 PM
We're moving along by fits and starts. Lots of work to do!

A suggestion I can make for further involvement of homemeadmakers -- set your calendars for the next International Meadfest and give serious consideration (if you have prior experience) to serving as a judge for the competition judging. Also, take a look at any proposed meetings and be there to lend your opinion!

It's always hard to find well qualified judges. If the competition at the annual International Meadfest (which will become the annual meeting of the IMA) is expanded to include both home and commercial meadmakers at the next meeting, we're going to need lots of judges! Judges who know mead and can give a well qualified opinion.

Myself, I was asked to be a judge at the 2004 meadfest but turned it down, with reluctance. I'm more of a bibliophile than a good judge of mead, and don't trust my palate sufficiently to serve as a judge in competition. Plus, I roomed with Ken Schramm at the meadfest -- both an educational and intimidating experience when it comes to learning about the proper evaluation of a good mead. I'm not ready to be a judge, but if you are, step up!

01-26-2005, 01:22 PM
Glad to hear that the IMA/MeadFest is considering a homebrew competition as well!

One question I have is, what makes one a mead judge? What qualifies someone?

I hear time and time again...'looking for experienced judges'. How does one become experienced? I have yet to hear anyone looking for inexperienced judges.

I assume that experience isn't only tied to judging. Someone who has tasted many meads, made many meads, etc. is experienced, possibly enough to even qualify as a judge.

How does one go about convincing an entity like the MeadFest that you are qualified? Somehow 'I have never judged meads before but I have had a bottle of Chaucers and made a gallon of Joe's Acient Orange.' isn't going to cut it.

I am in no way ready to be a judge. I am mostly curious as this is something I would like to do one day and I am trying to figure out what can/should be done to meet that aim.

01-26-2005, 02:06 PM
::evil laughter:: We're already figuring there will *be* a homebrew mead competition at the Fest. What we're going to need is this: a group of people willing to serve on the hobbyist committee of the IMA (which I'm hoping will be real this week). Their first task would be to organize the competition, set up judging, put together the entrance requirements, style info, put together volunteer lists to staff it, etc.

And the people deciding whose qualified will be that group, the Hobbyists' Committee. As far as how to choose, we've a number of people like Ken Schramm and Ray Daniels who *do* know how to choose judges, and I'm sure would be willing to give some advice (though I think they want to not be in charge). Also, we can talk to people who run other competitions, like Meadlennium, etc. and see how they choose their judges.

As far as being qualified, I was selected to judge at the Meadfest. I'm not a pro, just another one of us. But I learned a *lot* about how to do it from the folks who know, and the next time I'm asked to judge, I'm going in with experience. And the next time, I'll have more. Meanwhile, every mead I taste gets analyzed, so I can train my palate, according to what I learned from pros like Ken Schramm, Ray Daniels, and a whole lot of other folks.

Y'all can do this. Its an opportunity that I think will be wonderful, for the MeadFest, the IMA, and for us. Personally, I'm getting my batches started now. I intend to enter the durn thing!

If people are interested in being on the committee, let me know. Now, you have to be serious, this isn't going to be easy. It will be work, and it will require that you be committed to spending the time to see that things get done. If you just want to play, don't volunteer. But if you seriously want to spend some time, then now is your chance.


01-26-2005, 02:21 PM
I would love to volunteer, but can't seriously say I'll have the time to do the work necessary and ultimately be there to see the final product of the venture. I can volunteer to help where I can, though, so, IMA homebrew committee, feel free to ask of me as a resource and I will do my best although sometimes I may have to say no as other pressing responsibilities take precedence.

However, I'm a member of the Central Florida HomeBrewers club and they are the sponsors and hosts of the Meadlenium. I can possibly field questions to the club as to how they choose mead tasting judges and get guidelines from them for the competition. I will be at the Meadlenium competition and can ask questions, etc, should you wish. That is this encroaching Saturday (1/29/2005).

01-26-2005, 05:46 PM
Count me in. I'll be happy to do whatever I can do to help/organize the effort. Let me know what you all need and I'll pitch in wherever necessary.



02-11-2005, 02:00 PM
More than happy to help out in whatever way I can. Whether it is setting up tables and chairs, cleaning the glasses, or whatever else you might need help with. I'm sure you can find something for me to do to help! ;D

05-25-2005, 11:01 AM
I would be interested in helping out as well. Last year's meadfest was a blast, and I doubt I will ever miss one in the future. I am interested in judging, but if there realy is going to be a homebrew competition, I will likely want to enter it. I assume that would disqualify me as a suitable judge. Am I correct?

Dan McFeeley
05-25-2005, 12:07 PM
I would be interested in helping out as well. Last year's meadfest was a blast, and I doubt I will ever miss one in the future. I am interested in judging, but if there realy is going to be a homebrew competition, I will likely want to enter it. I assume that would disqualify me as a suitable judge. Am I correct?

Probably not -- you could enter the amateur competition but judge the competition for the commercial producers. Oskaar can give you more details on this.

David Baldwin
05-25-2005, 12:19 PM
Meadfest.com has a place on the web page where you can contact the volunteer coordinator.

Now that the dates have been posted, I can start planning my travel etc.

Hope to see lots of familiar avatars there. We should all have name tags with our avatar, and screen names!

David Baldwin

05-25-2005, 12:51 PM
We're still working out the details with the IMA as far as the competition for home meadmakers/hobbyists. As soon as we have a working model with some guidlines in place I'll post in the IMA Forums and here at gotmead.com.

What kind of judging experience do you have Greenblood?


05-25-2005, 02:25 PM
I have never judged a brewing competition of any kind. One must start somewhere. I will admit that I have tried very few home crafted meads other than my own, but I make it a point to order almost every commercial mead I can get my hands on. I consider my nose and palate to be fairly well developed, and I make it a point to analyze most everything I drink. I am not quoting appalachians blindfolded or anything, but I can certainly pick out most honey varietals, and clearly describe a wine/mead's nose. I understand that if successful this competition will likely become THE home crafted mead competition, and you may want judges with prior judging experience. If that is the case, please let me know if there is any other way I might be able to help presently or in the future. I am willing to make time for this, and would happily help with organization, documentation or whatever is needed.