- Author: Kathy Keatley Garvey
And now you have a chance not only to meet your (mead) maker but learn how to make a small batch of mead.
The UC Davis Honey and Pollination Center wants you to know that.
Amina Harris, executive director of the Honey and Pollination Center, has just announced plans for another "Beginner's Introduction to Mead Making," a short course set Nov. 13-14 in the Robert Mondavi Institute for Wine and Food Science, UC Davis campus. Registration is now underway for the course, limited to 75.
From the wine came the grape, from the mead came the honey...
Mead is a beverage rich in history. It dates back 8000 years, Harris says. "Brewers and winemakers know that in the world of alcoholic beverages the buzz is all about mead."
In small groups, participants will work in the university's LEED Platinum Winery to make small batches of mead under the supervision of Chik Brenneman, the winemaker for UC Davis; Mike Faul, proprietor of Rabbit's Foot Meadery in Sunnyvale, Calif.; Ken Schramm, author of The Compleat Meadmaker and owner of Schramm's Mead in Ferndale, Mich.; and Michael Fairbrother, Owner of Moonlight Meadery, based in Londonderry, N. Hamp.
Harris says the center has been working with mead makers from across the United States to offer annual courses that cater to both home crafters and commercial enterprises.
“This course--aimed at the beginner who wants to know more--is the first in a series being developed by faculty in the UC Davis Department of Viticulture and Enology and the Honey and Pollination Center,” Harris said. "We plan to offer an intermediate level course in spring of 2016, targeted to those who have recently started meaderies and those who have been making mead for several years.” The intermediate course will offer detailed information about fermentation and yeast selection, chemistry, ingredient selection, sensory expectations and working with the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau.
A the Nov. 13-14 short course, a program highlight will be the opportunity for participants "to meet and work with prominent mead makers and teachers in an intimate environment," Harris says. Additionally, attendees are encouraged to bring their home brews to share, taste and evaluate in an informal gathering at a local hotel on Friday evening. “It's a great way to get to know what's out there in the mead world. Two years ago, everyone was trying ‘Ghost Pepper Meads' to see who had the greatest punch.”
The center has been working with individual mead makers, the American Mead Makers Association, the Mazer Cup and GotMead.com for more than two years to meet the needs of both the craft and professional mead makers. To further this effort, the UC Davis Department of Viticulture and Enology and the Honey and Pollination Center have submitted a grant to the National Honey Board to investigate paths to a successful mead fermentation.
“With the growing interest in mead today, almost no useable research has been brought forward,” Harris says. “We hope to change that."
Information about registration: http://honey.ucdavis.edu/mead
Fees: $500 through Aug. 31 and $575 thereafter
Want more information about the short course? Contact Amina Harris at firstname.lastname@example.org