The Styles and Nuances of Mead

Nov 20, 2017
Learn more in-depth about the styles and nuances of mead at the University of California, Davis - Friday, February 9 - Saturday, February 10, 2018.

Mead is popular, and the industry is growing quickly. A new meadery is opening every three days here in the United States.The Honey and Pollination Center at the Robert Mondavi Institute, UC Davis is hosting ‘The Styles of Mead’, February 9 and 10, 2018. This unique program will feature keynote speaker, Chrissie Zaerpoor, meadmaker, organic farmer and author of ‘The Art of Mead Tasting & Food Pairing’. In addition to opening the event, Zaerpoor will be helping to develop each of the tastings that will take place over the next two days. A centerpiece of the program will be the Center’s annual FEAST: A Celebration of Mead and Honey on Friday evening.

The Styles and Nuances of Mead

Date: Friday, February 9, 2018 - Saturday, February 10, 2018

Early-bee: $775 ($825 after January 7, 2018)

**Discounts not applicable after January 7, 2018

Included in this course: Breakfast & lunch for both Friday and Saturday, a seat to the Feast: A Celebration of Mead and Honey ($150 value), two full days of mead exploration with multiple experts' knowledge in the differing styles of meads.


“As interest in mead grows in the country and the world,” says Amina Harris, director of the Honey and Pollination Center. “Sommeliers, restaurateurs, chefs, mixologists and authors will have to familiarize themselves with the nuances and styles of mead. Each will need to source wonderful meads to pair with their menus or from which to create creative cocktails,” she explains. This course will offer all of the participants the opportunity to delve deeply into mead and many of its variations.

Read the Press Release here>>



Friday, February 9, 2018


8:00am – 9:00 am           Registration and Continental Breakfast

9:00am – 9:15am            Welcome and Introduction

Amina Harris,  Director, Honey and Pollination Center

9:15am – 10:00am          Bringing Mead to the Table

Mead and its various styles have developed over the ages and across countries. Each style is unique and has its place on the menu.

Chrissie Zaerpoor, Meadmaker, Organic Farmer and author “The Art of Mead Tasting and Food Pairing”; Kookoolan Farms; Yamhill, Oregon.

10:00am – 11:00am        Understanding and Tasting the Honey Varietals in Mead

Amina Harris

11:00am -11:15am          BREAK

11:15am – 12:15pm        The History of Varietal Wines: A Lesson for the Future of Mead

Presenter TBD

12:15pm - 1:30pm          LUNCH

1:30pm - 2:30pm            Melomel: The Ultimate Balancing Act

Ken Schramm, Schramm’s Mead and Author; Ferndale, MI           

2:30 pm - 2:45 pm          BREAK

2:45pm – 3:45pm           Research Update: Melomels – Two recipes – Three yeasts – a lot of trials!

Chik Brenneman

3:45pm - 4:00pm            Wrap up with Amina Harris and Chrissie Zaerpoor

6:30pm                          Feast: A Celebration of Mead and Honey

Cocktails, hors d'oeuvres, 4-course dinner served with select meads

Robert Mondavi Institute, Sensory Building Foyer


Saturday, February 10, 2018


8:00am – 9:00am            Continental Breakfast

9:00am – 10:00am          Learning From the World of Marketing Varietal Wines

Amy Hoopes, President, Wente Winery Estates, Livermore, CA

10:00am-11:00am           Braggot

What makes good beer, great beer? Make it with honey. 

Mike Faul

11:00am - 11:15 am        BREAK

11:15am – 12:15p           Defining a Stylistic Category: Are there any rules?

Petar Bakulic, President, Mazer Cup International

12:15pm - 1:45pm          LUNCH

1:45pm - 2:45 pm            Metheglyn: A History with Spice and Herbs

Michelle and Jeremy Kyncl; Hierophant Meadery, Mead, WA     

2:45pm – 3:00pm           BREAK

3:00pm - 3:45 pm           Cross Pollinating a Market: From Wine and Beer, to Cider, Cyser and Mead

Sharon Gowan, owner of Gowan’s Heirloom Ciders and Apples and organizer of the California Cider Association

3:45pm – 4:15pm           The Future of Stylistic Meads

Amina Harris and Chrissie Zaerpoor

4:15pm                          Wrap up and Adjournment



Amina Harris

Director, Honey &  Pollination Center, Robert Mondavi Institute, UC Davis

Chrissie Zaerpoor

Meadmaker and author “The Art of Mead Tasting and Food Pairing”; Kookoolan Farms; Yamhill, Oregon

Phillip Lorenz

Co-owner, Nectar Creek, Corvallis, OR

Mike Faul

Owner, Rabbit's Foot Meadery, Sunnyvale, CA

Petar Bakulic

President, Mazer Cup International Mead Competition, Boulder, CO

Chik Brenneman

Winemaker and Manager, LEED Platinum Teaching and Research Winery, Department of Viticulture and Enology, UC Davis

David Block

Professor and Chair, Department of Viticulture and Enology, UC Davis

Ken Schramm

Author, The Compleat Meadmaker; Owner and Head Meadmaker, Schramm’s Mead, Ferndale, Michigan

Sharon Gowan

Co-Owner/Cidermaker, Gowan’s Estate Heirloom Cider, President, California Cider Association, Publisher/Marketer, Family Life Magazines

Amy Hoopes

President, Wente Family Estates, Livermore, CA

Jeremy & Michelle Kyncl

Owners, Hierophant Meadery, Mead, WA


The Feast: A Celebration of Mead and Honey

For the fifth consecutive year, the Honey and Pollination Center at the Robert Mondavi Institute will host "The Feast: A Celebration with Mead and Honey" on Friday, February 9, 2018 at the Robert Mondavi Institute on the UC Davis campus.

A pollinator-inspired menu will be paired with a selection of meads, and feature a variety of UC Davis products and campus-grown produce. The menu will feature mead pairings by Chrissie Manion Zaerpoor, meadmaker at Kookoolan Farms and author of The Art of Mead Tasting and Food Pairing. Join us for this elegant fundraiser and help support the Center’s mission of making UC Davis the world's leading authority on bee health, pollination and honey quality.

The Feast: A Celebration of Mead and Honey

Friday, February 9, 2018 from 6:30 p.m. - 9:00 p.m.

Robert Mondavi Institute, Sensory Building

 $150 per person

The Feast is hosted in conjunction with the Center’s Styles & Nuances of Mead Making short course, which takes place both Friday and Saturday. Registration for Styles & Nuances of Mead Making includes one ticket to attend the Feast.

Photos from our previous events











Events at the Center

The Honey and Pollination Center hosts several annual events including mead making short-courses, symposiums, public outreach events and fundraising dinners. Many of these are unique to the center, and to UC Davis. Mead-making short courses in a university environment have never been offered to hobbyists, professional mead makers, and the general public. The Bee Symposium, an annual event, brings together faculty from the esteemed UC Davis Department of Entomology and Nematology with bee researchers, experts and hobbyists from the United States and Canada. Click on the events below to learn more about each.


Upcoming Events at the Center


Other Campus Events



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