Continuing Mead Making

Event Date

Honey and Pollination Center
Learn more in-depth about the science of mead, sensory analysis from mead makers and UC Davis Viticulture & Enology professors

The mead industry is on the rise and currently the fastest growing segment on the market. Using two to three meaderies, we will focus on case studies in each of our topic areas. This course is designed for the intermediate to professional level mead-maker who wants to take their art to the next level by learning more in-depth into the science of mead. From Monday, February 8, 2016 - Thursday, February 11, 2016, there will be a series of courses designed to help mead-makers start or expand their business.

Mon, February 8, 2016 - Tues, February 9, 2016: Continuing Mead Making: For Intermediate to Professional

Wed, February 10, 2016: Business of Mead Making

Thurs, February 11, 2016: Tour and Tasting at Rabbit's Foot Meadery, Sunnyvale, CA


It's finally LIVE! Watch our mead course promo video by Meadology!



Continuing Mead Making: For Intermediate to Professional

Date: Monday, February 8, 2016 - Tuesday, February 9, 2016


presentation attendees explanation

Tentative Agenda

Monday, February 8, 2016

8:00 - 9:00 am – Registration, Continental Breakfast

9:00 AM – Welcome and Introduction (Amina Harris)

9:15 AMSelecting Honey for Mead: A Nutritional Analysis and Tasting

Presenters: Dr. David Block, Professor and Chair, Department of Viticulture and Enology; Marvin Sands Endowed Chair in viticulture; Ernest Gallo Endowed Chair in Viticulture and Enology; Amina Harris, Director of the Honey and Pollination Center, Robert Mondavi Institute; Ayca Ozcan and Megan Woo, Masters Candidates in Food Science and Technology

10:15 AMSelecting Yeast for a Successful Fermentation

Session I: Yeast Microbiology and the Choice of Commercial Yeast

Presenter: Shea Comfort, The Yeast Whisperer; Consultant and Winemaker, Walnut Creek CA

11:00 AM - BREAK

Session II: Fermentation Kinetics: Factors that Affect the Speed of Fermentation

Presenter: Chik Brenneman, Winemaker, Department of Viticulture and Enology, Melissa Pellini, Assistant Winemaker, Department of Viticulture and Enology

One Mead – Six Yeasts: A Mead Tasting

Chik Brenneman will lead this unique tasting exploring how different yeasts effect the resulting mead.

12:30 PM – LUNCH - Optional Tour of the Leed Platinum Teaching and Research Winery

1:45 PMAnalyzing the Chemical and Sensory Properties of Mead

Session I: Biochemistry of Honey Flavor

Presenter: Alyson Mitchell, Co-Director of the Food Safety and Measurement Facility Department of Food Science & Technology

Session II: In Process Testing and Measurements for a Successful Product

Presenter: Chik Brenneman

2:15 PM - BREAK

2:30 PM - Session III: Sensory Evaluation of Beverages During Production:

How is it done and what problems arise when it is done incorrectly?

Presenter: Hildegard Heymann, Distinguished Professor of Sensory Science, Ray Rossi Chair of Viticulture and Enology, Department of Viticulture and Enology

Mead Tasting

Leaders: Peter Bakulic, Ken Schramm, Mike Faul

Dinner on Your Own

Continue the Experience! Monday Evening from 7:45 PM - 10:00 PM in the Lounge at the Hallmark Inn in Downtown Davis

A chance to share meads and ideas with hobbyists and professional mead makers. Bring your mead to share, taste and get feedback in the relaxed atmosphere at the Hallmark Inn.


Tuesday, February 9, 2016

8:00 - 9:00 am – Continental Breakfast

9:00 AM Understanding Defects of Mead: A tasting of what can go wrong

Presenter: Lucy Joseph, Curator, Wine Microbe Collection, Department of Viticulture and Enology

Six meads with varying issues. The discussion will focus on multiple defects

10:15 AM – BREAK

10:30 AMThe Essence of Mead: A Series of Tastings and Evaluations

What is the range of mead and mead styles

Presenter: Ken Schramm, Owner and Head Meadmaker Schramm’s Mead, Ferndale, Mich.; Author,The Compleat MeadMaker

Noon - LUNCH

1:15 PM-A Update on Honey Bee Health and how it could affect the industry

Presenter: Elina Nino, Extension Apiculturist; Department of Entomology and Nematology

Room 1106, BWF Building

1:15 PM-B - Varietal tasting with discussion of judging from the view of the Mazer Cup and other awards

Presenters include: Ken Schramm, Mike Faul, Pete Bakulic

Room 1207: RMI South


2:45 PM Tour of Z Specialty Food, Woodland CA

Z Specialty Food offers over thirty varietal honeys from across the United States

On Site Varietal Honey Tasting: Presenter, Amina Harris

Buses leave at 2:45 PM and return to the Institute at 5:30 PM

Tours will be led by Ishai Zeldner and Josh Zeldner, the father and son team that run Z Specialty
Food. Ishai has been a beekeeper since the late 1960’s. He started Moon Shine Trading
Company (now Z Specialty Food) in 1979. Josh has been involved in the business since he was 4
years old when he helped his dad with local honey tastings. Z Specialty Food has won an
assortment of awards from the Specialty Food Association and the National Honey Board.

5:30 PM: Arrive at Robert Mondavi Institute

Dinner on Your Own


The Business of Mead Making



Date: Wednesday, February 10, 2016


Using two or three meaderies, we will focus on case studies in each of our topic areas. We are in discussion with several meaderies now and hope to have them finalized soon. Once that is done, each will be listed and described here. Topics that will be discussed follow.

Tentative Agenda

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

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

9:00 AMWelcome and Introduction(Amina Harris

9:10 AM – Presentation of our Case Study companies:

Casey and Eric Reeter: MeadWerks at Wilderbee Farm, Port Townsend, Washington

Ash Fishbein: Sap House Meadery, Ossippee, New Hampshire

9:15 AM – Sap House Meadery: A Case Study in Diversity

Presenter; Ash Fishbein: Sap House Meadery

10:00 AM - Branding and Marketing your Meadery

Presenter; Amy Hoopes, Chief Marketing Officer/EVP Global Sales, Wente Winery

11:00 AM - BREAK

11:15 AM – Creating a Business Model Canvas: Analyzing Needs for Your Meadery

Gerald Lundblad, Lecturer UC Davis and CSUS, owner of Lundblad Consulting

12:45 PM - LUNCH

1:45 – Retailers Panel Discussion

What am I looking for when I search for products to place in the store?

Darrell Corti, Corti Brothers Grocery, Sacramento

Julie Loke; Spirits Buyer, Davis Food Coop, Whole Foods, Nugget

Stephen Staples, Certified Cicerone and Wine Steward, Nugget Market, Woodland, CA

2:30 PM - Designing your Meadery for now and for the future

Case Study: A Startup Meadery tries to do it right the first time!

Casey and Eric Reeter: A short history and plan development of their new meadery

Presenter: Roger Boulton, Stephen Sinclair Scott Endowed Professor of Enology, Department of
Viticulture and Enology

3:45 PM - BREAK

4:00 PM - A Discussion with the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB)

Mari Kirane, Wine Technical Trade Advisor, TTB


Dinner on Your Own



Tour and Tasting at Rabbit's Foot Meadery

Date: Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Location: Rabbit's Foot Meadery, Sunnyvale, CA

Includes bus, breakfast, and boxed lunch


Tentative Agenda

Thursday, February 11, 2016

8:00 – 9:00 am Continental Breakfast

9:30 AMBoard buses for a trip to Rabbit’s Foot Meadery in Sunnyvale, CA

Tours will be led by Mike Faul, proprietor

Mike grew up in Ireland where he attended culinary school and was trained in classical
culinary arts. He changed careers in 1980 when he first came to the U.S. and spent six years
flying in the United States Navy and hunting Soviet submarines during the height of the Cold
War. He began making mead at home in 1989 after his wife Maria discovered mead on a
trip home to Ireland. They founded Rabbit’s Foot Meadery in 1995, which is now one of the
largest mead producers in America. Faul has written about mead and first published a guide
for home brewers in 1990. He has been featured in several news articles and on national
television and has been called the “Dean of the Mead Industry.” Rabbit’s Foot Meadery is
nationally recognized as a leader in the industry, producing over 25,000 gallons per year. It
continues to develop new and exciting beverages crafted from the finest American honey

Box lunches will be provided.

3:00 PM - Arrive at the Robert Mondavi institute

rabbits foot


Thank You to Our Sponsors!

colony house bear brewery intermiel moonlight meadery nectar creek rabbits foot meridian hive z specialty food st ambrose