2-27-18 Tonight we’re mixing it up a bit, with a regular guest, and an AMMA Mead Conference Speaker. Julie Lawson and Kristen England will be here with the BJCP, and Adam Crockett, owner of Haymaker Meadery, talking about mead and oak.

Kristen is a medical doctor. And spent some time overseas pursuing his studies, where he discovered awesome beer. Upon returning to the U.S., England began homebrewing. He passionately pursued his hobby even as he attended graduate school at the University of Minnesota. “I got into homebrewing big time,” he says. “I brewed thousands of batches of beer. Every day, even after work, I was brewing beer, no matter what.”

In addition to brewing, he continued researching his new craft. He’d drive or fly all over just to taste different beer and get as much information as he could. “People love throwing the word ‘passion’ around, but they don’t understand what it means,” he says. “It’s doing as much as you possibly can when you’re not on the clock to do it. I’ve always been someone who wants to learn as much as he can about everything.”

In his pursuit to know more, England attended a class to become a beer judge through the Beer Judging Certification Program. He was underwhelmed by the experience and particularly frustrated that there were no educational guidelines for instructors. Not one to sit on the sidelines, he took action. “I used to write grants all the time for grad school, so I wrote up a 20-page thing and submitted it,” he says. “I didn’t ask permission, I just thought, ‘We need this. I will do it.’”

That’s how his eight-year tenure as the BJCP’s educational director started. From 2004 to 2012, he built the BJCP educational program with the help of two assistants, became a Grand Master Judge, taught classes, and helped rewrite the BJCP style guidelines.He is now the Education and Training Liaison for the BJCP.

Julie has been making beer, wine, mead and cider since 2008. Like many others, she started Home brewing after receiving a department store home brew kit (which was never actually used). She joined a local club but still wanted to learn so much more about the whole process, so when classes for the Beer Judge Certification Program were being offered she attended, took the exam and have been a judge since January 2009. In 2013 she completed a Mead training course and took/passed the exam She currently is National Ranked BJCP with a Mead Endorsement. She’s very interested in the education aspect home brewing and judging. Not everyone has have local clubs or seasoned brewers they can reach out to for assist or questions.

She would like to see more reliable source of education that is easily accessible to learners at all levels. She has assisted with BJCP and Mead Judging classes in Milwaukee and am currently facilitating a 7 part series in Oshkosh, WI. And Julie is member of the BJCP staff serving as Assistant Education Director under the Education and Training Directorate. Julie lives in Fond du Lac Wisconsin and her primary club is Milwaukee Beer Barons.

Our second guest tonight is Adam Crockett, owner of Haymaker Meadery. Adam has been working in the barrel industry for the last 4 years selling barrels to breweries, wineries, and meaderies all over the US and Canada. He has worked with large breweries like Allagash and Jolly Pumpkin and small local breweries in every corner. He has worked directly with distilleries and wineries to provide the best barrels available. He has helped many breweries build up their barrel program and has helped a number of breweries win GABF medals because of his barrel knowledge.

He hopes to share his knowledge that he has collected and help meaderies take the step into barrel aging meads. He also owns Haymaker Meadery who does a number of barrel aged meads. In this talk we will cover barrels, barrel alternatives, and care for your vessels.

Get your AMMA tickets at amma.brownpapertickets.com

If you want us to tackle your mead making questions, you can send us a question and we’ll tackle it online!

Bring your questions and your mead, and let’s talk mead! You can call us at 803-443-MEAD (6323), or Skype us at meadwench (please friend me first and say you’re a listener, I get tons of Skype spam), or tweet to @gotmeadnow.

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Vicky Rowe
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