9-15-20 Tonight on Gotmead Live at 9PM ET, we’re off to Florida to talk with some Sunshine State meadmakers. We have Brian Wing, co-owner/founder at Green Bench Mead & Cider, Cody Lenz, who is working on opening his own meadery, Three Hands Mead Company, and Joe Leigh, currently working on opening Zymarium Meadery. The Florida mead scene is hopping!

Joe Leigh got addicted to mead back in 2014 after Schramms Black Agnes was opened at a rare beer share…that quickly turned into spending the next few years trading for all the “best” meads. He finally made his first real mead in the summer of 2017 and fell in love with the science of it. A year later he started entering competitions and won enough medals that he made the 2018 AMMA Top 10 Mead Makers list. He continued the momentum by becoming a certified BJCP Mead Judge, bringing home 3 Mazer Cups, and making the AMMA Top 10 Mead Makers list again in 2019! The beginning of 2020 was filled with visiting his favorite meaderies before everything got shut down, though this did lead to UC Davis Mead 201 going online, allowing him to take it!

He currently spends all his free time making mead and working on opening Zymarium Meadery, in Orlando FL.

An avid home brewing competitor since 2010, Brian Wing has won numerous awards such as a gold medal in the Masters Championship of Amateur Brewing in 2011, Best in Show Mead & Cider in 2013’s Best Florida Beer Championship, and a share of the title of Best Florida Homebrewer for 2014. Transitioning to the professional scene, Brian split his time between brewing beer for Tampa Bay Brewing Company in Ybor City and making mead and cider for Southern Brewing and Winemaking in Tampa; where he won several professional awards for his recipes and where he worked with (and consumed many bottles of French Cider with) Green Bench Head Brewer/Co-Owner, Khris Johnson. Brian brings respect for the classic cider and mead making traditions, along with a desire to experiment with fresh local ingredients and new methods to create a novel take on mankind’s oldest beverages.

Cody Lenz has been making mead for about 7 years now. He started with the ever so famous JAOM (Joe’s Ancient Orange Mead). He expanded his mead making skills by taking mead making classes led by Jared Gilbert at Cigar City Cider & Mead, which eventually led to a part time job there helping out with production and teaching the classes that helped him learn. This was instrumental in his mead making development, having a resource like Jared at his disposal played an important role in improving his meads. He’s also been a part of the Tampa Bay Area Mead Makers group since it’s inception almost 3 years ago, being surrounded by a talented group of mead makers, and having quarterly competitions, has also helped him continue to push the quality of his meads.

Late last year Cody and his wife decided to take this hobby and make a job out of it. They found a space in Plant City, FL located in the historic downtown district and are currently working on the buildout for the tasting room and production facility for Three Hands Mead Company. They had grand plans to be open before the summer, but COVID hit and now they’re hoping to be open before the end of the year.

We’ll talk mead, meadmaking in Florida and the travails of opening a mead business in ‘normal’ times and during COVID.

Come on in and have a listen!

Join us on the live chat and don’t be afraid to call in if you want to!


This player will show the most recent show, and when we’re live, will play the live feed. If you are calling in, please turn off the player sound, so we don’t get feedback.[break] [break]Click here to see a playable list of all our episodes!


If you want to ask your mead making questions, you can call us at 803-443-MEAD (6323) or send us a question via email, or via Twitter @GotmeadNow and we’ll tackle it online! 9PM EDT/6PM PDT Join us on live chat during the show 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.


Coming up:
  • September 22 – Keith Seiz and Alison Wuebbels, National Honey Board
Show links and notes
Upcoming Events
  • Sept 17-19 – Valkyries Horn Mead Competiton – registration until Aug 22.
    The one and only KEN SCHRAMM will judge the GOLD medal winners from the Valkyries Horn Mead Competition to determine the Best Of Show!
    He’s consented to do a virtual tour of his meadery, film his commentary for the top 5 meads, provide a Q&A session after the awards ceremony, AND do a virtual tasting walkthrough of ‘The Statement’ (you might want to order one to follow along)!
    Join them at 7pm on Saturday September 19th for the awards ceremony to see the BOS mead revealed by Ken.
    Submit your questions to info@valkyrieshorn.com and see if Ken will answer your questions.
  • Sept 18 – Honnibrook Craft Meadery, Castle Rock, CO – Live Music – Josh Blackburn
  • Sept 19 – Viking Alchemist Meadery, Marietta, GA – Ax Throwing and Food Truck
  • Sept 20 – Trazo Meadery, Clarksville, TN – Brunch at the Meadery!
  • September 26-October 1 – Mazer Cup International Competition
  • October 1 – Valhalla – The Meading of Life Mead Competition – deadline for entries is 9-19, judging starts 10-1
  • October 10 – Wyrd Leather and Mead, Milwaukie, OR – Mead Hall Soft Opening
  • You can buy mead online at https://shopmeads.com

Got an event you’d like us to mention on GotMead Live? Send us an email at gotmeadlive@gotmead.com and tell us about it!

Vicky Rowe
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