9-17-19 9PM EST: Tonight we’re talking with women who make mead. Award winning, bitching good meadmaking women. We’re talking with Traci Kuhfuss and Amy Olsen. If you’ve been paying attention, these ladies are tearing it up out there with their meads.
Traci Kuhfuss comes to us from Texas by way of Arizona and Hawaii. She’s been active as a homebrewer and mead maker for many years, participating in brew clubs and competitions in all the places she’s lived. Traci is a professional photographer and print designer who loves making mead.
Traci got into brewing – once upon a time, she was newly divorced and her friends were all getting married and having kids. She was bored with sitting at home with nothing to do. Her friends got her a home brewing kit that year for Christmas. She made her first beer that New Years Eve. She eventually joined a homebrew club and was introduced to mead. She started making mead then and winning more medals with mead than beer.
In 2006 her orange blossom special mead took BOS at the Great Arizona Homebrew competition. over all the other beers, ciders and mead.
Traci is running the Texas Mead Competition this year, and it looks like it’s going to be a great event.
Amy Olsen lives in the Detroit area. She’s a classically trained chef, and teaches culinary arts now. She’s obviously a big fan of food and flavor as a result.
Around 5 years ago, she was grabbing a beer at a local brewery, and ended up meeting Frank Retell, the mead maker at Kuhnhenn Brewing in an in-depth conversation about flavors. They hit it off, and Amy was on her way to be a mead maker. Frank helped her, and she even got to help make meads with him at Kuhnhenn.
Within a year she was makoing mead at home, and her family and friends loved it and encouraged her to keep it up. She made the next jump to competitions because she wanted to get some experienced feedback and constructive criticism. Her first comp was the Michigan Mead Cup in 2014. She got a gold medal and best of show her first time out with a Michigan wildflower mead with Medjool dates, black mission figs and sultanas, calling it ‘A Gift to the Khaleesi’.
She’s continued to make mead and enter competitions. She’s claimed a number of medals at comps around the country, and has 4 AHA National Home Brew Competition first round ribbons and 7 Mazer Cups, including 2 in the Digby category (that is historic recipes from Sir Kenelm Digby’s Closet Unlock’d, a special MCI category). She’s won BoS at the Great Northern Brew Ha Ha and BoS and Meadmaker’s Choice awards at Mid-Winter Homebrew comp.
Amy says that making mead has been a fabulous addition to her life. She’s been to 2 MeadCons, 3 Mazer Cup comps, taken classes at UC Davis, got elected to the AMMA Home Brew Committee, became a BJCP judge, joined the Michigan Mead Coalition and took a huge mead-centric trip this summer, getting to meet some pretty awesome folks and drink a lot of great mead.
Both Traci and Amy are looking forward to making even more and better meads as they continue to hone their craft.
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Show links and notes
- Evoak – Oak Solutions
- Black Swan Barrels (exotic woods)
- Ethiopian Spice Market (for gesho)
- Let There Be Melomels by Rob Ratliff
- The Big Book of Mead Recipes by Rob Ratliff
- Are You Afraid of the Rum: And Other Cocktails for 90’s Kids by Sam Slaughter
- Sept 18 – Monks Mead – Meet the Meadmaker at Savannah Bee Company
- Sept 18 – Hierophant Mead and Ethereal Mead – Save the Bees Fundraiser
- Sept 21 – Crafted Artisan Meadery – Canal Park Festival of Beers
- Sept 21 – Rebel Hive Meadery – West Reading Fall Festival
- Sept 21 – Royal Manor – Mead Festival
- Sept 22 – Recolte Meads – Kevin’s Song Fundraiser
- Sept 22 – Starrlight Mead – Mead Day Celebration and Fall Festival
- Sept 22 – Michigan Mead Cup – entries open
- Sept 26 – Golden Coast Mead – Monthly Meading and Homebrew Share
- Sept 27-28 Superstition Meadery – 2019 Darkness Day
- Sept 28 – Orpheus Meadfest – Tasting and Award Ceremony for Orpheus Cup Mead Competition
- Sept 28 – Texas Mead Cup entry deadline
- Oct 3 – Folklore Brewing – Pints and Paints – Dothan, AL
- Oct 5-5 and 12-13 – Stonekeep Meadery – Artisan Wine and Cheese pairing weekends
- Oct 6 – Starrlight Mead – 29th Annual A Tasteful Affair
- Oct 6 – Great Kiwi Mead Group – First ever New Zealand Mead Up at Remuera in Auckland – Contact Adam via the link here
- Oct 18 – Woodstone Creek Winery and Distillery – Friday Night Flight – Wine, Mead and Spirits
- Oct 19 – Texas Mead Fest
- Oct 19 – Starrlight Meadery – Beginning Home Mead Making Class
- Oct 26-27 Festina Lente – Hallow-Wine treats
Got an event you’d like us to mention on GotMead Live? Send us an email at email@example.com and tell us about it!
She is also an experienced marketing coach and consultant who has recently decided to focus her marketing expertise exclusively on the craft beverage market to help meaderies, cideries, breweries and distilleries expand their business and get more customers while doing what they love.