Manchester, NH o April 30, 2009 – On Saturday, April 25th, Brew Free or Die (BFD) held the first "Mead Free or Die" homebrew mead competition in Manchester, N.H.  Both Beer Judge Certification Program (BJCP) and American Homebrewers Association (AHA) sanctioned this event. 

Black Cat Honey of Winchester, N.H. donated 660 pounds of honey to be awarded to the Homebrew Club of the Year.    Harold's Square of Londonderry NH provided breakfast and lunch.  For a complete list of sponsors, please visit our website:  A staff of thirty four judges, stewards and volunteers donated their time to make this competition a huge success.

Winners were selected from 168 entries of homebrewed mead from 19 states across the country. 


DRY MEAD – 1st Francois Espourteille's Heather, 2nd Geoffrey McNally's Arizona Desert Wildflower Honey, 3rd  Jim Prucha's Tupelo, Honorable Mention to Jim Prucha's Orange Blossom.

SEMI-SWEET MEAD – 1st Jeffrey Swearengin's Wewahitchka Special Reserve, 2nd Philip Wilcox's Kaelie's Wedding, 3rd Francois Espourteille's Cherry Blossom.

SWEET MEAD – 1st Alex Daigrepont's Texas Wildfire, 2nd Paul Popielarz's Fufniak 3P, 3rd Jeffrey Swearengin's Nakajima Kikka

CYSER – 1st Eric Sprague's 2007 Cyser, 2nd Randall deBeauclair's Fall Cyser, 3rd Michael Fairbrother's Cyser, Honorable Mention to Peter Girouard's Cyser.

PYMENT – 1st Michael Fairbrother's Pyment, 2nd Jeffrey Swearengin's Dionysus Pyment, 3rd Michael Fairbrother's 2006 Semi-Dry Pyment.

OTHER FRUIT MELOMEL – 1st Jeffrey Swearengin's Pineapple Pleasure, 2nd Matthew Goebel's Cherry Raspberry, 3rd Michael Fairbrother's Super Berry, Honorable Mention to Curt & Kathy Stock's Ravinous Rhubarb.

METHEGLIN – 1st Linda Trombley's Mardi Gras, 2nd Michael Fairbrother's Cayenne, 3rd Michael Fairbrother's Saigon Cinnamon.

BRAGGOT – 1st Bill Herlicka's Braggot, 2nd Michael Fairbrother's Russian Imperial w/Cherry, 3rd Philip Wilcox's Braveheart's Balmoral.

OPEN – 1st Steve Gravel's Group Brew Bourbon Barrel Braggot, 2nd Yancy Bodenstein's Tir-na-nog, 3rd Lyn Howard's Peaches & Cream.

BEST OF SHOW – Linda Trombley from North Berwick, ME and Southern Maine Homebrewers Club.


Brew Free or Die (BFD) is New Hampshire's first, and most active, homebrew club. BFD was started in January of 1991 by several home brewers, intent on establishing a homebrew club in New Hampshire to 'host' the American Homebrewers Association conference held in June of that year in Manchester. BFD's membership is currently around 70 members, representing all levels of experience and expertise.

Michael Fairbrother