Zen Bee Meadery’s Mara Ume Wins Best in Show at Mead Crafters Competition

LONGMONT, Colo. (October 8, 2020) - A mead inspired by Japanese plum wine took home the top prize in the National Honey Board’s second annual Mead Crafters Competition, which featured 305 entries from commercial meaderies in the United States. Zen Bee Meadery of Columbus, Ohio, took home Best in Show honors for Mara Ume, a session, semi-sweet mead made with plum juices and maraschino cherries. The judges of the competition were impressed with the mead’s ability to balance the two fruit flavors while still showcasing the essence of honey in the mead.

In total, 23 gold medals were awarded at the Mead Crafters Competition in categories ranging from session meads to traditional meads to melomels. Rounding out the podium for Best in Show was Heidrun Meadery’s Hawaiian Lehua Blossom and Second City Meadery’s Existence is Pain. A design/packaging gold medal also was given to Baltimore’s Charm CIty Meadworks for its Sweet Blossom Mead.

“The mead category continues to gain popularity from beer, spirits and wine drinkers looking for something different, and we’re proud to host this competition and recognize some of the best in the industry,” Catherine Barry, National Honey Board’s director of marketing, says. “This year’s competition really spotlighted the diversity of the mead segment. We had more session (low alcohol) meads entered than ever before, as well as some amazing melomels and traditional meads.”

The Gold Medal winners of the 2020 Mead Crafters Competition:

2020 Best in Show Winners
Gold Medal: Mara Ume — Zen Bee Meadery, Dublin, Ohio
Silver Medal: Hawaiian Lehua Blossom — Heidrun Meadery, Point Reyes Station, California
Bronze Medal: Existence Is Pain — Second City Meadery, Chicago, Illinois

2020 Gold Medal Recipients
Bracket/Braggot: 10 Penny Lane — GoodRoad CiderWorks, Charlotte, North Carolina
Cyser: Honey de los Muertos — McGee’s Mead LLC, St. Helena, California
Dessert: Blueberry NBCC — Melovino, Vauxhall, New Jersey
Fruit Vegetable Melomel - Dry: Crosswalk — GoodRoad CiderWorks, Charlotte, North Carolina
Fruit Vegetable Melomel - Semi-Sweet: Desire — Moonlight Meadery LLC, Londonderry, New Hampshire
Fruit Vegetable Melomel - Sweet: Peach Mead — Wyldewood Cellars Illinois, St. Joseph, Illinois
Metheglin - Dry: Stigmata — Monks Meadery, Atlanta, Georgia
Metheglin - Semi-Sweet: Mead with Coffee Beans — Bee-Town Mead & Cider, Bluffton, South Carolina
Metheglin - Sweet: Madagascar — Moonlight Meadery LLC, Londonderry, New Hampshire
Pyment: Honey River Pyment — Healthberry Farm, Dry Fork, West Virginia
Session - Dry: Weekend Water — Haymaker Meadery, Perkasie, Pennsylvania
Session - Semi-Sweet: Mara Ume — Zen Bee Meadery, Dublin, Ohio
Session - Sweet: Honey Kwench — White Winter Meadery, Iron River, Wisconsin
Specialty - Dry: Rockin Rye — Haymaker Meadery, Perkasie, Pennsylvania
Specialty - Semi-Sweet: Seven In Dog Years — Black Labs Craft Meadery, Olathe, Kansas
Specialty - Sweet: Existence Is Pain — Second City Meadery, Chicago, Illinois
Traditional - Dry: Sol — Oran Mor Artisan Mead, LLC, Roseburg, Oregon
Traditional - Semi-Sweet: CHAUCER'S Mead — Bargetto Santa Cruz Winery, Soquel, California
Traditional - Sweet: Traditional Mead — Prairie Rose Meadery, Fargo, North Dakota
Varietal - Dry: Hawaiian Lehua Blossom — Point Reyes Station, California
Varietal - Semi-Sweet: Lucerne Blossom — Martin Brothers Winery, Hermann, Missouri
Varietal - Sweet: Red Bamboo — Honeybound Meadery, Tyngsboro, Massachusetts
Design: Sweet Blossom — Charm City Meadworks, Baltimore, Maryland

For a full list of winners, more information and pictures, please go to http://meadcrafterscompetition.com/2020-winners or contact Keith Seiz of Brightly Creative at [email protected] or 773-213-2564.

About National Honey Board

The National Honey Board (NHB) is an industry-funded agriculture promotion group that works to educate consumers about the benefits and uses for honey and honey products through research, marketing and promotional programs. The Board’s work, funded by an assessment on domestic and imported honey, is designed to increase the awareness and usage of honey by consumers, the foodservice industry and food manufacturers. The 10-member Board, appointed by the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture, represents producers (beekeepers), packers, importers and a marketing cooperative. For more information, visit www.honey.com.

Name: Keith Seiz

Phone: (773)213-2564

Email: [email protected]