How to Be a Meadiac (Mead Geek)

Being a genuine geek is not easy. It takes commitment, curiosity, an obsessive nature, and an incredible ability to withstand the jeers from your family, friends, and society at large.

As can be seen in this chart, being a geek isn’t just about knowing more than your friends. It’s about knowing much much much much much more than your friends.

There is sad news, however, for all of the potential Meadiacs out there: mead research is hard to come by. The scant few mead books tend to just list recipes (Exception: Here). You don’t become a professional chef by reading the Joy of Cooking.

If you want to take your love of beer to the next level, there are over a dozen schools and programs you can attend. You can check those out here. If you want to be a certified oenophile, there are a hundred companies tripping over each other to sign you up for wine tasting courses. Mead? Not one school. We couldn’t even find one class.

There are a handful of professional mead researchers that we know of:
  • Ken Schramm, whose book is the exception listed above. You want to see top quality mead research? Check out the paper Schramm, McConnell and Kent wrote called An Analysis of Mead, Mead Making and the Role of its Primary Constituents
  • Eduardo Miranda of Meadery Lab is actively blogging his research on the subject of mead. He’s a great resource for those who wish they owned a high powered microscope.
  • Dr. Garth Cambray is probably the most prolific R&D Meadmaker out there, but his website is outdated. Best place to learn about his work is when other people interview him, like Basic Brewing Radio.
  • RVA Mead Lab is just getting up and running in the Richmond, Virginia area, doing small test batches.

Although we may have missed someone, that’s really about it. There is almost no professional mead research anywhere in the world.

So, should we despair? Should the potential geeks just pass over mead for a more lucrative geeky opportunity? NO!

Trekkies don’t exist because some big university published the complete family tree of Lieutenant Commander Jack R. Crusher! Trekkies do their own damn research. Then, Trekkies share their findings with their fellow fan community.

Ever wonder why Groennfell Meadery teaches people to make mead? Seems counterintuitive, right? Well, geeks only really exist in community. Advancements in mead making come from homebrewers and professionals sharing our findings with each other. Maybe, if we work together, “Meadiac” will actually mean something someday.

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