The Traveling Meadmaker Problem

Ricky the Meadmaker is currently on “vacation,” and he likes to visit his friends, the other semi-fictional meadmakers around America. Getting to all of them in a timely fashion is a problem. The good thing is, the problem has a name: The Traveling Salesman problem.

If you haven’t heard of the Traveling Salesman problem… well, there’s something wrong with you. Just read about it on Wikipedia. We’ll wait.

OK, now you see where the problem is. Oh, also, we only give Ricky the Meadmaker 8 days off every 10 years. That’s sort of a problem as well.

Here’s what we want to do:
Let’s say Ricky wants to visit every meadery in the United States (which he does).

Let’s assume this impossible since:
a)      Not every meadery has a tasting room (so why visit?)
b)      Ricky is not going to be swimming or taking a ferry to get to you (sorry Juneau and Hawaii)
c)      Not every meadery has a functioning website with an address (seriously?)
d)     Ricky is not allowed into the state of California since he fought alongside the Chilula and Hoopa in the Bald Hills War, but they don’t seem to know that so we’re going anyway
e)      We’re definitely going to forget some of you and there’s no good, searchable list of meaderies online
f)       Our mapping software does not believe that some of these meaderies exist

So, this leaves about 60 locations assuming Ricky wants to visit himself at Groennfell Meadery. It turns out that 60 locations will crash just about every Traveling Salesman Solving Server available on the web. Plus, that’s a lot of drinking in 8 days. We propose 3 trips:

The East:


The Middle-ish West:


The West:


We apologize tremendously if we missed your favorite meadery or put you in a category you disagree with, but, let’s face it, this is pretty cool, right?

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