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Key dates:

  • September 8th, Shipping delivery and entry changes close

If you volunteer at the bottle sort, you may bring your entries with you!

This competition is open to amateur and commercial mead makers

If you are a commercial meadmaker, you must enter the commercial competition


Commercial is defined as anyone that has worked in any production capacity at a commercial meadery (servers and back office employees are excluded) within the past two years prior to the start of judging. Further, anyone that has applied for commercial licensing or rented space for a planned meadery is excluded. Anyone illegally selling or trading "amateur" mead on public or clandestine websites is prohibited from entering the competition.


Anyone illegally selling or trading "amateur" mead on public or clandestine websites is prohibited from entering the competition.

Amateur mead makers must make their mead outside of a commercial setting, and this includes brew-on-premise sites, commercial collaborations, and "wort share" scenarios.

An entrant is one or more people submitting an entry. Entrant(s) of a mead must have actively contributed to mixing, fermenting, and bottling of an entry. If multiple people contributed to the making of a mead only ONE of those individuals may enter that mead. For instance Tom made a mead with co-entrant Bob and entered an Orange Blossom traditional semi sweet. Bob may not enter the same mead as the lead with Tom as a co-entrant. Coordinate your entries so you are not disqualified!

Every entrant must be at least 21 years of age.

THREE bottles are recommended. Please see Entry page for further details (THIS IS IMPORTANT)

There is a limit of 10 entries an entrant may submit.

Entrants, either as primary or as a co-entrant, may submit multiple entries per category, no limit as long as each entry is distinctly different - note co-entrant restrictions above.

You may ONLY enter each mead in one category/subcategory. To elaborate further: If you have a fireweed traditional that is borderline dry or semi-sweet you may NOT enter it in both categories - pick ONE.
You MAY enter the Fruit and Spice mead category with a Stinging Nettle and Orange mead and a Stinging Nettle and Pear mead.

Sub-Categories will not be combined (i.e. Braggot and Historical will not be smashed together).
Our typically large sub-categories have been "pre-split" by sweetness and are shown as "special categories". Please enter your mead where it fits best by sweetness.
NOTE: we may combine dry and semi, or semi and sweet if one of the split sub-categories is small.

All entries become the property of the Valkyries Horn Mead Competition and will not be returned under any circumstances. Any questions or disputes will be settled by the competition organizers, and all decisions are final.

All mailed entries must be received at the mailing location by the shipping deadline - please make allowances for shipping time and delivery truck difficulties. Package your entries well. Don't be the person that causes a shipper to reject all packages going to the shipping location.

All entries will be picked up from drop-off locations the day and time of the drop-off deadline.

The official style guidelines for this competition are the 2015 Beer Judge Certification Program (BJCP) Style Guidelines for Mead.

Every entry must be assigned a particular category and sub-category by the entrant, and according to these guidelines.

Competition staff are not permitted to categorize entries that arrive unlabeled, illegible or otherwise indiscernible as to the entry category.

Competition staff (including judges) are not permitted to re-classify or re-categorize incorrectly entered mead.

Please print the label with a laser printer (NOT inkjet - they blur and bleed when wet which could cause miss-identification of your mead). We prefer to have the label completely covered with clear packing tape which is then taped to the barrel of the bottle. You may also enclose the label in a ziplock bag, and use a rubber band to attach the label to the barrel of the bottle. These do have a tendency to fall off of the bottles, so you are better off taping the label to the barrel. DO NOT secure the lable to the neck of the bottle. The printed label instructions will tell you to tape them to the barrel. Either method is acceptable.

Entries in category M1 (Traditional Mead), M2 (Fruit Mead), M3 (Spiced Mead), and M4 (Specialty Mead), must specify carbonation level.

Entries in sub-category M2 (Other Fruit Melomel), must specify the varieties of fruit used.

Entries in sub-category M3 (Spiced Mead), must specify the types of spices used.

Entries in sub-category M4B (Specialty Mead 2013 Historical) and M4C (Specialty Mead - Experimental), must describe the special nature of the mead, whether it is a combination of existing styles, an experimental mead, a historical mead, etc.


If you put your mead in the wrong sub-category it will not be eligible to medal no matter how good it actually is!

Just because it's something you've never done before does not make a mead experimental. It must be something that can't fit in any of the other categories to be experimental. If you have questions about this, please contact the organizer for clarification at      info    @  ValkyriesHorn.     com.


Our special category for 2023 is NO WATER MELOMEL

No water may be added.

  • Whole fruit is fine.
  • Straight juice is good.
  • Concentrates are acceptable. If you have a concentrate, you may NOT add water to reconstitute.
  • Steam juicing or pressing is permitted.

No Cysers - why? Because they are generally no water for most mead makers and there is already a category for this.

Spice, vegetable, or barrel aged meads don't belong here, this is category is intended for fruit only meads using a no water process.


  • Grapes. You may use grapes and grape juice with your honey to make a no water melomel.
  • We are allowing this because grape juice typically clocks in at roughly 1.100 OG and that makes it a good challenge to balance. If you are purchasing grape juice it must be pure - no water added, no reconstitution.

Good luck!


Online registration eliminates the need to submit a paper entry form and will automatically generate bottle identification labels. Paper entries will not be accepted. All entries must be entered via the online entry system, and entries are not guaranteed until they are paid for.

The Competition Entry fee is $10.00 per entry. Payment by PayPal is REQUIRED when entering online.


Your entries are not guaranteed until payment is made.

Any entries not paid when the entry cap is reached will be disqualified.

NOTE: We strongly recommend the use of placeholder entries followed immediately by payment to secure your spot in the competition. If the paid entry cap (350) is reached before your payment is completed, your entries will not be in the competition. You can make changes to the entry information, categories, etc. until the entry deadline is reached.

Mead produced on commercial equipment is not permitted, and any such entries will be disqualified. If you have questions please email us at

If you are entering as a home mead maker, you must produce the mead you enter on home mead making equipment in your home, and you may not derive any income in any fashion (including public and clandestine trading sites) from the mead you are making at home.

Winners will be announced at approximately 7pm on Saturday, September 23 live and in-person at the awards ceremony. Volunteers and entrants are encouraged to attend. Generous prizes and raffles will be offered to in person attendees courtesy of our sponsors.

Competition results and scoresheets should be available by 9pm on Sunday September 24 through the internet (although this is not guaranteed). They MIGHT be available shortly after the awards ceremony. Scoresheets will ONLY be available through the competition via download.

Carefully pack your entries in a sturdy box. Line the inside of your carton with a plastic trash bag. Partition and pack each bottle with adequate packaging material. Please do not over pack!

Write clearly: Fragile. This Side Up. on the package. Please only use bubble wrap as your packing material.

Enclose each of your bottle labels in a small zip-top bag before attaching to their respective bottles. This way it makes it possible for the organizer to identify specifically which entry has broken if there is damage during shipment.

Every reasonable effort will be made to contact entrants whose bottles have broken to make arrangements for sending replacement bottles.


BJCP 2021 Judging Styles

If a style's name is hyperlinked, it has specific entry requirements. Select or tap on the name to view the subcategory's requirements.

52A Berry DRY (Custom Style) 53A Berry SEMI (Custom Style) 54A Berry SWEET (Custom Style)
55A Cyser DRY (Custom Style) 56A Cyser SEMI (Custom Style) 57A Cyser SWEET (Custom Style)
58A Pyment DRY (Custom Style) 59A Pyment SEMI (Custom Style) 60A Pyment SWEET (Custom Style)
61A Stone Fruit DRY (Custom Style) 62A Stone Fruit SEMI (Custom Style) 63A Stone Fruit SWEET (Custom Style)
64A Melomel DRY (Custom Style) 65A Melomel SEMI (Custom Style) 66A Melomel SWEET (Custom Style)
67A Fruit and Spice DRY (Custom Style) 68A Fruit and Spice SEMI (Custom Style) 69A Fruit and Spice SWEET (Custom Style)
70A S/H/V DRY (Custom Style) 71A S/H/V SEMI (Custom Style) 72A S/H/V SWEET (Custom Style)
73A Experimental DRY (Custom Style) 74A Experimental SEMI (Custom Style) 75A Experimental SWEET (Custom Style)
76A No Water Melomel (Custom Style) M1A Dry Mead M1B Semi-Sweet Mead
M1C Sweet Mead M4A Braggot M4B Historical Mead


Number of Bottles Required Per Entry: 3

Judging Sessions

Prejudging in-person 09/17
Sunday 17 September, 2023 2:00 PM, CDT

Debugging Session
Monday 18 September, 2023 12:00 PM, CDT

Prejudging in-person 09/20
Wednesday 20 September, 2023 6:00 PM, CDT

Prejudging in-person 09/21
Thursday 21 September, 2023 6:00 PM, CDT

Amateur Session 1 (Friday)
Friday 22 September, 2023 10:00 AM, CDT

Commercial Session 1 (Friday)
Friday 22 September, 2023 10:00 AM, CDT

Amateur Session 2 (Friday)
Friday 22 September, 2023 1:00 PM, CDT

Commercial Session 2 (Friday)
Friday 22 September, 2023 1:00 PM, CDT

Amateur Session 3 (Friday)
Friday 22 September, 2023 2:30 PM, CDT

Commercial Session 3 (Friday)
Friday 22 September, 2023 2:30 PM, CDT

Amateur Session 4 (Saturday)
Saturday 23 September, 2023 9:30 AM, CDT

Amateur Session 5 (Saturday)
Saturday 23 September, 2023 11:00 AM, CDT

Commercial Session 4 (Saturday)
Saturday 23 September, 2023 11:00 AM, CDT

Amateur Session 6 (Saturday)
Saturday 23 September, 2023 1:30 PM, CDT


Best of Show

Best of Show will receive the Valkyries Horn!

This is a drinking horn with the competition logo, Best Of Show, and year engraved into the surface, along with a horn stand for display.

The Best Of Show winner will be decided by a panel of very experienced judges.

Good Luck!




Location for awards on Saturday September 23rd is:

2221 N 36 Service Dr, Saint Paul, MN 5513

Enter at the SE corner of the building.

7pm awards

Volunteers and Entrants are encouraged to attend the awards ceremony.


Places will be awarded to 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place in each category/table, metal medallions and ribbons will be awarded to all placements.

The 1st place entry in each category will advance to the Best of Show (BOS) round with a single, overall Best of Show mead selected.

Additional prizes may be awarded to those winners present at the awards ceremony at the discretion of the competition organizers.

Score sheets should be available for download after the Best of Show and awards announcements by 9 am on Sunday morning but this is NOT guaranteed. They MIGHT be available earlier. Awards will be mailed to winning participants. Scoresheets will ONLY be available on-line through the competition download feature.


Awards Ceremony

TBD - Minneapolis / St. Paul area
Saturday 23 September, 2023 7:00 PM, CDT


Circuit Qualification

This competition is part of the American Mead Makers Association - Mead Maker Of The Year.

It is your responsibility to read and agree to the rules for the MMOTY circuit if you choose to enter. Information can be found here: