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To our mead making community

We are committed to Valkyries Horn being a fair and transparent competition. After the amateur awards were finalized, it was brought to our attention that the Best of Show winner entered in conflict with the rules of our amateur competition.

This situation affects the integrity of our competition and we take it seriously. There was no intent to cause harm, and the matter has been settled amicably.  As a result:

  • The entries for 'Fruit & Spice: Sweet' (category first place, overall Best of Show) and 'Melomel: Sweet' (category second place) have been vacated.
  • The original second and third place winners in the affected categories will now move up in placement.
  • Unfortunately, we are not able to award new third-place medals.

Thank you for your continued support and understanding as we strive to maintain a competition that celebrates mead making excellence at all levels.




This competition is BJCP sanctioned and open to amateur homebrewers age 21 or older.

Quality judging of all entries is a primary goal for our event. Judges will evaluate and score each entry. The consensus score will rank each entry in its category. ALL flights will have at least one BJCP certified mead judge, very experienced mead maker/judge or professional mead maker.

We use full sensory written scoresheets (no sliders) for our evaluations.

Key 2024 dates:

  • Registration & Entries open December 9, 2023
  • January 5 - Shipping opens
  • February 2 - Delivery deadline
  • February 2 - Entries and changes close
    If you volunteer at the bottle sort, you may bring your entries with you!
  • Friday/Saturday February 23/24 - Judging
  • Saturday February 24, 7:00pm - Awards will be live and in-person

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.

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!

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

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 submit multiple entries per category and sub-category as long as they are distinctly different. You MAY NOT enter the same mead twice even if it is placed into a different category/sub-category.

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 2021 Beer Judge Certification Program (BJCP) Style Guidelines for Mead (which are actually 2015 edition).

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 during the competition.

Please print the label with a laser printer, NOT inkjet - they blur and bleed when wet which could cause miss-identification of your mead.
See labeling video linked under packaging and shipping information for details.

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 - 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 2024 is HOPS!

Hops in any form, but they have to be discernable. NO braggots or "honey beers".
As always, the mead needs to be harmonious and pleasant to drink.

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. You will not be able to print bottle labels until your entries have been paid.

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


Your entries and spots in the competition 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 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 info  @      ValkyriesHorn  .com.

If you are entering as an amateur 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 the final judging date (Saturday) live and in-person at the awards ceremony. Volunteers and entrants are encouraged to attend. Generous prizes and raffles are typically offered to in person attendees courtesy of our sponsors.

Competition results and scoresheets should be available by 9pm on the Sunday following completion of judging 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.


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.

M1A Dry Mead M1B Semi-Sweet Mead M1C Sweet Mead
M2a1 DRY Cyser (Custom Style) M2a2 SEMI-SWEET CYSER (Custom Style) M2a3 SWEET CYSER (Custom Style)
M2b1 DRY Pyment (Custom Style) M2b2 SEMI-SWEET Pyment (Custom Style) M2b3 SWEET Pyment (Custom Style)
M2c1 DRY Berry (Custom Style) M2c2 SEMI-SWEET Berry (Custom Style) M2c3 SWEET Berry (Custom Style)
M2d1 DRY Stone Fruit (Custom Style) M2d2 SEMI-SWEET Stone Fruit (Custom Style) M2d3 SWEET Stone Fruit (Custom Style)
M2e1 DRY Melomel (Custom Style) M2e2 SEMI-SWEET Melomel (Custom Style) M2e3 SWEET Melomel (Custom Style)
M3a1 DRY Fruit and Spice (Custom Style) M3a2 SEMI-SWEET Fruit and Spice (Custom Style) M3a3 SWEET Fruit and Spice (Custom Style)
M3b1 DRY Spice/Herb/Vegetable (Custom Style) M3b2 SEMI-SWEET Spice/Herb/Vegetable (Custom Style) M3b3 SWEET Spice/Herb/Vegetable (Custom Style)
M4A Braggot M4B Historical Mead M4c1 DRY Experimental (Custom Style)
M4c2 SEMI-SWEET Experimental (Custom Style) M4c3 SWEET Experimental (Custom Style) MHOA HOPPY (Custom Style)


Number of Bottles Required Per Entry: 3

Judging Sessions

Prejudging in-person
Monday, February 19, 2024 6:00 PM, CST

Friday 10 am
Friday, February 23, 2024 10:00 AM, CST

Friday 12:30 pm
Friday, February 23, 2024 12:30 PM, CST

Friday 2:00 pm
Friday, February 23, 2024 1:30 PM, CST

Friday, February 23, 2024 9:00 PM, CST

Saturday 10:00 am
Saturday, February 24, 2024 9:30 AM, CST

Brunch and Bloody's - Post competition breakfast
Saturday, February 24, 2024 10:00 AM, CST

Saturday 12:30 pm
Saturday, February 24, 2024 12:00 PM, CST

Saturday 2:00 pm
Saturday, February 24, 2024 1:30 PM, CST


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 5 very experienced judges.

Good Luck!




Location for 2024 awards on Saturday February 24 is:

38 Northern Stacks Dr.
Fridley, MN 55421-2798

Private event space at the north end 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 9pm on Sunday evening 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

Forgotten Star Brewery
38 Northern Stacks Dr. Fridley, MN 55421-2798
Saturday, February 24, 2024 7:00 PM, CST


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: