Seattle Mead was founded in 2018 by retired US Army Lieutenant Colonel Mark Tanner. Mark is a Seattle native and Ballard High School alumni who has won many of the most prestigious Beer and Mead competitions in the world. Mark started home brewing beer in the summer of 1995 while attending the US Army Infantry Officer Advanced Course at Fort Benning, Georgia. The Army provided Mark an extensive beer and craft education while stationed in Europe, Asia, California, Arizona, Hawaii, Kansas, Georgia and Washington DC.
In 2008, after 13 years of brewing beer, he branched out to making cider and mead (aka Honey Wine) and became a nationally certified beer judge through the Beer Judge Certification Program (BJCP). After retiring from the Army in 2009, Mark and his family moved home to Washington and he became the states first BJCP Mead Judge and taught the first two BJCP Mead exam prep classes to other Northwest judges. Mark spent the next 5 years experimenting with different types of Washington honey and fruit in an attempt to create the most flavorful mead in the Northwest.
A Northwest Mead from Northwest ingredients.
In July 2019, Seattle Mead launched its first mead, the Double Berry Tart (9.5% ABV). In June 2020, we launched Double Berry Tart - Batch II (12.6% ABV) which is now pouring at many local breweries and tap houses in an around the greater Seattle area. See the Find Mead On Tap link above. Our first bottling was in May 2020. We packaged our first four flavors which are now available at your local bottle shops. The new mead flavors include strawberry, blackberry, raspberry, and chocolate.
We hope you enjoy the five new flavors we recently launched in the Seattle area. We think flavor is not just about the chemical reactions in our mouth and olfactory, it’s about the balancing of key flavors, acid, alcohol, structure, texture, temperature and other techniques to make our palates dance.
I am a wine-maker, but I use no grapes (mead with grapes = Pyment). Washington honey and fruit are my go-to ingredients. Great mead starts with the very best honey and fruit. In Washington state we have arguably the best honey and fruit in the world. I have much more control over flavor, sweetness, structure, time to market and key wine-making variables than grape wineries - the very best wine-makers in the world would all agree with me. Plus, I can draw from 25 years of beer and cider making fermentation and flavor synthesizing techniques.
There is a list of awards to the right that I have been fortunate enough in my past to win, but the wine and mead worlds are fickle - much of the time it's what have you done for me lately. That's why our products are so compelling, we can launch a new craft vintage every quarter instead of every year. And if we can keep up with the pace, we hope to launch 5 new flavors every quarter. In the near term, it may be only every 6 mos. Please keep an eye on our website and social meadia feeds for updates on new flavors.
2019 Six Mazer Medals (1st Year in Commercial Competition) – 13% of Gold and Silver medals awarded at the World Championships in 2019. Most Medals of any commercial Mead-maker
(at that time, the largest Mead Competition in the world – 450 entries)
2014 Washington Homebrewer of the Year (Most points (medals) scored across 11 WA competitions)
2013 National Mead Maker of the Year (Best of Show Mead at the National Homebrew Competition out of over 300 meads)
2013-2016 19-time Mazer Cup Medalist (Amateur Competition) – Only 54 Medals Awarded each year. This includes Gold medals (Mazer Cups) in 9 different mead style categories.
2012-2017 6-Time National Homebrew Competition Mead Medalist Medaled 5 of 6 Years (only 9 National Mead medals awarded per year) 2012 (2), 2013 (1), 2014 (1), 2016 (1), 2017 (1)
2013 Washington Cider Maker of the Year
(Best Cider in WA Mead and Cider Cup)
2012 Washington Mead Maker of the Year
(Best Mead in WA Mead and Cider Cup)
2012 Washington Cider Maker of the Year
(Best Beer out of 1400 beers across 11 competitions in WA)
2012 Master Championship of Amateur Brewing (MCAB) Medalist (Over 6000 entries and only 66 medals awarded)
2010 National Homebrew Competition Medalist – First National Homebrew Competition Beer Medal (Over 7000 entries and only 84 beer, mead and cider medals awarded)
2008 & 2009 High Plains Brewer of the Year - Awarded to best homebrewer in 9 states (Kansas, Missouri, Iowa, Minnesota, Oklahoma, Illinois, North Dakota, South Dakota and Nebraska) – 2008 was Mark’s first full year of competition home brewing