New Act Will Allow Mead to Compete with Other Beverage Sectors


This week, Representative Mark Sanford introduced H.R. 6000, the Mead Equality and Definition (MEAD) Act of 2016. Mead is the fastest growing segment of the U.S. beverage industry, increasing 150 percent in the last year alone with over 275 producers across the country. The bill would relax the current regulations governing the mead industry to allow the industry more room to grow and compete with other craft beverage sectors.

Rep. Sanford released the following statement:

“A constituent back home in Bluffton approached me over the summer about the trouble he was having turning his award-winning hobby into a business. We spoke about some of the unnecessary federal regulations that he and fellow mead makers have to work around, and what resulted is the MEAD Act, which my office introduced this week.

“Current tax laws limit the ingredients of mead to just honey, water, yeast, and hops. These regulations are much stricter than those imposed on other beverage producers and are inconsistent with the way mead has been made for thousands of years. This bill would modernize an outdated law and give mead makers greater flexibility to experiment with different ingredients and styles, similar to what we’ve seen with craft beers and cider.

“It’s all too common that we see government stifling innovation. This bill is an attempt to push back against bureaucratic overreach, lift some of the arbitrary restrictions that currently govern the production of mead, and give mead makers more freedom to excel in their craft.”

News and information presented in this release has not been corroborated by FSR, Food News Media, or Journalistic, Inc.


It's time to free the creativity of what Mead is truly capable of being.

Clarify the law and help small business thrive. Craft beverage brings tourism as well as product sales business to our state.

I hope this will allow us to use grain to make braggot. They won't allow my meadery, which has been in operation for almost 20 years, to have grain on our premises because we have a winery license, not a brewery license. I would have to have a separate license, a separate tasting area and a separate selling area from our other products. Depending on who is looking at labels for approval, the word mead can't be used on pyment, melomels etc. we make about 15 varieties of mead and some have the word mead on them and then some weren't allowed because they didn't match TTB's definition. They are not consistent and from the very beginning back in the 1990's, they haven't known exactly what to do with us.

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