An experienced mead maker, Robert has been studying mead and its creative aspects since 2006. He has won multiple awards during competition with his meads at the Annual Mazer Cup International Mead Competition over the years and is regularly sought out for his input on recipe ideas. As a newly certified BJCP Mead Judge, Robert looks forward to offering advice to entrants in upcoming competitions. His extensive collection of meads, and mead recipes, has been gathered from around the world. A retired soldier (and former sailor), he is a veteran of the Kuwait, Iraq, and Afghanistan wars, has lived in 7 states, and visited most of the rest. Between his work and serving his country, he has lived in or travelled to approximately 20 countries spanning the globe. Wherever he goes, he looks for local meads to sample and local mead makers to share knowledge with. When travelling, Robert tries to pick up a local varietal honey from each country he visits. His objective for this being to make a small batch of traditional mead from each location for his growing collection. So far he has collected honey from 5 countries and hopes to add several more to the list before he retires and can finally start drinking them. Mead making is not just an individual effort in the Ratliff family. His wife and two sons are also involved in the development of most of Robert's best recipes and he'll be the first to say that this will be a generational hobby in his household. Robert, his family, and two cats currently live in Huntingdon, UK near Cambridge where his oldest son currently attends University.