To the banishment of Ren faire mead — huzzah!
Golden Coast strives for sunshine and flowers in a glass
By Ian Anderson, Feb. 21, 2017
San Diego Reader
Frank Golbeck recalls the moment in 2011 that prompted him to open a meadery and tasting room in Oceanside. Golbeck and his Golden Coast Mead cofounders had spent their first year in business contract-brewing at local wineries, at whatever times equipment was made available to them. Consequently, they found themselves in a Ramona barn, in the middle of the night, making mead under the light of a cell-phone flashlight. Not the ideal circumstances for mead makers trying to make it in a craft-beer town.
By the end of 2012 they’d crowd-funded $20K to open a dedicated brewing space and small tasting room in the back of an industrial park. In December, Golden Coast moved its tasting room to the park’s first row of suites, facing a large parking lot lined by retail storefronts. This more consumer-facing approach dovetails nicely with this year’s sudden proliferation of meaderies in San Diego, as the ancient drink Golbeck refers to as “sunshine and flowers in a glass” seems poised to stake a greater share of the craft beverage market.
While beer and wine have enjoyed tremendous cultural and economic growth, mead has been overlooked. “You could argue mead is where those industries were 30 years ago,” Golbeck says. To mead evangelists, the drink’s reputation has been tarnished by low-quality “Ren faire mead,” the syrupy, sweet, unsophisticated honey wine served at medieval-history–themed festivals.
Golden Coast’s mead more closely resembles a dry white wine. “There’s a lot of aroma and a lot of floral and honey notes,” says Golbeck, “so there’s a lot of perceived sweetness, but the actual residual sugar is, like, zero.”
Full Story: To the banishment of Ren faire mead — huzzah!
Meadery Profile: Golden Coast Mead