Oceanside CA– Oceanside is rapidly becoming a destination for people who enjoy craft brews and brew pubs and it might be easy, as a brewer, to get lost in the crowd. That shouldn’t be a problem for Oceanside’s Golden Coast Mead. While local brewers are creating the next IPA, Frank Golbeck, Praveen Ramineni and Joe Colangelo at Golden Coast Mead are blending orange blossom honey, Palomar Mountain Spring Water and a variety of ingredients for a spectrum of flavors and a variety of Meads.
Mead is an alcohol beverage that has existed through the ages and is created by fermenting honey with water and adding fruits, spices, grains or hops. “There is a whole spectrum of mead out there and we have this opportunity to bring a whole new world of alcohol to people.” said Golbeck. The six-week process begins with an engine hoist to lift a 55 gallon drum of orange blossom honey to mix with the pure Palomar Mountain spring water. Golden Coast uses an ale yeast instead of a wine yeast to allow more of the honeys characteristics to come through. Golden Coast is currently looking for a reliable source of honey from sage, avocado and melon to bring even more flavors into to mead development. “The two main things we play with are honey and fermentation style.” continued Golbeck.
“We are at the frontier of Mead development.” Golbeck said “The styles of beer and wine and even cider are recognized. When you drink a Lager, you know what to expect.” added Ramineni “With mead, people don’t know what to expect and what’s a good or bad Mead.”
“So that’s the frontier” continued Frank “The blessing of that is we get to be creative.” Although mead has been around for a very long time, people, these days, have no frame of reference. “So you can see the opportunity and how creating meads can be a life long process.”
Frank discovered mead through his grandfather who used to make apple and grape wine as well as mead. “I remember seeing people enjoying the mead my grandfather made and it just stuck with me.” explains Frank ” My Mom gave me this old hippie book that had a recipe for mead; honey, water, yeast, simple. Then I had friends who were making beer in college and it became something that could be done.”
The mead seed was planted for Frank somewhere between his college days and his time in the Navy. “I went home and was helping my grandfather clean out his attic. There was a case of his fruit wine and one bottle of his mead.” Frank said the bottle had to be eleven years old at least. ” I pulled out the bottle and it was just radiating at me.” joked Frank. He took the bottle to school and shared it with his friends along with his girlfriend at the time. “We were all just floored.” said Frank ” It was just like sunshine and flowers in a glass. It was just magic.”
So Frank began making mead in his basement and sharing five gallons with 50 friends at a time. At one of those parties was Frank’s future business partner, Praveen Ramineni. After Ramineni tasted it he exclaimed “We can sell this stuff!” Frank and Praveen were making mead, on the side, while they were in the Navy together. “We were working 12-16 hour days, 7 days a week and one day, I came home and just laid on the floor. My wife, (who happened to be the girlfriend he shared the mead with back in college) said, You don’t look that happy. In fact I’ve never seen you this unhappy.” Theresa, Franks wife asked him “what would you do if you had all the time and money in the world?” Frank responded “Make mead and share it with people.” She told Frank that he should do that and with that conversation Golden Coast Mead was about to become a reality.
The KickStarter was the vehicle the trio used for financing. They raised over $20,000 with the online funding site from 172 people including Stone Brewery co-owner, Greg Koch. They purchased the tanks they needed and created their own reverse pressure bottling system for the Meadery.
Golden Coast Mead currently has four, very different styles of mead in production in addition to their Golden Jun, a fermented honey and green tea tonic. Half the fun of ordering a flight of mead, samples of each, is listening to the enthusiasm of the people at Golden Coast explain the flavor and properties of the four styles. The Sour Mead, Melon Mead, The Orange Blossom Mead, which was a Silver Medal winner at the San Diego International Beer Competition & Festival and the California Oak Mead. Each bottle contains over 600,000 pollinations and 12% alcohol.
Golden Coast Mead will be holding a “soft” opening tonight, June 13th, 5:00 p.m., at the Meadery located near the College Blvd Sprinter Station, 4089 Oceanside Blvd, Suite H. The Grand Opening will be on June 21st and catered by Enzo’s. The Grand Opening consists of three sessions – 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. and 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. Each session is limited to 50 people and the price is $20.00 per person. You can make reservations through their website [Link] or call 619-796-1774.
You can purchase Golden Coast Meads in bottles at Fire Mountain Market, Wags and both Red and White Markets. You can try their meads on tap around Oceanside at; Tap That, The Tap Room, Breakwater and The Royal Dive.