One of the best parts of being a craft booze producer is helping fellow craft booze producers get started. Through our “Custom Crush” program, we at Golden Coast Mead have had the honor to help two other Southern California mead makers transition from home brewers to professionals. Our friends at Meadiocrity have shared their experience of working with us to make their first batch and unleashing it on the world…

If you're a homebrewer interested in transitioning to meadery, consider filling out our Custom Crush Request form to discuss the process: http://www.goldencoastmead.com/custom-crush


Thrillseekers,

At Meadiocrity, we make mead, and well, we think it’s pretty good. Meadiocrity started in a garage when we made the leap from, “Hey, this homebrew mead is pretty good” to “Hey, people would buy this!...Right?” The original concept for Meadiocrity started developing in late 2014 from our two loves: booze and bees. Our quartet is made up of John, the meadmaker, brand guru, and benevolent dictator who keeps us all in line; Mark, the resident sommelier and customer liaison who spreads the joy of mead to the community and gives our mead that extra special finish; Andrew, the bee nurturer and mad scientist who keeps our meads top quality; and last but not least, Nate, the king of the queen bees who keeps our bees happy, healthy, and producing lots of ridiculously good local honey.

From left to right: John, Nate, Andrew, and Mark

From left to right: John, Nate, Andrew, and Mark

For us, mead is about using high quality, exquisite regional and varietal San Diego honey to create addictively full-bodied, yet easily drinkable meads, and we wanted to be involved in the meadmaking process from Bee to Bottle. Great mead starts with great honey, and as a company, that is where we chose to invest significantly from the outset. We are embedded in the local beekeeping community and work with local San Diego beekeepers to source high quality local raw honey. This way, the honey isn’t trucked around the state and country, beekeepers get higher payments for their honey rather than selling to aggregators, and we get to use some of most incredibly flavorful honey out there in its raw form. We also maintain an ever-growing collection of estate hives where we will be able to collect honey from and produce some really great meads starting next year. (If you’re wondering if we have issues with bee die-off, the answer is no. Our bees are really healthy and are expanding very aggressively. That means more mead in your near future!)

Meadiocrity is still fairly new to the San Diego mead scene, only having received our formal licensing in July of this year. We currently have one product available, Foundation, which is made from 100% raw San Diego alfalfa honey. It has a little sweetness, some bubbles, bright acidity, very strong honey notes, and is really delicious. You should try some.

Meadiocrity's first batch of mead - Foundation. Made possible by a custom crush with Golden Coast Mead: http://www.goldencoastmead.com/blog/customcrush-meadiocrity

We were able to produce it through a “custom crush” agreement with Golden Coast Mead. The term “custom crush” comes from the wine world where wine producers are commissioned to make wine based on certain desired specifications. This allows a seller to create a label and sell their product without actually owning a full winery. Finagling our way through the state and federal alcohol laws has not been easy and for us to get off the ground quickly, we decided to go this route with Golden Coast Mead being our commissioned producer. As it turns out, this is the same way they got off the ground as do many urban wineries here in San Diego. This process allowed us to create a product while helping reduce startup costs while proving the marketability and profitability of our mead. To date, we have done two batches amounting to about 500 gallons worth of mead with Golden Coast. As it turns out, people do want to buy it! As we move to our next stage of growth, we are in the process of nailing down final details on a physical location of our own hopefully for the beginning of 2017. Stay tuned!

Advice for Homebrewers Looking to Transition to Professional Meadery

For our fellow homebrewers out there looking to potentially going professional, our best advice would be to do your market research. That means more than just talking to your friends. As a home brewer, you make mead for yourself and your friends to drink. This is a very different situation from making large quantities of mead that are sellable to the point of supporting a business.

Why has the mead industry lagged for so long?

One question that often comes up in discussion is why the mead industry has lagged for so long. There are many factors, but we think a big one has to do with marketing, branding, and relatability to the consumer. Too often meads get made with such specific niche tastes that they are not easily adoptable by consumers. Thankfully, this is changing. The more good mead out there, the better for everyone in the industry. To do our part, we aim to make meads people want to drink often and a lot of.

This next year is going to be very exciting for us as we rapidly expand not only our mead-making facilities but also our bee hives. If you are interested in tasting some of our mead, you can check out our Where to Buy page. The list is ever expanding as more restaurants and bottle shops snatch it up. You can also connect with us and follow our progress and beekeeping adventures in our Newsletter, on Facebook and Instagram.

Forever yours,

Meadiocrity

If you're a homebrewer interested in transitioning to meadery, consider filling out our Custom Crush Request form to discuss the process: http://www.goldencoastmead.com/custom-crush

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