Golden Coast Mead crafts authentic, modern meads that delight ecologically conscious and adventurous consumers. We endeavor to restore the health of the honeybee through the transformation of the honey market. We intend to lead the mead category as a creative, quality and regenerative force for good in the world.
We want the meads we make to be delightfully surprising. Flavor foremost, but story and adventure as well.
We endeavor to make mead and run our business in ways that resonate with our sense of what is good.
We endeavor to be a force for good in the world, specifically by helping bees, bee keepers and the ecosystems they and we depend on. We give 1% of our gross revenue to causes that help bees thrive. Save the Bees. Drink Mead.
Our Meads are Different. Lighter bodied, honey forward but balanced, we make most of our meads with ale yeast, a 1-to-4 California Honey to San Diego Spring Water Ratio, and an element like oak or lactobacillus to balance the finish. We want our meads to drink like a refreshing ale or invigorating sparkling wine, we want them to spread mirth, and arouse people to the beauty of life.
4089 Oceanside Blvd, Suite H
Oceanside, CA 92056
4470 Julian Rd
Julian, CA 92036
1993 - Co-Founder, Frank Golbeck watches his grandpa pour mead for the first time at family's apple ranch, Los Rios Rancho Tasting Room. Sees the guests transform to laughing, friendly people.
1996 - Wildlands Conservancy purchases Los Rios Rancho to preserve the land and apple orchard from tract home development.
2002 - Frank reads Beowulf, realizes his grandpa was pouring the same stuff these epic viking warriors were drinking. Reads Lord of the Rings, and Harry Potter. Mead is everywhere in these great stories. Gets a hippy-how-to book, Living on the Earth, from his mom, with a mead recipe. First effort to make mead is aborted.
2004 - Frank helps his grandpa clean out his attic and finds the last known bottle of his mead. He shares it with his then girlfriend Theresa (who he later marries) and his best friend Joe (who he later founds Golden Coast Mead with) - they have an epic night.
2005 - Frank and Theresa make their first batch of mead at UC Berkeley Co-Op Davis House. Many more batches follow. People drink 5 gallons in a night. Dance parties ensue.
2007 - Co-Founder Joe Colangelo says to Frank over a re-used yogurt container of mead, "People love this stuff, they'd probably give us money for it."
2007 - Joe and Frank graduate from UC Berkeley and join US Navy. Third future co-founder Praveen Ramineni graduates and goes to work at Deloitt as a consultant. Test batches continue being made.
2009 - Theresa and Frank get married. Theresa asks him what he would do with all of the time, money and energy in the world. Frank says that he'd make and share mead. Calls Joe to figure out how to start a business.
2010 - At inaugural tasting party, Joe and Frank ply Praveen with lots of mead, get him to join team as CFO. GCM is incorporated and first custom crush batch is produced at Triple B Ranches.
2011 - Frank gets out of the Navy, and GCM gets its licenses to sell mead. Joe, Frank and Praveen and a couple of frineds walk the first bottles of Mirth, produced at Triple B Ranches in Valley Center to the Pacific Ocean at Cardiff by the Sea on "The Great Mead Hike"
2012 - Raised $20,472 from 172 backers on Kickstarter, got first production facility leased and licensed in Oceanside, CA. Meanwhile they produce a "Farm House Batch" at Hacienda De Las Rosas Winery in Ramona. Golden Coast Mead becomes a 1% for the Planet Company, giving 1% of the their sales to work that helps restore the health of the honey bee.
2013 - First batches of San Diego Style Mead, California Oak and Orange Blossom, are produced with Maurey Fletcher at Golden Coast Mead. Sales Double over prior year.
2014 - First distribution contract for San Diego is signed after negotiating with three different companies. Tasting room is opened and second space is leased. Sales double again over prior year. Savage Bois and Something Something Sour Mead debut.
2015 - Second through fourth distribution markets are opened for New York, New Jersey and Maryland/DC. Sour Orange Blossom Mead debuts as well as first special release of Mirth. Sales Double again over prior year.
2016 - TBD...
Mead is alcohol which is produced by fermenting honey. It is the oldest alcoholic beverage in the world.
Mead is a whole spectrum of alcohol, so it can be light ABV, dry, and refreshing, or thick, sweet and strong, bubbly or still and any where in between with any number of additional ingredients. It is very creative, it is very versatile, it is timeless and we think it can be good for the earth (you don't need a mono-culture of barley or grapes to make it, just bees on a healthy ecosystem).
Okay, okay, so we coined this term to describe our mead. Lighter bodied, honey forward but balanced, we make most of our meads with ale yeast, a 1-to-4 California Honey to San Diego Spring Water Ratio, and an element like oak or lactobacillus to balance the finish. We want our meads to drink like a refreshing ale or invigorating sparkling wine, we want them to spread mirth, and arouse people to the beauty of life.
Golden Coast Mead starts with basic ingredients: Water, Honey, and Yeast.
We begin by combining the water and the honey in a mixing tank. This enables us to achieve the correct honey-to-water ratio. When the mixture (known as "must") has the correct Brix (sugar density) we pump it into a temperature-controlled fermentation tank. During this time, we also add our yeast - the magic microorganism that parties hard. Yeast consumes the sugar found in the honey, and produces bubbles & booze (or CO2 and alcohol, technically speaking).
During the first three days, air and nutrients are added to keep the yeast healthy. While sugar is the meat & potatoes of yeast, nutrients are the fruits & veggies. Healthy yeast produces quick, clean, tasty mead. After the nutrient is added, the yeast is left alone to party away and make all the alcohol it can. Samples are taken daily to check the Brix. As the yeast eat the sugar, the density drops, and we can track the progress of the mead. As sugar is consumed, and less becomes available, the yeast die off and the yeast Valkyries take them to yeast Valhalla (the bottom of the tank).
About four weeks later, the must has turned to mead, and the batch is ready to transfer to secondary fermentation. The mead is transferred to another sealed tank, leaving much of the yeast behind. Instead of blowing off the CO2, it is captured in the tank and carbonates the mead. This is often the step where additional flavors are imbued. For example, this is when the oak chips are added for California Oak and Savage Bois.
Once the mead has reached the final Brix, we begin cold crashing. By dropping the temperature of the tank to freezing, the remaining yeast stop fermenting and fall to the bottom of the tank. This begins clarifying the mead. Clarification is finished by filtration. After running the mead through a filter, it is packaged in bottles and kegs, ready to be consumed by those deemed worthy by the gods of mead!
One Percent for the Planet is an organization and movement that encourages corporate philanthropy for the preservation and restoration of the natural environment. As an invested member of the community, Golden Coast Mead donates at least one percent of its gross revenue to Dr. Nieh’s Entomology Lab at UCSD, researching the health and preservation of the honeybees.
We started our company with the vision of sourcing honey only from small scale local beekeepers who treated every hive like the magical world of life that it is.
We imagine having three tiers of product one day, where we source honey from the big guys for everyday mead - that is well made, but approachable in price for people like us. Then, we have our Mirth line, where we partner with local beekeepers and show off the varietal of local honey we are using and the terroir at its root. Lastly, and this is the only one we haven't done but is so close to fruition, we will have estate hives where we manage every step from flower to hive to bottle. Each line will be crafted in a different way and offer a different facet of the gem that is bees and life and mead.
In order to build that vision, and make it an economically sustainable thing, we've decided to buy honey from Sue Bee, the national co-op of beekeepers that has a production plant an hour and a half away in Anaheim. In service and hope of making that vision a reality, and knowing that they have controls in place to screen and prevent adulterated and foreign honey from going through their plant, we are okay using Sue Bee honey right now.
Our CEO, Frank, wrote an entire article on our three-tier vision and how we came to the decision to use Sue Bee here.
Open source is about giving everyone access to the knowledge needed to create value. We believe open source can create a better world. That's why on our Open Source page you will find recipes, production notes, lessons learned -- documented and shared for all to benefit from, so that more delightful and quaffable mead can be made in this world. And hopefully the bees, and those that keep them, can benefit along the way.
You can read more about this decision to go Open Source with our mead and get a Creative Commons license in our third Dispatch from the Frontier of Mead.
CEO, Co-Founder, Head Mead Maker / UC Berkeley, Naval Officer
Frank's love for mead started with his grandfather. He was an apple rancher in Oak Glen, California. He retired from apple ranching and stayed busy making fruit wine and hard cider, grape wine and some mead.
Frank's first memory of mead was at 8 years old, peeking over the back of the bar while his grandfather poured samples of mead to people. They were laughing and having a great time.
As he grew older Frank read Tolkien and Beowulf. Shakespeare and Harry Potter... Mead kept coming up in these epic tales. Then, when he was home from college, his grandfather gifted him the last bottle of his mead. 12 years aged.
He took his grandfather's mead to university and shared it with his friends and his now wife. Frank started making mead and discovered more about its magic, and the way it made people dance.
Frank was in the navy after graduating from UC Berkeley and was able to collect honey from all over the world. One day, his wife asked what he would do with all of the time, money and energy in the world. He told her he wanted to make mead and share it with people. He has done just that.
CFO, Co-Founder / UC Berkeley
Praveen is the Co-Founder and CFO of Golden Coast Mead where he oversees all financial related matters as well as growth strategy. Prior to founding Golden Coast Mead, Praveen worked in private equity with Caravel Capital Management & NSL Power investing in early stage renewable energy projects in India and South America. Earlier in his career, Praveen was a consultant with Monitor Deloitte where he worked on corporate strategy engagements primarily in the technology space. Praveen graduated from UC Berkeley with degrees in Molecular Cell Biology & Economics.
"If you've only tried traditional mead, this will open your eyes to a whole new world of possibilities. And if you've never had mead, this is the place to start." - Billy B., San Diego, CA
"Wow, what a refreshing change to the landscape of craft breweries here in San Diego! Don't get me wrong, I love me some craft beer! But stopping here at Golden Coast Mead was a welcome change." - Gus L., Escondido, CA
"Great experience and flavors. You will not be disappointed." - Denise R., Oceanside, CA
"Excellent in every way! Everyone was awesome and friendly, the mead was outstanding and the atmosphere was great." - Sophia L., Jacksonville, NC
"The meads were just plain tasty and they offer a nice assortment of styles. Mead is definitely unappreciated and should not be playing second fiddle to any other libation out there." - Vince O., Vista, CA
"This is the first time I ever tried mead and I am in love with it. I recomend Golden Coast to any beer enthusiast." - Cody Ward, CA
"What a great change of pace from beer or wine." - Kathleen Poelke, CA