Ryan Gwilt (from left), Deanna Gwilt and Blair Crann staff the Bronto Mead booth at the Scripps Ranch Farmerâ€™s Market. (photos by John Gregory)
Bronto Mead is tasty wine
Unruly Vikings seated at wooden tables, spilling drink from chalices in a great hall. That’s the public’s perception of mead, the ancient beverage made from honey.
Today, two brothers, Daniel and Ryan Gwilt, have brought this drink into the 21st century as a wine, and are promoting it from their booth at the Scripps Ranch Farmer’s Market.
The idea to start their company, Bronto Mead, sprang from an outing one night a few years ago when Daniel was working as a software engineer and Ryan was about to leave the military.
“We found this beverage at a bar and we really enjoyed it,” Ryan said. “We never heard of it before and then we started doing a little bit of research and we found out there wasn’t a whole lot of mead in California at all.”
The ingredients to make mead are simple, although the drink is not common these days.
“It’s honey, water and yeast,” Ryan explained. “Afterward, you can mix all kinds of different product with it. Any kind of fruit. You can mix it with hops. It’s very malleable. It can be a wide range of tastes, from sweet to dry to sour.”
Bronto Mead offers bottles of their mead for $20 each. The wine is all natural and gluten-free.
“We don’t add anything to it. It’s an all-natural product,” Ryan said. “The only sulfites are from the berries themselves. … We don’t add any preservatives. And that’s why it’s considered one of the healthiest alcoholic beverages.”
Ryan explained that beyond being a drink for Vikings, mead was considered a drink of nobility in ancient times. Their Bronto theme stems from their love of dinosaurs. While dinosaurs are extinct, and mead has been rarely made or consumed in modern times, bringing them back, one as a theme and one as a drink, seemed like a good mix. The dinosaur theme is carried over into the name of each type of wine.
Mixing mead with berries has been a good combination, Ryan said. One of their most popular mead wines is the Achillobator, a raspberry mead: sweet and tart.
The Cretaceous Bloom is a sweet blackberry mead.
“One of my favorites is the Velociberry. It’s a little bit drier,” Ryan explained. “It has three different berries: blueberries, blackberries, raspberries. All three of the berries mixed together. It has a very light taste. It’s one of my personal favorites.”
The Dry Pure Bronto is a basic mead mixture with water honey and yeast; no additives.
Bronto Mead has a tasting room at 9235 Trade Place, Suite D, in the Miramar area. They also produce their product at this location. Tasting hours are currently 4 to 10 p.m. on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays.
“It’s been a blast starting this company,” Ryan said.
Visit brontomead.com or call (619) 796-3096
The Scripps Ranch Farmer’s Market is open for shoppers from 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. every single Saturday at 10380 Spring Canyon Road, in the Innovations Academy parking lot. Visit srfm.org.