4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs

Major mead momentum for Lost Cause

Five medals, a new brewery, and caramelized honey show San Diego mead's future is sweet

Suzanna and Billy Beltz show off the five medals they earned in March at the Mazer Cup International Mead Competition
Suzanna and Billy Beltz show off the five medals they earned in March at the Mazer Cup International Mead Competition

Launched in November 2017, Lost Cause Meadery has quickly established itself as one of San Diego’s top mead makers. According to the results of this year’s Mazer Cup International Mead Competition, it also ranks among the best in the world.

Place

Lost Cause Meadery Miramar

8665 Miralani Drive #100, San Diego

Married Lost Cause co-founders Suzanna and Billy Beltz returned from the annual Colorado contest with five of the 69 medals awarded: a gold, three silver, and one bronze. Only one other meadery equaled the five-medal count.

The haul lends an air of legitimacy to a craft beverage still standing in the shadow of San Diego beer. However, these awards merely punctuate a year of successful growth for Lost Cause. According to Billy Beltz, tasting room sales are up 80 percent in the first quarter of 2019, compared to the same time frame a year ago.

Much of that is positive word of mouth spreading among local beer enthusiasts, but there’s a burgeoning national recognition as well. “We’re getting a lot of people from around the country,” Beltz adds, such as a recent guest from Michigan who showed up to buy a case of mead at the behest of a bottle share group back home.

That can be a significant investment. Mead costs more to produce than beer, and single Lost Cause bottles range in price from 17 to 34 dollars. The Beltzes had always hoped an audience of beer drinkers would embrace the premium beverage, and launched the business with dry, sparkling, core offerings they presumed would appeal to local craft fans.

However, most of the meadery’s recent growth may be credited to surprising styles. It turns out, “A lot of people like the bolder, sweeter, still meads,” reports Beltz. A particularly big hit for Lost Cause has been a style of mead called a bochet. It’s made from caramelized honey, which yields a richer, more potent beverage. Beltz likens the appeal of bochets to that of pastry stouts, a massively trending beer style that dresses a big, roasty stout with rich and sweet flavors such as chocolate, maple, and/or coconut. A blueberry, cinnamon, and vanilla bochet, Blåsväder, earned Lost Cause one of its silver medals.

The bochet’s success led Lost Cause to the same realization many local beer makers have faced in recent years. “What people want,” says Beltz, “is something new.” Thus, Lost Cause has shifted its focus to produce more limited, small batches, including barrel aged meads and those made with specially sourced honey. ITo wit, its gold medal came from a collaboration with local hombrew guru Brian Trout, made from pink peppercorn blossom honey sourced from Brazil.

Such small and barrel aged batches will provide a focus for Lost Cause’s next stage of growth: a new meadery. The Beltzes recently secured a production space in the Morena District, and while Lost Cause will continue to operate a tasting room in the Miralani Makers District space it shares with Serpentine Cider, it will move production to the larger property this fall, where it will have room to stage more mead education events.

Beltz sees local mead as being roughly where local beer stood in the 90s, when drinkers stopped viewing hops as too bitter, and started appreciating the nuanced flavors they provide. With mead, he says, local palates are coming around to distinguish the characteristic sweetness of differing honey varietals in much the same way. Rather than chalk mead up as “too sweet,” we’re learning to swirl it in the glass, enjoy its floral aromatics,

It bodes well for the future of mead in San Diego, which is looking bright. A couple of local meadmakers also brought home medals form the Mazer Cup have their own professional aspirations. Gold medalists Jared Ayo and Sean Callahan are in the early stages of planning The Swarm Meadery, while silver medalist Eric Olson and his wife Anya Gonzalez eventually plan to open Mjødhall Meadery.

Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all

Previous article

First fright

What possessed him to take a child to see a film with that title?
Next Article

Internet love, the Mitchells' 30-year marriage, mom to an unusual child

Men imagine selves as women, lovers on love, teenage romance
Suzanna and Billy Beltz show off the five medals they earned in March at the Mazer Cup International Mead Competition
Suzanna and Billy Beltz show off the five medals they earned in March at the Mazer Cup International Mead Competition

Launched in November 2017, Lost Cause Meadery has quickly established itself as one of San Diego’s top mead makers. According to the results of this year’s Mazer Cup International Mead Competition, it also ranks among the best in the world.

Place

Lost Cause Meadery Miramar

8665 Miralani Drive #100, San Diego

Married Lost Cause co-founders Suzanna and Billy Beltz returned from the annual Colorado contest with five of the 69 medals awarded: a gold, three silver, and one bronze. Only one other meadery equaled the five-medal count.

The haul lends an air of legitimacy to a craft beverage still standing in the shadow of San Diego beer. However, these awards merely punctuate a year of successful growth for Lost Cause. According to Billy Beltz, tasting room sales are up 80 percent in the first quarter of 2019, compared to the same time frame a year ago.

Much of that is positive word of mouth spreading among local beer enthusiasts, but there’s a burgeoning national recognition as well. “We’re getting a lot of people from around the country,” Beltz adds, such as a recent guest from Michigan who showed up to buy a case of mead at the behest of a bottle share group back home.

That can be a significant investment. Mead costs more to produce than beer, and single Lost Cause bottles range in price from 17 to 34 dollars. The Beltzes had always hoped an audience of beer drinkers would embrace the premium beverage, and launched the business with dry, sparkling, core offerings they presumed would appeal to local craft fans.

However, most of the meadery’s recent growth may be credited to surprising styles. It turns out, “A lot of people like the bolder, sweeter, still meads,” reports Beltz. A particularly big hit for Lost Cause has been a style of mead called a bochet. It’s made from caramelized honey, which yields a richer, more potent beverage. Beltz likens the appeal of bochets to that of pastry stouts, a massively trending beer style that dresses a big, roasty stout with rich and sweet flavors such as chocolate, maple, and/or coconut. A blueberry, cinnamon, and vanilla bochet, Blåsväder, earned Lost Cause one of its silver medals.

The bochet’s success led Lost Cause to the same realization many local beer makers have faced in recent years. “What people want,” says Beltz, “is something new.” Thus, Lost Cause has shifted its focus to produce more limited, small batches, including barrel aged meads and those made with specially sourced honey. ITo wit, its gold medal came from a collaboration with local hombrew guru Brian Trout, made from pink peppercorn blossom honey sourced from Brazil.

Such small and barrel aged batches will provide a focus for Lost Cause’s next stage of growth: a new meadery. The Beltzes recently secured a production space in the Morena District, and while Lost Cause will continue to operate a tasting room in the Miralani Makers District space it shares with Serpentine Cider, it will move production to the larger property this fall, where it will have room to stage more mead education events.

Beltz sees local mead as being roughly where local beer stood in the 90s, when drinkers stopped viewing hops as too bitter, and started appreciating the nuanced flavors they provide. With mead, he says, local palates are coming around to distinguish the characteristic sweetness of differing honey varietals in much the same way. Rather than chalk mead up as “too sweet,” we’re learning to swirl it in the glass, enjoy its floral aromatics,

It bodes well for the future of mead in San Diego, which is looking bright. A couple of local meadmakers also brought home medals form the Mazer Cup have their own professional aspirations. Gold medalists Jared Ayo and Sean Callahan are in the early stages of planning The Swarm Meadery, while silver medalist Eric Olson and his wife Anya Gonzalez eventually plan to open Mjødhall Meadery.

Sponsored
Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all
Previous article

Sushi plus Mexican equals vegan at The Village

Order carefully to get the most out of this dual concept plant based eatery
Next Article

Charger Corey Liuget gives $1000 to Barbara Bry

SeaBreeze Vacation Rentals helps Todd Gloria
Comments
0

Be the first to leave a comment.

Sign in to comment

Sign in

Art Reviews — W.S. Di Piero's eye on exhibits Ask a Hipster — Advice you didn't know you needed Best Buys — San Diego shopping Big Screen — Movie commentary Blurt — Music's inside track Booze News — San Diego spirits City Lights — News and politics Classical Music — Immortal beauty Classifieds — Free and easy Cover Stories — Front-page features Excerpts — Literary and spiritual excerpts Famous Former Neighbors — Next-door celebs Feast! — Food & drink reviews Feature Stories — Local news & stories From the Archives — Spotlight on the past Golden Dreams — Talk of the town Here's the Deal — Chad Deal's watering holes Just Announced — The scoop on shows Letters — Our inbox [email protected] — Local movie buffs share favorites Movie Reviews — Our critics' picks and pans Musician Interviews — Up close with local artists Neighborhood News from Stringers — Hyperlocal news News Ticker — News & politics Obermeyer — San Diego politics illustrated Of Note — Concert picks Out & About — What's Happening Overheard in San Diego — Eavesdropping illustrated Poetry — The old and the new Pour Over — Grab a cup Reader Travel — Travel section built by travelers Reading — The hunt for intellectuals Roam-O-Rama — SoCal's best hiking/biking trails San Diego Beer — Inside San Diego suds SD on the QT — Almost factual news Set 'em Up Joe — Bartenders' drink recipes Sheep and Goats — Places of worship Special Issues — The best of Sports — Athletics without gush Street Style — San Diego streets have style Suit Up — Fashion tips for dudes Theater Reviews — Local productions Theater antireviews — Narrow your search Tin Fork — Silver spoon alternative Under the Radar — Matt Potter's undercover work Unforgettable — Long-ago San Diego Unreal Estate — San Diego's priciest pads Waterfront — All things ocean Your Week — Daily event picks
4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
Close