If you don’t live in North County, it’s time to head that way for a sweet-as-honey event not to be missed. Kicking off its fifth year, the West Coast Mead Festival is presenting Meading at the Garden, to be held on Saturday, April 6 at Alta Vista Botanical Gardens in Vista. From 1-5 p.m. (starting at 11 a.m. for VIPs), revelers can bask in the sunshine while sipping on some of nature’s finest nectars.
Many of the featured meads are crafted right here in San Diego, including Twisted Horn Mead & Cider, Golden Coast Mead, Lost Cause Mead, Hidden Hive Meadery, and Mysterious Meadery. Meaderies from outside the state will include Superstition Meadery (Arizona), Redstone Meadery (Boulder, CO), Meduseld Meadery (Pennsylvania), and Moonlight Meadery (New Hampshire).
Unlike any ol’ beer festival, this one packs in honey-related activities for the delight of festival goers’ eyes and taste buds. To go to the source of the liquid gold, don’t miss the live beehive and beekeeper demonstration with the San Diego Beekeeper’s Society. Then taste the sweet nectar that produces mead with the Temecula Valley Honey Company, who will be hosting honey tastings and offer a variety of strains to purchase.
Sway with your honey buzz to the sounds of live music from guitarist Jimmy Patton, bluegrass and Americana from Blue Creek Band, and ’60s and ’70s soul music from The Night Owls.
Head over to the Viking Village where Raiders from the North Viking Club will demonstrate a different way of life from the paradisiacal climes of San Diego. Once you’ve built up a hunger from dancing and pillaging, try the six-course gourmet mead pairing offered by the festival, which you can work off in the game area featuring cornhole and giant Jenga.
Speaking of competition, if you’re in it to win it, try the virtual Easter egg hunt for a chance to win a complete digital Grainfather brew system, or head to the raffle offering over fifty prizes, and silent bottle auction with over forty rare meads and beer. Beyond the gourmet pairing, food options will also include tacos, pizza and veggie options, and if your sweet tooth is still active by this point, Grammies’ Goodies and So Rich Chocolates can cure that with a range of desserts.
If mead’s not your full time obsession, or you just want a palate cleanser, there will be a variety of breweries appearing at the festival, including Bagby Beer Company, Amplified Aleworks, Barrel Harbor Brewing, Arcana Brewing, and Double Peak Brewing Company.
With 100% of proceeds benefiting Alta Vista Botanical Gardens, it’s a sweet thing you can do for the environment and for your weekend.
Meading at the Garden
When: 1-5 p.m. (starting at 11 a.m. for VIPs), Saturday, April 6
Where: Alta Vista Botanical Gardens, 1270 Vale Terrace Dr., Vista
Cost: Starting at $35
“Life is the flower of which love is the honey.”
— Victor Hugo