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Meet Deanna Gwilt of Bronto Mead Corporation in Mira Mesa

Today we’d like to introduce you to Deanna Gwilt.

Thanks for sharing your story with us Deanna. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
My husband and I had a lunch with some friends of ours at Awash in North Park. One of our friends is a foodie and said that this place is definitely worth the wait.

Upon arriving, my husband and I looked at the drink menu and came across Tej. We found out that this was a beverage made with honey. My husband does not like beer so this sounded perfect to him. We both tried it and instantly fell in love. When we tried to look up other places that offered it, we only found Golden Coast Mead and it was a good 45 min to an hour away. We knew we wanted to try it out; we also knew that there was a market that had not been tapped into yet… and we wanted a piece of it.

Now, I did not see myself as an entrepreneur at the time. I mean, who wants to build a company, manage it, be completely responsible for it, not really have any free time until it gets off of the ground, and risk not making it? Not I. However, my husband new me before I truly knew myself and got the ground work started by doing some research and some initial investments in home brewing equipment. The first night that we tried to make our own stuff was a nightmare: carboy airlocks popping off, making a huge mess in our kitchen, trying to figure out what to mix together, the list goes on. Of course, I was drawn in more and more: the excitement of creating new flavors, networking with new and smaller businesses, and, above all, wanting control over my own schedule and destiny. I took the planning and organization pieces into my own hands since he was still working full time. He turned into the primary investor as a solid and full-time software developer and I turned into the jack of all trades: training clients and teaching group fitness classes while doing the internal groundwork. He was the rock and I was the water. It just worked.

We opened our doors in July 2016 and have been growing ever since. Our patron base has grown organically, our tasting room continues to evolve as fast as our new flavors do, and it all follows our central theme of bringing the past back to life and letting evolution take its course. We will continue to make great mead and share it with the rest of the world, one sip at a time. Cheers!

Has it been a smooth road?
As with any start up or new business venture, we hit some bumps along the way. When we first started we did not have the clearest understanding of what we needed to do. I was in way over my head when it came to the paperwork needed for the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) and Alcohol Beverage Control (ABC). It took me some time to get a handle on all of the paperwork but once I got it all turned in it was pretty smooth sailing.

One of the most significant bumps we have experienced is one that most successful companies experience: trying to grow with limited resources and continuing to be able to meet the demands of the consumer. Granted, it is a great problem to have: most companies only dream of this happening to them. We have had to get creative and look at all of our available resources and most successful products to make sure that we were allocating our resources in the most appropriate way possible. It is not an easy task, especially when you have so many different products that the public likes. What makes it even more tricky is not knowing when product will be complete so your timelines may not always be accurate…again, super frustrating.

So, as you know, we’re impressed with Bronto Mead Corporation – tell our readers more, for example what you’re most proud of as a company and what sets you apart from others.
Our company specializes in making great mead and serving it in a comfortable video game and board game environment. My husband and I are nerds and we did not know how to incorporate that into operating a meadery. Sure enough, the gaming atmosphere just grew organically and people from all over San Diego County come in and enjoy what we have to offer.

Another thing we are very well known for is our customer service. When we first opened I described our ever-evolving tasting room like the “Cheers” bar from the TV sitcom. Whether it be new patrons or having our regulars stop by, we like to create a place where we greet you and take the time to get to know you a bit… ahem… “where everybody knows your name.” It has led to the greatest customer satisfaction and we could not be more proud of that.

Let’s touch on your thoughts about our city – what do you like the most and least?
I love the fact that it is so culture-rich and there is always something to do no matter what your interests are. You can cycle by day and brewery hop by night.

My least favorite part: traffic/parking/traveling. Anything that has to do with traveling around San Diego you have to make plans for it because it is all spread out and if you don’t know the best times to drive around or where to park your vehicle it can be an absolute nightmare. I’m up for hover vehicles!

Pricing:

  • Bottles are $20
  • Growlers are $32 for a new 32 oz. Bring in the same growler for refills for $28

Contact Info:


Image Credit:
Deanna Gwilt
Tony Casanova

Getting in touch: SDVoyager is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.

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