We had the good fortune of connecting with Vince Obarski and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Vince, is there something that you feel is most responsible for your success?
Twisted Horn decided to follow a path much less traveled when we decided to get into the business of manufacturing alcoholic beverages. As San Diego County has been so saturated with breweries and traditional wineries, we decided to think outside the box and bring back a beverage that was almost completely lost over time, MEAD. With that, we wanted to put our own spin on the more traditional way of crafting it and customize it to tailor more towards what could be called the Southern California palate. We targeted lighter, cleaner flavors with less alcohol and sweetness, we also chose to give them light carbonation. To be quite frank, we were purposely targeting more of the beer culture crowd as we are living in beer Mecca so we needed to create a style that would be likely better received. We didn’t stop there though, we chose to also add cider to our offerings so to better round out our menu. This coupled with the fact that we have the COOLEST tasting room in all of North County, in my opinion definitely set us apart from all the rest.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
Wow, what a convoluted story, here is the Cliff notes version. Started of in the US Navy for 7 years, then to the civilian world as a worker bee for a while. Decided that it was time to pursue higher education so went to college to get a Criminal Justice Degree, in my third year I was involved in a life altering accident which made the degree I was pursuing (physically) useless. Changed my major to Dental Hygiene and essentially started over again. After graduation, I practiced for about 13 years and concluded that this is not the life for me, no more florescent lights either. Both my wife and I were at that point where we were ready to strike out on our own, but knew not what to do. I am a nerd at heart, played Dungeons & Dragons as a kid, I also love history. While I was in the service I was deployed to Norway, while there I tasted mead for the first time and it instantly took me back to my childhood playing D&D with “gold in my pockets” to spend. This memory coupled with experiencing numerous rare events that included bees finally turned the light switch on, bring mead (once the drink of gods and kings) back to our culture, today. It was a tough sell to my wife Robin, but she tasted my creations, saw the promise and finally gave me the green light.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
Well, Twisted Horn Mead & Cider of course on the first day! Haha. Day two, we’d go surf in Carlsbad or Oceanside depending on the swell, then head south and get a breakfast burrito from Pipe’s Cafe in Cardiff. Next, hit some of my favorite breweries ie. Battlemage, Booze Bros., Arcana. We’d then go out to eat at Flying Pig in Oceanside, then back home to play with my three dogs and get ready for the next day. Day three would include scuba diving at say Wreck Alley, then to late lunch and get tortilla soup and a beer at San Marcos Brewery, back to my house to play with my dogs for a good bit and off to Cinepolis in La Costa for a movie, meal and another drink. Day four, off to Balboa Park and hit the museums and perhaps an I-Max movie, head back north and stop off at Cucina Enoteca in Del Mar for dinner. Come home and play with the dogs. Day five, if it was winter and had some snow locally, would take a quick trip up to Snow Summit or Snow Valley for the day, depending, then back for some more beers and food at Prohibition Brewing in Vista, then back home to play with the dogs some more. Day six, kick him the hell out of my house.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
As there are so many elements that were involved with my deciding to go forward with this, it is tough to choose just one. But if I had to, it would have to be my beautiful wife. She has put up with my nonsense for 25 years now, followed me down some strange paths and led me on some wonderful ones. But without her support, encouragement, confidence in me and the willingness to take a chance, Twisted Horn would have never been more than a pipe dream.