If you were a teenage girl in the early aughts, then we don’t need to explain who Dylan Sprouse is. For those of you who aren’t aware, he is best known for his childhood role in the Disney Channel series The Suite Life of Zack & Cody (and The Suite Life on Deck), in which he starred alongside his twin brother, Cole Sprouse. Now 25 years old, the actor’s latest project has little to do with his acting chops.
After experimenting with a homebrew kit his father gave him at 16, Sprouse became a dedicated brewer. After years of development, the actor is about to unveil his first official brewery in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. Known as All-Wise Meadery, Sprouse’s brewery won’t be brewing any beer, though. Instead it will make the ur-brew: mead.
For the uninitiated, mead is a honey-based beverage somewhere between beer and wine. Along with brewer Doug Brochu, Sprouse is heading up one of the first city-based meaderies that focuses on all-natural meads. "We want our product to be top-notch, so we make it a priority to only use top-notch ingredients," Brochu said in a statement. "That means only the best honey and ingredients from local beekeepers, makers and growers we know and trust."
Sprouse and Brochu source their honey from upstate New York (Sprouse made the connection at the Union Square farmers market when he was secretly brewing mead in his dorm while attending NYU) and will be using local herbs in future batches. Following the current natural wine trend, they are making their meads using natural production methods to yield a modern mead that is dry, expressive and extremely flavorful. Due to their production methods, the flavors will also continue to develop within the mead as the living beverage ages in the bottle.
While you can’t officially visit the brewery and its tasting room is not open to the public yet, the first batch of All-Wise’s meads is now currently on pre-sale. The first two offerings are the Show Mead ($30)—which is bone dry—and an oolong tea-infused mead ($35). We tasted both and can say that the Show Mead was savory, buttery and floral, while the oolong tea mead was slightly sweeter and silkier on the palate. Both meads can be purchased here.