We Tried Dylan Sprouse's New Mead — & We Feel Very Conflicted About It

Photo: Courtesy of Katie June Burton.
In case you didn't know, Dylan Sprouse is an master mazer now. Back in January 2017, we heard one of two former Disney twins who had experienced a serious glow-up — in the eyes of those who are into the Brooklyn hipster aesthetic, anyway — was in the process of opening a meadery. (That's right, a mazer is one who makes mead. Who knew?) This information surfaced just days before the premiere of Riverdale, the CW drama starring the other Sprouse twin, so the internet was simply abuzz with Sprouse-related news. Over the past year and a half, Dylan’s meadery has been sadly eclipsed by other Sprouse reports and rumors — we're talking about you, real-life Bughead — but now, it’s finally the mead’s turn to jump back into the spotlight. After months of construction, production, and other preparations, Dylan Sprouse's meadery and tasting room, All-Wise, is open in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. And we got to try his mead.
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For those unfamiliar, mead is a wine made with honey, water, and yeast. Right now, Dylan Sprouse and Doug Brochu, All-Wise’s founders and master mazers, make what they call Show Mead, which is created with unfiltered New York honey and aged with oak. They also have a version that's fermented with oolang tea. A few of us recently tried the Show Mead, and our opinions were very divided.
Before our taste-test, we were all pretty unfamiliar with mead. In fact, only one person on our team had ever tried it before, and even she had only had it once. In a glass, it looks a lot like white wine, however, it tastes like a cross between a Pilsner and off-dry Riesling. Because we’d never tasted the spirit before, that strange middle ground was, at first, a bit off-putting for some of us. However, half of the mead taste-testers were delighted right away. One characterized the beverage, which we drank chilled, as "easy to drink," making it good for day drinking on long, hot summer afternoons. Because of its not-quite-beer status, it could also be a good option for someone who doesn't like beer but is looking for a similar drinking experience.
While half of us were immediately ready to jump aboard the mead train, the others were not so sure. One tester identified the Show Mead's aftertaste as being similar to the taste of Natty Light. For her, the college frat party associations with that particular light beer made it a major turn-off, but it might be a draw for others. After all, college students gravitate to Natty because it's very easy to drink. Someone else compared the mead's fermented taste to that of kombucha, which again, depending on your personal taste could be seen as a positive or a negative.
Even though we were not unanimously obsessed with Dylan Sprouse's mead, we do appreciate that he and his All-Wise team are introducing us to new beverage options. With rosé's reign possibly approaching an end, we're always looking for what might be the next trendy alcoholic beverage. Depending on your taste, All-Wise mead just might be it. Plus, having Sprouse's name attached to the project makes that all the more likely.
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