This former child star is living the sweet life in Brooklyn.
Dylan Sprouse, 24, who rose to fame after starring alongside Adam Sandler in 1999’s “Big Daddy,” is now in the business of making mead. He’ll churn out the honey wine at his brewery, All-Wise Meadery, when it opens inside The William Vale hotel in Williamsburg this May.
“I’m certainly nervous,” Sprouse tells the Daily News of his first big business venture making and selling the alcoholic drink that’s created by fermenting honey with water and sometimes fruits and spices.
After sharing the “Big Daddy” role with his twin brother, Cole, the duo went on to split parts in several other films, before landing their own Disney show, “The Suite Life of Zack & Cody,” which aired from 2005 – 2008, playing twin brothers who live in a hotel.
Sprouse’s new booze-based job strays far off-script compared to some of his previous show biz gigs. He and his bro also appeared in other Disney shows like Miley Cyrus’ “Hannah Montana,” Selena Gomez’s “Wizards of Waverly Place,” and Raven-Symone’s “That’s So Raven.”
He says he doesn’t keep in touch with celebs from his past, and that he put acting on the back burner when he moved from Los Angeles to New York seven years ago to attend New York University with Cole. Sprouse majored in video game design and graduated in 2015.
While most college kids were out buying cheap beer and liquor, this self-proclaimed “weirdo” was making mead discreetly in his dorm room.
“I started doing home brew stuff with my dad when I was younger,” Sprouse explains, of how he acquired the unusual hobby. “I sold almost all of it to my friends in the dorm. Back then it was $15 a bottle.”
His fellow Millennials may have only heard of the libation from watching “Game of Thrones,” but it dates back to about 7000-6500 B.C. — and it’s getting a renewed shelf life. Mead is the fastest growing segment of the alcohol industry, according to Michael Fairbrother, President of the American Mead Makers Association. Sales of the honey wine increased 130% from 2012 to 2013, according to the most recent report from the AMMA.
“Mead isn’t just something for the Renaissance fair,” Fairbrother says. “You can [pair] almost anything with it. It works with spicy foods, fruits, cheese plates — the sky’s the limit.
“It can taste like a white wine and get as rich as a Moscato.”
The buzzy drink typically takes two weeks to ferment and can be aged three months or longer for clarity.
His new meadery isn’t his first job working in the food and beverage world. Sprouse had a job as a host at Cafe Mud in the East Village and then Kings County Distillery in the Brooklyn Navy Yard, where he realized brewing was something he wanted to pursue full-time.
“It was actually a realization that I really liked doing this a lot. It’s my passion,” he says.
His mead will be manufactured in the 1,000-square-foot basement of All-Wise. Guests will be able to walk through and see the production process, then head up to the bar which Sprouse says will have a speakeasy vibe.
Sprouse is toying with serving interesting menu items like armadillo jerky and more standard plates like smoked fish and meats, cheese and fruit to pair with the mead.
There will be four traditional mead varieties ranging from 8 to 14% ABV available in bottles (around $25) and on tap ($6 to $7 per glass). Expect two different Show Meads, the most basic kind made with a honey and water base with notes of caramel and apple; Metheglin, a spiced and herbal flavor; and Melomel, made with fruits.
You might be able to watch the spectacle on TV too. Sprouse just filmed a pilot for a docuseries called “Mead in America,” which will chronicle the day-to-day of running a brewery with his business partners that aims to school viewers on mead.
Cole has no involvement in the brewery, and is currently living in Vancouver and filming the upcoming teen drama “Riverdale,” set to premiere Jan. 26 on The CW.
Sprouse hasn’t ruled out returning to acting. He still has an agent and is working on a project with MTV, but says he’s been more selective with choosing characters.
“I’m interested in roles that are human, that have some sort of empathic quality,” Sprouse says. “A role I would not do: cool jock.
“That’s not something I’d be interested in doing. Scripts that make characters a two-sentence description, I’m not interested in.”
So for now, he’ll just play mead master.
Source: New York Daily News