Get a fresh perspective on the world’s oldest form of booze - mead - at the Bushwick tasting room, Honey’s. An eclectic space known for everything from a new tantalizing brunch to late-night after-parties, Honey’s is at the forefront of Bushwick’s rising drinks culture.
OUR ARTICLEBY: Tara Goutermout Contributing writer
Mead, much like Bushwick itself, is intoxicatingly cool because just enough people don’t know quite enough about it.
Despite mead being enjoyed by every civilization in human history, today, mead doesn’t enjoy the awareness it once had. But the world’s oldest libation is starting to re-emerge and poke its head out of the history books. And we have places like Honey’s to thank for that.
Honey’s is the tasting room for Enlightenment Wines Meadery. Since its inception in 2009, co-owners mazer Raphael Lyon and mixologist Arley Marks have been focused on bringing this type of wine, which is fermented from honey, herbs, and fruits (rather than grapes), out of the dark ages.
The project has manifested into an experience that feels like just about every star has aligned.
Much of the success of the space lies in the meads themselves, which have become notable despite their challenging ancient-given name (“Wait, it’s meat??”). Honey’s creates seasonal releases made with foraged herbs and fruit sourced exclusively from New York State. They’re spontaneously fermented, barrel-aged and made without the use of sulfites, additives, or filtration. The result is a living, breathing mead that is light and dry, sipping more like a crisp summer wine than what you’d think given honey’s thick, heavy nature. CYTIES would also like to add that at 12%-14% ABV, they’re dangerously palatable.
Their second little miracle is the location itself, which is deep enough into industrial Brooklyn that you feel discerningly cool just being there. The up-and-coming-ness of the neighborhood is reflected in the crowd, which is often chilled out creatives, artists, and foodies who’ve had enough of the IPA scene.
It also happens to be conveniently located right next to some of the biggest nightlife destinations for the city’s most sleepless: The Brooklyn Mirage, Elsewhere, and House of Yes. These venues attract a young and accepting house music crowd that often trickles into Honey’s as a happy accident before or after events.
Somehow, all groups find a weird, harmonious coexistence and keep coming back – in part due to Honey’s unmatched community programming.
On any given week there could be Sunday School, workshops focused on topics like wild herbalism and guerilla gardening. Later in the week, you might find a poetry reading in the meadery or a special event like Valentines Gay – an “emotionally cathartic karaoke” night in the tasting room. And, of course, on a summer weekend night, you’ll find their rooftop deck throbbing with energy, courtesy of a locally notable DJ.
Not to get all New Age here, but perhaps, the magic of their meads is the spirit that they’re fermented around.
Honey’s is the tasting room and cocktail bar for Enlightenment Wines, New York City’s first meadery located in a buzzing part of Bushwick
Mead is a type of wine – fermented from honey, forged herbs and fruits that Enlightenment Wines sourced locally from New York State
Along with mead, Honey’s offers a food and cocktail program that’s worth coming in for
Honey’s is known locally for its cultural programming, from herbalism workshops to drag shows to rooftop DJ sets
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