Mead, an ancient wine made from fermented honey, has found a new home in Bushwick’s Enlightenment Wines and its tasting room Honey’s. Started by Raphael Lyon and Arley Marks, this new meadery hopes to educate the public on the drink‘s particularities and taste.
The company was first started due to Lyon’s love for wine as a wine club with five cases made in a family farm in Clintondale, NY. Lyon and Marks, longtime friends since their college years in Rhode Island, banded together after they had both moved to New York. Afterwards they expanded the idea to include a tasting room to capitalize on Marks’ hospitality experience, and with the help of CFO, Anthony Rock, they were able to further develop Enlightenment Wines and move into its current space.
Bringing a distinctive style to mead production, the company ferments wine on premises and bottling and design is done in-house. Each wine is created with unique ingredients including various flowers, herbs, fruits, and spices that are foraged from upstate New York. Lyon and Marks would like Enlightenment Wines to be known for its traditional meads, but also its modern take on the drink with distinctive cocktails.
From the beginning the duo had a clear idea of what they wanted and it took them two and half years to find the perfect space. While being in an industrial zone has come with its challenges, specifically compliance as a manufacturer, retailer, and event space, they feel that being a manufacturer/retailer helps retain the character of the neighborhood. Enlightenment Wines foresees building its home in Bushwick, increasing production, and opening a rooftop and garden at Honey’s soon.