Moncton — With the recent announcement that provincial and federal governments are investing hundreds of thousands of dollars into helping Awake Kombucha establish a commercial brewery in Moncton, a local craft beer brewery has decided to make the switch and jump on this new trend as well.
Kombucha is a fermented drink that has been around thousands of years and is made of black or green tea, sugar, bacteria and yeast.
Peter McKenna, a representative from Slump House Breweries, thinks that this is the right time for a change.
“Honestly,” said McKenna, “people are tired of craft beer. Images of our hip staff sporting beards, wearing plaid, throwing axes and serving beer flights are all over social media. It’s boring. So when the government recently announced it’s investing in kombucha, I thought: ding, ding, ding! We have a winner!”
When we asked McKenna what he knew about Kombucha, he admitted that he wasn’t very familiar.
“But how different can it be from beer? It has yeast in it,” he said. “And I really like the name of the company that’s getting all that government money: Awake Kombucha. It sounds so healthy! I think people hear the word ‘brewery’ and they think ‘scary drunk people,’ but with Kombucha, it’s all peaceful and Zen.”
To find out a little more about the process of making kombucha, we spoke with local home brewer Jill Arseneau.
“It’s not too hard to make once you have a SCOBY (Symbiotic Colony of Bacteria and Yeast),” said Arseneau. “They’re basically big gelatinous wads of yeast and bacteria. They might look like living lumps of snot, but they are like family to me. I use solar energy and love to grow my big one. I call her ‘mother,’ and the little ones are named ‘Kevin’ and ‘Kylie.’”
At this point in our conversation, “Kevin” appeared a little nervous about the stranger in his house and reached out an unidentifiable appendage (a tentacle?) toward “mother,” who lives in an adjacent mason jar.
After witnessing what appeared to be an alien life form, seeding earth with its spawn, Manatee staff wondered if other microbreweries in the area would be willing to make the shift to Kombucha.
Alain Robichaud of Acadie-Broue-uit was clear on his stance: “Kombucha?! No way! I have enough kids already. I don’t want to have to take care of more ‘mothers’ and ‘babies.’ Plus, mine are better looking! Have you seen those kombucha babies? They look like something my grandfather would have hacked up. It’s effing disgusting!”
As of this printing Slump House is still on board with the switch to Kombucha and looks forward to welcoming its own baby SCOBYs to its brewing family. We wish them well during this time of transition.