I live in one of the craft beer districts of Vancouver, but I don’t like beer. This gets tricky, as I love hanging out at the tasting rooms that dot my Mount Pleasant neighbourhood. What saves me, though, is that some breweries serve kombucha on tap.
What is kombucha?
This carbonated beverage begins with what’s called a “mother” or “culture” (a SCOBY: Symbiotic Culture of Bacteria and Yeast). Sugar and tea are added to it, which the culture metabolizes so that the finished drink doesn’t contain either. After almost 2 weeks of fermentation, the final product contains probiotics, amino acids and enzymes, all good for digestive health. A hint of alcohol is leftover from the process.
The health benefits of kombucha are controversial: while promoted as a health drink, scientists are still arguing over whether there are any benefits. According to Diagnostic Pathology journal, it was first used by “Dr. Kombu in 220 BC for curing the digestive troubles of Japan’s emperor.”
I just like the fizzy, tangy taste.
NOTE: All of the below breweries pour Oddity Kombucha, a local company that brews kombucha to sell by the keg. Oddity also has the cutest tagline: “We believe in being yourself, even if that means you’re the odd one out.”
Faculty Brewing Co.
Faculty Brewing is the first place I tried kombucha on tap in Mount Pleasant. The minimal, 28-seat tasting room takes up an inconspicuous corner on Ontario Street and is usually packed in the evenings. Although they don’t serve food, you’re welcome to bring your own. And you can fill your growler with kombucha, if you really like it.
Postmark Brewing is down in East Van’s port district and they have some really neat collaboration brews. One, called the Blondebucha, combines Oddity Ginger Kombucha (30%) with Postmark Session Blonde (70%). Of course, 100% kombucha is also on tap and available by the growler.
Steel Toad Brewpub & Dining Hall
Steel Toad is the perfect place for large group outings. They’re a full service restaurant and brewery located in an historical steel factory building near Olympic Village. While you can’t buy their brews to take home, they do have kombucha on tap.
Luppolo Brewing Company
Luppolo Brewing is a new company on the craft beer scene in Vancouver. It has an cozy, Italian vibe and I love that on weekend mornings you can head over for homemade pastries. Snacks, platters and sandwiches are also served. Luppolo only has kombucha on tap occasionally, so make sure to check in with them to find out if it’s available.