From Sours to SCOBYs
I remember the first time I tried it... December, 2006. It was at work. I was a newly hired cashier at Whole Foods. I instantly became intrigued with it's cult-like following. Everyone else was doing it. So I bought one. GT's brand, Grape flavored. I was hooked.
This was my first month at Whole Foods. 10 months before being bestowed the honor of beer buyer. I've gotta wonder... if I didn't get into beer then, might I have become a Kombucha brewer years ago? Butterfly effect musings aside, I'm grateful to have been introduced to Kombucha when I was. It's been a familiar concept for a long time, so there was far less of a learning curve. Plus, I wouldn't trade my beer experiences for the world.
I'd been saying I wanted to get into making Kombucha but I didn't want to cross contaminate with my homebrew equipment and aging beer. Since I was gung-ho about the brewpub plans, I prioritized that hobby.
Fast forward to September 2016, mental health struggles came to the forefront. I hit a low. Went into inpatient psychiatric care, began to understand what Depression really means, and came home 4 days later not knowing what this meant for my future.
For a while I thought I'd stick with the beer plan. But as I went deeper into therapy, soul searching, identifying my own triggers and tendencies, I began to feel that opening my own brewpub wasn't in the best interest of my personal health. I decided the plan needed to be scrapped. It sucked. It felt like I was giving up on my dream. Like I was throwing in the towel because I couldn't do it. It took me a few more weeks to come to terms with the idea that I'm making the choice from a healthy place, a place of love.
So, the plan that 20 year old me started devising didn't pan out, so what?! I know way more now. I can make a better plan.
That brings us up to early October 2017. Since my home brewing had finally died down, I decided to try my hand at Kombucha. I ordered a 1 gallon jar, SCOBY, bulk tea leaves, and within a week, I had some of my own booth fermenting!
Well, now I'm hooked. Making my own has turned an expensive habit into a dirt-cheap hobby that I'm really loving. For a sour beer nerd, it's familiar, but a nice change of pace. I get to create and enjoy different flavored, tart, fermented, fizzy beverages all the time. Short turnaround times, similar experiential qualities, yay! Best of all, I'm not jeopardizing my physical or mental health by indulging. I'm actually making something healthy!
So now I'm brewing up a much smaller, funner "business" idea. Booch blogging! I'm going to share how-to's, recipes, reviews, and general kombucha geekery. Instead of #nobeerlessdays, it's now #noboochlessdays :)