Kombucha, the fermented tea that’s garnered more unsubstantiated health claims than eating an apple a day, has been pushing its way into the American mainstream – leaving behind health stores for supermarket shelves. Like any good trend, the beverage has seen its fair share of controversy – in part because there’s been little regulation on the amount of alcohol it can contain. One easy way to alleviate that concern: Turn alcohol into one of the centerpieces and make a kombucha-beer hybrid. It’s every hippie brewers dream!
Like anything in craft brewing, kombucha beers have been attempted before; breweries like Michigan’s Unity Vibration and Colorado’s Crooked Stave are just a couple who have tried their hand at the concoction. But a Santa Fe, New Mexico, homebrewer might have a leg up in any emerging kombucha beer craze. As the Guardian reports, Ayla Bystrom-Williams, who goes by the name HoneyMoon Brewing, has received $25,000 in technical support from the Los Alamos National Laboratory – former home of the Manhattan Project, no less – to help create a better kombucha beer. Yup, the place behind the atomic bomb is now working with kombucha. I think there was a Neil Young song about that.
David Fox, the bioengineer behind the project, said he isn’t able to discuss exactly what he is doing for HoneyMoon thanks to a nondisclosure agreement, but Bystrom-Williams, who became involved with Los Alamos as part of an initiative allowing New Mexico entrepreneurs to work with the lab, is excited about whatever it is he’s doing. “We definitely feel validated to have [Los Alamos] involved in a very precise microbiological role,” Bystrom-Williams told the Guardian.
Meanwhile, on HoneyMoon’s website, it says they have “created a refreshing take on the complex and effervescent nature of kombucha by bridging beer brewing and kombucha brewing techniques,” and they “are looking forward to an official release of this beverage as well as the kick-off of our kickstarter event beginning in late 2015.” A forthcoming kombucha beer Kickstarter? Talk about putting all your trends in one basket.
[h/t Grub Street]