The Wall Street Journal shines light on kombucha, a fermented beverage made from freshly brewed tea, bacteria and yeast. The preparation, popularized by health nuts, is slowly becoming a trendy alternative beverage and ingredient at bars and restaurants everywhere.
Joel Levin, the service manager at the Meddlesome Moth, confirms that the trend is alive and well in Dallas. "We've been serving it for about five or six months," he said. It's not quite as popular as beer: A keg of kombucha lasts the gastropub three weeks to a month, while most kegs of beer sell off in about a week and a half. But it's making gains.
The Moth gets its brew from Kimberly Lanski, who founded Buddha's Brew in Austin. The 56-year-old entrepreneur was caught the kombucha bug when she encountered it through a professor at UT. Now she brews up to 1,200 gallons a week and distributes to 130 locations, many offering it on draft, including both locations of the Company Cafe here in Dallas.
Another purveyor, Holy Kombucha, is based in Dallas. Its brew is available at nine different locations in the area, including Bolsa Mercado and all three locations Buzzbrews.
Note, there's no buzz here. While the beverage is fermented, finished batches typically have less than .5 percent alcohol. While other bars across the country have been been using the drink as a mixer, here in Dallas it seems to stand on its own. The Moth serves it plain on draft. With low alcohol, a light effervescence and a complex flavor with tart and funky tones, the brew makes and interesting alternative bar beverage, and it tastes a hell of a lot better than O'Douls.