Alright, I’ll make this quick. Most of you have a sports event to go to. At least, most of you in the States, anyway. Why am I posting a blog on Super Bowl Sunday? Well, this story sort of ties into it – a tea(ish) one.
I have this friend – we’ll call him…uh…ah, hell with it, his name is Jeremy. Anyway, Jeremy and his wife throw Super Bowl parties every year. They are quite well-renowned for their nachos. Oh lord, the nachos.
This year, I didn’t think I would be able to attend because of my work schedule. The best I could hope for was getting off early. That was the case last year, and maybe such a miracle would occur this time as well.
On Friday, my boss pulled me aside to show me the new schedule, and said, “I’m sorry, I couldn’t get you two days off in a row this week.”
I took a deep breath and looked. My eyes widened.
“You gave me Sunday off?!” I practically yelled. “Sweet! There’s someplace I have to be.”
I relayed the good news to Jeremy, he texted back with the address (since I never seem to remember where he lives).
I asked if he wanted me to bring anything.
He said, “The brew of your choosing would suffice.”
Mission in hand, I hit one of my nearby specialty beer haunts – Birra Deli – to do some hunting. Jeremy had a preference for ciders and red ales. Finding the right ones would be a chore, though. That and I was a horrible judge of cider quality. If it tasted anything like apple and not – well – ass, I generally liked it.
My search, though, was sidelined when I looked at the beers on top. Topping the list was something that made my eyes glaze over. Four words: “Kombucha Mama Apple Sass”. Eureka! A teabeer! I thought. As some of you well know, I’m sort of an amateur expert on the subject.
I ordered one, took a sip, and was greeted by something that tasted like a hard apple cider only more syrupy and…well…fermented. It almost reminded me of an apple ale I tried months ago, only sweeter. Like someone had taken several Red Deliciouses and plopped them in a boiling keg. I sipped lovingly as I continued my search.
Six beers bought, and a pint swigged, I left there with only the slightest hint of a buzz. I wondered how much alcohol that supposed kombucha ale had. Well…
I arrived home, stuck the six-pack in the fridge, and went online to check out Kombucha Mama’s website. What I had drunk was just…regular kombucha. No alcohol in it. At all. Well, save for the .01% ABV caused by the fermentation. But why did it taste different from other kombuchas I’d tried? And what the hell was it doing in a bar?!
Turns out the way Kombucha Mama did their “tea” was slightly different. That and they marketed to bars as part of their business model. Not sure what alchemic process they administered, but their kombucha had more in common with mulled cider than the cold-brewed tea-‘n-bacteria cocktails I was associated with. Sure, the main process was the same, but there was something they did that shook it up a little. Most kombuchas have a hint of vinegar to them; the Apple Sass did not.
I had normal kombucha, and my brain had thought I was actually buzzed on beer.
Nay, I was tea-drunk. Sometimes it’s hard to tell, but no brain cells died in the process. Just pride.
I amended a tweet I’d made about the supposed kombucha beer.
I received a reply that went like this:
An image of sixty Scoby mothers coalescing into one being and doing this came to mind.
I’ll take my imaginary beer buzz, thanks.