By Deborah Greenwood
A century-old probiotic drink has landed in Perth and bottles are flying off shop shelves, with some cafes even offering it on tap.
Made from three household items – tea, water and sugar – and a culture known as ‘scoby’, kombucha is a fermented drink like beer, wine and cider.
Perth’s own Kombucha brewery, Kommunity Brew, was created by three young Perth men – Jarred Dickie, Beau Neunuebel and Mason Bagios – who are a mission to change Perth’s drinking culture.
Mr Bagios, the director of Kommunity Brew, said the trio wanted to make a product that would impact people in a positive way.
Their product is low in sugar, high in probiotics and has less than one per cent alcohol content.
“We thought, wouldn’t it be great if you could go to a bar and have a pint of kombucha and then feel good the next day, and everyone could drive home,” Mr Bagios, 27, said.
Kombucha comes under the umbrella of gut-healing foods, the health trend that Mr Bagios said has emerged following the likes of organic and gluten-free foods and diets such as paleo or vegan.
“It ties in with the whole health market thing,” he added.
“I think people are drinking it because it satisfies another part to the human puzzle.”
Slightly fizzy with a vinegary punch, the increasing availability of kombucha lets the health-conscious join in on the fun and keep their gut healthy at the same time.
A bottle of Kommunity Brew’s Wild Jasmine kombucha contains only 2g of sugar.
“Sugar doesn’t really need to be present in drinks anymore,” Mr Bagios said.
“People are very interested in the microbiome and reducing their sugar.’’
Clinical nutritionist Debbie Pym said that its popularity has been sparked by people looking for ways to maintain good gut health.
“In our modern world our gut floras a generally damaged from antibiotics, processed foods, sugars and we need to replace the bad bacteria with good,” Mrs Pym said.
But she said people should be wary of how much they drink.
“I stress to anyone that you should only have it maybe twice a week, and no more than 50mls each time,” Mrs Pym said.