by Gatlin Beemus, Rype & Readi Contributing Blogger
St. Augustine native, Matt Webb, is the proud owner of our favorite local kombucha brewery. Matt was inspired to open his own brewery after a trip to Colorado two years ago. During his travels, he fell in love with a drink that was a healthy alternative for those who enjoyed the taste of fermentation but are unable to enjoy it. Being allergic to hops found in beer, Matt was drawn to its fermentation process and gluten free nature. He brought the drink back to his home of St. Augustine and set off to share it with all of you. Thus, Local Booch was born.
Kombucha is a non-alcoholic, fermented drink made out of tea. Local Booch uses high quality organic fair trade black and green tea and Yerba Mate tea. The tea used in the fermentation process creates a drink that boosts the immune system, helps digestion, and increases immunity. Not only is it extremely good for you, Local Booch’s kombucha is a refreshing and delicious alternative to a soda or brewed beer.
The operation began with a lot of flavor experiments. Matt wanted to incorporate local produce into his kombucha. He experimented with ginger, lavender, blackberries, strawberries, guava, watermelon, and many others.
Matt has been steadily expanding his company from his own personal brewing set to larger fermenting tanks. First, the tea base is made with a mixture of water, Florida grown evaporated cane juice, and tea. Yeast is then added to start the fermenting process. Fresh fruit juice and other natural ingredients are added for flavoring. Carbonation then occurs when CO2 builds up in the mixture. The final result is chilled and delivered for thousands to enjoy.
Matt has made it his goal to bring his kombucha to many diverse locations. He wants to help everyone have an alternative carbonated, fermented, and gluten free drink readily available. Matt and his partner are planning on bottling their kombucha in the near future in order to get more Local Booch out to the world.