Attendees at the 14th Annual Michigan Summer Beer Festival will have the opportunity to sample the nation’s first pure Kombucha beer – crafted locally by Tarek and Rachel Kanaan of Unity Vibration Living Kombucha Tea. The festival will be held this weekend, July 22-23, at Riverside Park in Ypsilanti’s Depot Town.
Relatively new on the American scene, Kombucha is a raw, living, fermented, naturally-carbonated, unpasteurized beverage – with a long history in Russia and China. The lightly sparkling beverage is made by fermenting black or green tea and sugar with a culture of various bacteria and yeasts (often referred to as a SCOBY: Symbiotic Colony of Bacteria and Yeast).
“You feed the Kombucha mushroom the black tea and sugar and it converts most of the sugar,” says Tarek. “This process creates many beneficial acids, enzymes and viable probiotics.”
Kombucha also contains anti-oxidants, vitamins, minerals and more, which help people to balance their metabolism, aid in digestion, raise energy levels, detoxify and alkalinize the body and is even said to help prevent or heal cancer.
Unity Vibration will have three flavors of brew available at the Summer Beer Festival, including plain, pineapple/ginger and the current seasonal: strawberry rhubarb.
Triple Goddess Kombucha Beer will also be available. Described as a marriage of 30 day brewed Kombucha, featuring organic dried hops and either organic raw ginger or organic fresh raspberries, the brew is open air fermented in a Lambic-style, then oak barrel aged and bottle conditioned.
“Our Triple Goddess yields a unique refreshing exceptional fruit beer,” says Rachel. “The refreshing and slightly vinegar character of Kombucha is a perfect complement to the bitter hops and aromatic fruit. We are an all organic and gluten free product that contains 8-9% alcohol by volume.”
Each batch is brewed by hand and infused with healthy, fresh organic ingredients, as well as positive and loving intentions.
Unity Vibration has been in business for about two years – producing non-alcoholic beverages. Last summer, the federal government issued testing for all Kombuchas on the market. Many came in over .5% alcohol – as they are all raw and viable living creations – changes were required.
“We decided to go the route of ‘microbrewery’ to keep all of our products authentic and to not be forced to dealcoholize, says Tarek, who has experience in brewing wine and beer from wild edibles, as well as more traditional ingredients.
What makes the Kombucha from Unity Vibration different? It’s homemade, meaning the full potency of the enzymes is apparent. The couple began experimenting and brewing their own Kombucha in 2007, playing around with the various unique formulas and flavors. Their products were first introduced to the marketplace in 2009.
Now, under distributorship with Imperial Beverage, their products are found in more than 50 retail outlets statewide. They will also be offering for the first time a single serving bottle and new labels for all of their products created by Flow Design out of Northville. Rachel says: “It is like New Years Eve for us and we are coming in with an incredible BANG! This is really going to take off for us and we are ready!”
In the not too distant future, the Kanaans will be living on their own family farm, growing much of what they infuse into their flavored Kombuchas.
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