Capital Kombucha, the first kombucha brewery in the District, recently moved operations from its location on Georgia Ave. in Petworth to the new culinary incubator space, Union Kitchen, in NoMa. Andreas Schneider, who co-founded the brewery along with Daniel Lieberman and John Lee, explains that the move was motivated by the desire for more elbow room.
"[The] Petworth [location] was really cool," Schneider states, "but it was a small space. Union Kitchen is a much larger space. And I really like what they're doing there — helping you navigate the bureaucratic side of things."
Kombucha is a fermented drink that starts with a symbiotic combination of yeast and bacteria, (SCOBY for short). The SCOBY is added to a combination of tea and sugar and allowed to ferment. During the fermentation process, Schneider explains, the sugar is converted, leaving a tea-based drink filled with probiotics, antioxidants and amino acids. The drink can then be flavored with fruit, vegetables, honey, or ginger, among other things. A 12-oz. bottle has 50 – 70 calories and contains 5 – 8 grams of sugar.
Capital Kombucha brews, bottles, packages and distributes its five flavors (ginger and basil lemongrass are bestsellers) of kombucha to a variety of stores and shops in the greater D.C. area. It is available in locations that range from large organic grocery stores (such as MOM's Organic Markets and Yes! Organic Markets) to yoga studios (Bikram Yoga in Columbia, Md.). Purée Juice Bar
in Bethesda even has kombucha on tap.
Schneider is a firm believer in using locally sourced ingredients in Capital Kombucha. "We buy our loose tea leaves from Capital Tea, a local wholesaler," he states. "And we get all our herbs from D.C. Central Kitchen. We want to support the local economy as much as we can."
"I grew up on a farm," Schneider continues. "There's something to be said for eating and drinking locally. You have options all day long. Buying local helps keep money in the community, and we're happy to be a part of that."