When I first tried Zeal Kombucha on draft at Bows and Arrows my taste buds were blasé. My taste for kombucha had been formed by the intense carbonation and pucker-y acidity of G.T. Dave’s – Gingerberry flavor to be exact. Gather round kids: this was back in the day before they had to put the black band onto the (now higher-priced!) kombucha that has a wee bit o’ alcohol within. That’s probably why I used to like it so much. Now I have to pay an extra dollar for that moment during my cubicle lunch when my life feels slightly less futile.
Much like a beer newbie who prefers palate-wrecker IPAs and then graduates on to subtler brews, I expected my kombucha to hit me over the head with flavor. Zeal was “nice” but nothing special. Over the last few months we’ve met in the middle. Zeal has upped their game with a little more carbonation and a little more intensity to the flavors, and I’ve tried enough of their brews to get that the ‘buch doesn’t always have to be in your face to be good. Well, it has to be in your face but not IN YOUR FACE, BRO!
The flavor combinations are genius. Example: The “Master of the Woods” is sweet heather, woodruff (which has a cotton candy-like flavor) and vanilla. Another one: fermented green tea (which lends a lightly bitter, astringent quality) and dried lemons (which are often used in Persian cooking). Bows has vanilla pine on draft right now.
This opens all kinds of doors to mixed drinks, which creators Bobby Mull and Zach Nelson are totally into.
The bottles look pretty, too. I gave a few as Christmas gifts. “Like” Zeal Kombucha on FB to keep up with their activities, and whether you like kombucha or think that you don’t, give it a try. IN YOUR FACE!