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February 26th, 2014 LYLA ROWEN | Bar Reviews
 

Soma Kombucha Speakeasy: Basement Booch

clublist_soma_4017SOMA KOMBUCHA SPEAKEASY - IMAGE: rosnaps.com
Certain things about Soma Kombucha Speakeasy (7319 N John Ave., facebook.com/somapdx) are very much like a speakeasy. Starting with the fact that it’s hidden under an insurance office and you gain entry by ringing a buzzer. Once inside, you’re confronted with the bitter smell of fermenting kombucha and a set of stairs that lead down to a crimson-hued hangout furnished with wooden lawn chairs that don’t quite feel broken-in after a month. The playlist includes both old-timey jazz and breathing ohms. Battery-powered candles sit atop the matching tables. Our host, April, fills in while owner Jean-Pierre is in India. She graciously pours the entire selection before getting back to the book on her iPad. At this tasting room with very limited hours (5-9 pm Thursday-Friday and 11 am-6 pm Saturday-Sunday), you can get free tastings of the two kombuchas on tap and the company’s larger line of bottled booch. I found the coffee kombucha too acidic, but loved the sugar and spice of the cherry chai. Growlers, gallons, pints and bottles are available to take home. There is only one food item available: organic quinoa with seasonal vegetables and a side salad. It’s a unique place to visit if you find yourself with time to kill in St. Johns and don’t feel like tacos and beer. Be warned, though: The kombucha served here is non-alcoholic, which some would say makes it not like a speakeasy at all.
 
  • Currently 3.5/5 Stars.
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