IMAGE VIA SOMA KOMBUCHA AND JUN | FACEBOOK
Portland’s local brews are something to brag about, and we’re not talking beer. Like many other health-forward cities, Portland has tapped into the kombucha scene, providing Portlanders nearly a dozen local options for the fizzy tonic. But what sets Portland apart (in our opinion) is its local speakeasy, a self-serve spot with ’booch on tap. We think of it as a very Portland way to unwind.
It wouldn’t be a true speakeasy if it were simple to find. This one is tucked away in a lightly trafficked area of the sleepy Saint Johns neighborhood. Across the street from a grocery store, SOMA Kombucha Speakeasy shares a space with an insurance company (not exactly a space you’d search for a speakeasy). Of course, a couple signs and a window logo point to its location, but it’s unlikely many Portlanders would happen upon this street without a little nudge (that’s what we’re for).
The hard-to-find location might be where the speakeasy similarities end. Don’t expect to walk into a swanky bar. Instead, pour your own ’booch at a self-serve station. Relax on pillows on the floor and prop your kombucha-filled mason jar on low, wooden tables. Or recline on a large leather couch, feet propped on pillows. Hungry? Feel free to raid the speakeasy’s small fridge, which is stocked with raw, vegan fare for purchase.
Oh, and don’t forget to kick off your shoes. This speakeasy encourages patrons to ground themselves by leaving their sneaks at the door.
So, go ahead — grab a mason jar and pick from a revolving rotation of fizzy flavors, including cucumber jalapeño (with CBD), Gooseberry and Cordyceps, Ginger Kombucha and RESOLVE Coffee-Bucha (our go-to brew). Stay awhile and sip a few.
Ever wonder who’s behind the brew? Long before the SOMA Speakeasy attracted Portlanders to its taps, Jean-Pierre Parent, a yoga teacher, began bringing his home-brewed kombucha to class as a way to encourage people to bond. His students loved it so much that they began asking to purchase it. Eventually, he began brewing and bottling his home brew.
Now, you can buy SOMA kombucha in hundreds of locations throughout California and the Pacific Northwest, including their second kombucha taproom in Portland’s Belmont neighborhood. They’re also working on locations #3 in the Alberta district and #4 in Beaverton.
What sets this brand apart is that it appeals to both devout and skeptical kombucha drinkers alike. Jean-Pierre’s secret family recipe allows him to brew for much longer than normal without making alcohol or creating the vinegar taste, so it has time to develop more of the stuff you drink kombucha for—billions more probiotics than any other brand—and is also pretty delicious! Don’t take it from us though; SOMA recently won “Best Kombucha” in a 2018 Best of Portland survey, the first time kombucha was a category.
Stop by this unassuming spot during the day, any day of the week, and maybe throw back a turmeric-black pepper-lemon elixir shot for a dose of good vibes and natural energy. We’ll cheers to that!