There’s something quite refreshing about popping into a local tasting room unannounced to find that the guy behind the bar serving the drinks is the owner. Joel Andrus, the “Silent Bob” of the kombucha brewing duo who own Sacred Spirits was pleased to see a member of the press cross the threshold of the hidey-hole they call home to their labor of love, a bustling taproom and performance space located at 1059 Wealthy Street SE.
Not your run-of-the-mill booze hall, Sacred Spirits has served its own brand of self-concocted kombucha since 2018 in its all ages tasting room and is continuing its tradition of making soft drinks with a new line of homemade sodas. With sound bowls, sacred geometric patterns and didgeridoos supplying the décor, the eccentric space has been open for a while now, but we hadn’t been back to taste its latest offerings since the establishment received its liquor license.
Sacred Spirits makes mead and is the only West Michigan purveyor of hard kombucha. That’s right, the slightly effervescent, flavored fermented tea drink has a naughty cousin that can get you quite inebriated.
A little backstory: My only previous foray into kombucha territory was years ago when I grabbed a bottle of the curious beverage out of the case of a local restaurant (now closed). It tasted a bit like a vinegar spritzer (i.e., not good).
So, when I popped into Sacred Spirits a half hour before close on a bright Tuesday evening in May, I was leaning heavily toward trying some mead. Andrus, however, me poured a flight of hard kombucha and a house made root beer and presented it beautifully– a veritable rainbow of colors. Certain I was going to have to fake-smile through some samples of vinegar water, I was shocked (probably visibly) when the beverage passed my lips and tasted…not good, but great. Amazing. Refreshing.
Within minutes, I was a hard kombucha convert. Fermented tea. Yeah, that’s the stuff. “I’ll have another. And another,” I said.
Owner number two, Geoff Lamden, who is also a sound healer, dropped in for a jazz trio jam session and filled me in on some juicy info about Sacred Spirits’ special recipe. Lamden explained it’s the use of green (rather than black) tea that makes Sacred Springs kombucha stand out; better tasting, better for you. The other very exciting thing about Sacred Springs kombucha is that it’s jump- started into being with Solfeggio frequencies (electromagnetic tones that are reputed to have the power to heal and raise consciousness). In ancient times these special tones were chanted by Gregorian Monks and have been reference in Indian Sanskrit writings. What does all this have to do with brewing kombucha? Andrus and Lamden noticed that yeast became instantly active when exposed to the solfeggio sound waves. One only has to study the work of Dr. Masaru Emoto, whose work demonstrated water is shaped by the environment, thoughts and emotions to understand why.