Those of you who are beer-lovers residing in the Midwest may have heard of Unity Vibration. They make some great kombucha beer, if you can handle it. But of course this being a tea blog and all, I thought I really needed to review my favorite Unity Vibration kombucha, Strawberry Rhubarb. I first encountered Strawberry Rhubarb on cask at the Ypsi Brew Fest four?ish years ago. I have to say, it was the highlight of the trip and on subsequent years I went to them directly after stopping at Jolly Pumpkin. ;) Additionally, having grown up in VERY rural Michigan, my mother grew (and grows) her own rhubarb and every summer (with a big enough crop) I was treated to Rhubarb pie (the no-strawberry unadulterated recipe is far superior imho). Thanks to this I utterly adore rhubarb and if anyone knows of a rhubarb beer they’d like to recommend I’d be super grateful.
This week I discovered UV’s Strawberry Rhubarb can be purchased in the bottle while in season! I bought two bottles but I should have gotten more–it’s a real treat. If you haven’t heard about it, kombucha is a fermented, carbonated tea that can vary from the most awful tasting thing you’ve ever put in your mouth to the most delightful. Unity Vibration has made some I’d put into one or the other (not both yet) category and Strawberry Rhubarb definitely falls into the later. In scent, SR is all strawberry and fizz: there is no correct way to open a bottle of Unity Vibration but I’ve learned from many attempts and many mishaps how not to lose more than 1/3rd in the process. It would be hard to describe the texture unless you’re someone who drinks a lot of beer (a close cousin?) and I’m not so I’ll just say it’s slightly thinner than beer, but alive with probiotic cultures (~1 billion organisms) and zest. Unity Vibration does tend to have more than the trace amount of alcohol present in most any other kombucha and with SR it’s present the second it hits the tongue, creating an almost daiquiri. It’s hard to say what the original gravity is but the in-bottle alcohol content is actually lower than most any beer. In aftertaste, SR is all rhubarb with a strong carbonation akin to root beer. Strawberry Rhubarb is easily Unity Vibration’s best tasting kombucha.
Unity Vibration can be purchased from large grocers and beer stores in Washtenaw and Wayne county and there’s a list on their website, but the cheapest I’ve found it is at Arbor Farms Market for $9. If you’ve never tried kombucha, you should start by drinking UV SR.