A yoga-centric trip to Hawaii is to blame for Matt and Lara Ball’s introduction to, and love for, kombucha. Now they have opened Wild Kombucha by Ballsy Brewing.
The pair’s shared interest in natural health and wellbeing prompted them to start this side project. Although the naturally energising and detoxifying drink has been around in Eastern Europe, Russia, China and Japan for centuries, it’s recently made waves in health circles in Australia because of its supposed probiotic qualities and other health benefits.
The roomy spot they’ve named a “collaboratory” sits discretely on Parramatta Road. With natural light streaming through the skylights and the smell of native flowers in the air, the warm space is testament to Lara’s background in public art. Beakers and test tubes sit on high shelves, which have been crafted, along with other wooden fittings, by Lara’s father. The coolroom houses kegs of the flavoured brews while a microscope and other science paraphernalia are at the ready for curious inspections. “The strains of yeast and bacteria in the living colony are very dynamic, so the flavours are constantly changing. No two Kombuchas will taste exactly alike,” says Matt. He continues to work as an eye surgeon while enjoying the side project.
The lightly carbonated drink is made by the fermentation of green or black tea and raw cane sugar, which creates a living product full of organic acids. Available in flavours such as ginger, finger lime, cold-drip coffee and more, you can take Wild Kombucha with you in either a 500-milliltre or 750- millilitre refillable bottle. Clean out your carafes and refill them at the Bar & Collaboratory in Leichhardt, or drop into one of Wild Kombucha’s other on-tap friends at Orchard St Elixir Bar, Ruby’s Diner or Greenhouse Coffee.
The collaboratory houses two other projects in the shared space – Loco Love, an organic raw chocolate company by Emica Penklis and Wild Thing Raw, the raw-food initiative by Demelza Donohoo. Creative collaborations between the three wholesome businesses come in the form of pop-up breakfasts, Japanese dinners and dessert bars. Details for all events can be found on the Wild Kombucha website.
Wild Kombucha by Ballsy Brewing
495 Parramatta Road, Leichhardt
Fri & Sat 10am–5pm Sun & Mon 10-3pm
(And by appointment)