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Happiest Hour: Nourishing Cultures Kombucha


What you’re drinking: Kombucha is a fermented, tea-based nonalcoholic brew, which originated as a homemade health drink in China and Russia in the 1950s.

  • Cathrine L. Walters
Keep it local: Missoula-based kombucha company Nourishing Cultures started selling batches of the stuff at the farmers markets three years ago. Brewer and owner Heath N. Carey says kombucha is a little unusual because it’s a product people like “because it tastes good, but they also like it because there’s health benefits.”

Health benefits, you say? Fermented foods, including everything from kombucha to sauerkraut to yogurt, contain colonies of beneficial bacteria and yeasts, aka “probiotics.” Carey says a healthy colony of bacteria is good for your gastrointestinal tract, and research shows that regular doses of probiotics might strengthen the immune system.

But really, it does taste pretty good: Nourishing Cultures makes kombucha in varieties including lilac, raspberry ginger and chai. We tried the jasmine flavor, which is tangy, crisp, slightly sweet and delicately floral.

How to find it: Nourishing Cultures’ jasmine kombucha is on tap at Black Coffee Roasting Co., 525 E. Spruce St.; bottled at Found Coffee, 1515 Wyoming St.; and available at the Clark Fork farmers market every Saturday.

—Kate Whittle

Happiest Hour celebrates western Montana watering holes. To recommend a bar, bartender or beverage for Happiest Hour, email

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