From kombucha to beer to cocktails, Kelowna's Brewery District set to expand

Brewery District filling out

Things are continuing to hop in Kelowna’s Brewery District.

The city’s first sustainable kombucha bar is now open and will be seeking a liquor licence next week, a brew pub is also in the process of trying to add a liquor licence, and a third group has applied to open what it describes as an “experiential beverage business.”

The kombucha bar, called MotherLove Ferments, is the company’s fourth location in six years of existence. It offers flights, growler fills, tastings, glasses of kombucha and water kefir, and tours on request.

Council supports the proposed liquor licence and on Tuesday will recommend that staff forward the application to the BC Liquor and Cannabis Regulation Branch.

MotherLove Ferments, which is located at 109-889 Vaughan Ave., is big on sustainability, offering all organic ingredients, a high probiotic content and nothing artificial in its kombucha. It also promotes the use of aluminum cans over glass.

“It’s so exciting to have this new production facility and tasting room in the heart of such a growing and exciting neighbourhood,” founder Rochelle Minagawa said in a press release. “I've always been into health and wellness, from being a high-level athlete to starting a fermented beverage business, and I truly believe we must protect our health and the health of our planet.

“I create ferments that support digestion and increase diversity in the microbiome, and I run the business in such a way that we minimize our impact on the environment.”

MotherLove Ferments is open Monday and Tuesday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Wednesday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Meanwhile, Clement Avenue’s Bad Tattoo Brewing will also hear on Tuesday that council supports its liquor licence amendment and will have it forwarded to the LCRB. Bad Tattoo is already open as a restaurant, and obtaining the licence will allow it to start brewing and selling its own beer in the facility, much like its flagship location in Penticton. The brew pub is also in the process of obtaining a manufacturing licence with the LCRB.

Finally, a business called Born to Shake has applied to the City of Kelowna for a liquor licence support to operate its cocktail enterprise at 110-889 Vaughan Ave., which is right next to MotherLove Ferments.

Shayne Labis and Nicole Barron manufactured cocktail products and assembled do-it-yourself cocktail kits for their Instagram followers during the pandemic. Those did so well that the duo has decided to advance its business to the brick-and-mortar stage.

If Born to Shake eventually does get permission to operate, it will manufacture and retail cocktail products, and host in-person cocktail classes and high-end cocktail experiences.

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