Fizzy & Fermented: Crossroads Kombucha expands beyond Fort Wayne

According to Beverage Marketing Corporation, the average American drinks 44.7 gallons of soda-pop every year. For Robert Johnson, it was root beer, and he felt achy and uncomfortably heavy. He asked himself, “Is there anything good my addiction is doing for me?”

Within four days of replacing his root beer with kombucha, he lost weight, was able to focus better and the tendonitis in his wrists vanished.

Kombucha–a fizzy fermented tea–has negligible sugar and is rich with antioxidants, probiotics and even joint-lubricating glucosamine.

Today, Johnson’s local company Crossroads Kombucha is gearing up to boost distribution to ten states.

Johnson started experimenting with making his own kombucha two years ago, with his first bottle literally exploding in his hands. The second batch? Meh. But the third was divine, the best brew he’d ever tasted.

Most brands use black tea, he explained, “which can be harsher and heavier and doesn’t mix very well with fruit. I use a blend of green tea, which is lighter and more subtle.” Then he adds fruit and herbs to the fermenting tank–flavor combinations like blackberry-mint and the seasonal apricot-ginger.

His business partner Tom Brookshire had to taste it to believe it. After attempting kombucha as a health aid at the suggestion of his wife, Brookshire admits he was incredulous.

“I was honestly blown away,” Brookshire said. “I didn’t expect it to be that clean, fresh, just… enjoyable.”

Crossroads Kombucha has minimal caffeine, about 20% of a cup of coffee, according to Johnson. The company’s next step is to get its products into the local breweries and taprooms as another option for anyone avoiding alcohol. “I want to be the best,” said Johnson, “and not just locally.”

Crossroads Kombucha products can be found at the Health Food ShoppeThree Rivers Natural Grocery Co-Op and other locations. crossroadskombucha.com


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