When Curtis Shimmen (pictured) founded Kore Kombucha three years ago, he was already dreaming about opening a kombucha taphouse.
“Taphouses are a great way to introduce people to a wide variety of kombucha,” Shimmen says, pointing out that most stores carry only a few flavors of the bubbly, fermented drink, leaving out some more enigmatic concoctions, such as coffee kombucha with raspberry or vanilla chai kombucha.
The Kore Taphouse, which will open sometime in late April at 543 Blair Blvd., offers 29 kombuchas on tap, including Humm Kombucha from Bend and Brew Dr. from Portland. The taphouse will also feature other drinkable fermented beverages — namely kefir (pronounced kee-fur), a fermented milk drink full of probiotics and calcium. Think of a fizzy milkshake with a hit of tanginess.
Once the taphouse is up and running, Shimmen says, he plans to offer a menu revolving around fermented and cultured foods, ranging from drinkable dairy kefir cheeses to fermented veggie dishes: sauerkraut and kimchi, for starters. On Sundays, Shimmen says, he plans to offer breakfast, with fermented beer batter pancakes. Most days the taphouse will be open for lunch and dinner.
Another probiotic beverage Shimmen plans to serve is called jun, a lesser known cousin to kombucha.
“It’s similar to kombucha in that it’s brewed with a SCOBY [a symbiotic colony of bacteria and yeast], but jun feeds on honey and green tea as opposed to kombucha, which feeds primarily on black tea and cane sugar,” Shimmen explains.
To boost your herbal intake, the taphouse also features housemade herbal tinctures and tonics, convenient add-ins to the fermented drinks. Longevity Tonic with ginseng and goji berry contains anti-aging herbs, while Passion Potion offers a dose of jasmine flower, hawthorn berry and ginkgo, a traditional Chinese aphrodisiac.
With its bright purple and metallic walls and center-of-it-all spot in the Whiteaker, Kore Taphouse will make a delightful venue, and Shimmen says he plans to host three music or comedy shows a week.
A spacious outdoor seating area in the back, shared with sushi restaurant Mame, will be next on Shimmen’s list of updates to the building, which once served as an automotive shop. He’s envisioning a wood deck with plenty of room for outdoor dining and decorations.
“Since this is kind of a unique space, I’m striving for some uniqueness to get people in,” Shimmen says. “I feel extremely fortunate to have the opportunity to work in this space and introduce some healthy alternatives to the neighborhood, and I look forward to working with all of the other local proprietors.”
Kore Taphouse is located at 543 Blair Blvd. and hours are yet to be determined. Follow updates on its Facebook page.