A rack of glass fermentation vessels at Moonflower Community Cooperative, where Tailwind Kombucha owners Natalie Day and Doug Fahlbusch brew kombucha that's sold on tap. [Photo courtesy of Natalie Day]

Tailwind Kombucha is on tap at Moonflower Community Cooperative and now you can learn to make it yourself at home by attending a class on Thursday, Dec. 6.

Doug Fahlbusch and Natalie Day first began brewing the fermented sweet tea for themselves and then began giving it to friends before launching Tailwind Kombucha as a business in September when they started brewing and selling the beverage at Moonflower Community Cooperative.

The couple will show people how to make kombucha at a free class beginning at 6 p.m. at Moonflower Community Cooperative’s Datura Deli.

People began brewing kombucha in China thousands of years ago for its purported health benefits. The tea’s probiotic properties (commonly referred to as “good bacteria”) are known for aiding digestion.

“We started making kombucha to satisfy our own needs,” said Day, a scientist with the U.S. Geological Survey. “I drink it because it’s delicious.”

Each participant in the class on Dec. 6 will receive a mason jar with a SCOBY (symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast) and starter liquid to take home to make on their own.

“We’ll show people how to brew great kombucha,” Fahlbusch said.

Kombucha is often flavored with various fresh juices. Tailwind Kombucha uses all organic ingredients when making its kombucha.

One of their most popular flavors is Golden Dragon, which includes added ingredients of freshly juiced turmeric and ginger root, smoked pasilla chili pepper powder from Nunn Better in Castle Valley, black pepper and fresh-squeezed orange and lime juices.

The Golden Dragon tea replaced turmeric supplements the couple took to reduce inflammation caused by various injuries, Day said.

“We have so many people who drink it regularly as a health tonic,” she said. “Since we started making it we can never make enough.”

Other flavors are determined by what fruits or vegetables are in season.

“It’s a great alternative to soda,” said Fahlbusch, who works as the produce manager at Moonflower Community Cooperative. “It’s tangy, effervescent, delicious.”

Fahlbusch, 39, isn’t worried about sharing their brewing secrets because he said not everyone will want to take the time to make their own at home. He calls it a “labor of love.”

“Besides the science, there’s an art to it,” he said. “We will talk about timing, temperature and air flow. It’s a living chemistry set, what we’re doing. We approach it in a scientific way which has helped us progress and be good at it.”

The couple emphasized that they don’t bottle their product — customers must bring their own bottle, or purchase one of the 32-ounce empty growlers for sale at Moonflower Community Cooperative — which are meant to be re-used again and again.

“We don’t want to support single-use products,” Day said. “We’re unique in that you have to bring your own container to buy our kombucha.”

That mentality fits with Moonflower Community Cooperative’s philosophy as well.

“We are continually trying to offer zero-waste options for our co-op owners and patrons,” said Stephanie Hamborsky, the community outreach and marketing coordinator at Moonflower.

The natural foods co-op offers classes regularly, with the intent of “empowering” community members to create their own “value-added products, including kombucha,” she said.

Moonflower offers free class on Dec. 6

When: Thursday, Dec. 6, at 6 p.m.

Where: Moonflower Community Cooperative Datura Deli, 39 E. 100 North

Cost: Free

Information: Email outreach@moonflower.coop or call 435-259-5712

“It’s a great alternative to soda. It’s tangy, effervescent, delicious.”