Don't hurl expensive half-green Mexican cherry tomatoes at us because we stopped by the Whole Foods in Potrero Hill to buy some grass-fed steak and salad fixings. As we approached cautiously, furtively glancing around to see if anyone we knew might be spying on us, we noticed a stack of large brown glass jugs lined up along the front window on the bottom "coffeeshop" floor. Growlers, we thought excitedly, recalling the half-gallons of beer we'd purchased at the Bowery Whole Foods' beer room and sucked down in a Lower East Side alley a few years back. Growlers are king shit in New York City ― at least that's what a January 2010 Times article made clear ― big with Greenpoint hipsters and Park Slope dads alike. If Whole Foods started selling draft brew to-go in New York in 2007, San Francisco should be getting hooked up right about ... now.
Whole Foods rolled out kombucha on tap here at the 2009 Outside Lands festival.
Apparently not. Market trend research probably told some folks over at Whole Foods central command that San Franciscans, despite sharing real estate with some of the country's best indie brewers, would rather drink fermented tea than fresh beer. Yes, that's right ― there's a kombucha bar at Whole Foods.
A call to the store reveals that the experiment started in Santa Cruz and Capitola, and expanded to San Francisco in early March. In addition to the Potrero Hill store, the Noe Valley Whole Foods also slings draft kombucha. The cultured nectar costs 15 cents per ounce. You can bring your own container or fill up from the store's assortment. Flavors vary, but as of today, include pomegranate, pineapple-ginger, and elderflower.
Whole Foods Potrero Hill 450 Rhode Island (at Mariposa), 552-1155