Bob "The Brewmaster" Arceneaux
In 2012, Bob's interest in kombucha was peaked when his wife Life was reading Sally Fallon’s book Nourishing Traditions. There’s a section on fermented beverages and discovering old traditions of fermented foods and beverages. She was already a kombucha drinker and decided to make it herself. She went to YouTube to look for videos on how to make a scoby.
Lisa used a bottle of GT’s Kombucha and added it to some sweet tea and waited a few weeks for a scoby (pellicle) to form. She followed the recipe in the book and another recipe from some other (undetermined) person. She did so and started making a few batches. Due to a negative reaction to some foods, she started removing some fermented foods from her diet, so that stopped the kombucha production.
Bob remembers an evening in which there was a 1-gallon glass jug full of lemon ginger kombucha in the family kitchen. He and his wife and four sons drank it all at dinner. It was an eye-opener for him, as he never gave it much though other than a weird drink for health nuts. He was obviously wrong about that part.
Bob rarely ever bought a bottle of “booch” from the store, but he would drink a sip from bottles Lisa brought home from time to time. It wasn’t until July 2020 when he was scrolling through Instagram and stumbled across an account for JunMagnolia and it caught his interest. Bob couldn’t find JunMagnolia anywhere to purchase so he started messaging the owner online. Eventually Bob and the owner, Lawless Turner, met up, swapped stories, and shared in their passion for the product and the business.
Having told his wife about this new and fascinating beverage, Lisa encouraged Bob to start making jun kombucha. (Jun is kombucha made with honey and green tea as opposed to sugar and black tea, as regular/typical kombucha is made.) Bob got a bottle of starter liquid and began making his own jun kombucha in November 2020.
While brewing a one-gallon batch every weekend, Bob experimented with different flavorings on each batch. Elderflower, Lemon Lavender, Mango, and Peach were but a few of the flavors in production. This was all quite enjoyable, and he was bottles to his place of business, the Orleans Coffee warehouse in Kenner, where his asscoiates could taste test.
By 2021, Bob had met many kombucha enthusiasts who helped him learn the art, craft, and science of making great kombucha. Oliver Kodner, owner of Brewstock Homebrew Supplies was a valuable resource along with brewers who sell kombucha at farmers markets.
The first opportunity for Bob to offer his kombucha publicly was Brewstock Fest at the Duetches Haus in New Orleans on September 17, 2022. He set up his La Rive Kombucha kiosk alongside 32 other beer homebrewers for guests to sample products. The response was overwhelmingly positive. His second opportunity came when Oliver let him, once again, set up alongside the homebrewers at Nola On Tap, Louisiana’s largest beer event on March 18, 2023.
In April 2023, Bob traveled to Long Beach, California for a three-day event called Kombucha Kon. This annual conference was an informative event as there was a long stream of classes and seminars every day. Bob learned and got serious about fine-tuning his techniques, methods and procedures.
Recently, Bob settled on five exciting flavors of La Rive Kombucha. He plans to offer new seasonal flavors in time, and currently he is sampling his kombucha at the Harahan Farmers Market at Hickory and Wilson Streets. He hopes to eventually set up at other farmers markets around town, but Bob is always willing to deliver bottles of booch if there’s available inventory wherever folks are in need of La Rive Kombucha!