Who the Folk?! Nate Uri

Last week, we visited Nate Uri of Prohibition Kombucha in his new bar space, IN Spirits, inside of IntelligentNutrients in Northeast Minneapolis, where he’s serving up Kombucha cocktails infused with organic oils. Say wha?? We get the scoop.

So, what exactly is Kombucha?

It’s tea that’s been fermented, a very similar process to wine making mashed up with yogurt and pickle production. Our Kombucha is all about the type of tea we use and that creates everything you smell and taste across the palette texturally. We’ve partnered with Verdant Tea that sources all their leaves from small family farms in China that are beyond organic in cultivation.

They’re certainly healthier than regular cocktails. There’s a lot less sugar in it for one thing. There’s also anecdotal evidence that Kombucha can keep a hangover at bay. I’m not advocating anyone slam eight cocktails with Kombucha, but I do feel better the next day when I’ve had some Kombucha.

What are your most popular Kombucha flavors?

We have the Pink Robot, a guava-infused oolong tea, and the White Elephant, which is Yunnan Pu-er tea flavored with lychee fruit. [I tasted them: aromatic and refreshing].

Why did you name your business Prohibition Kombucha?

I went on long cleanse in Portland, OR for a few months and wasn’t drinking alcohol. I didn’t like Kombucha before, but then I tried the stuff they were serving on tap in restaurants that was made with high-quality teas and botanicals with brewers and winemakers behind the operation. I realized, holy shit, Kombucha doesn’t have to suck! I was hooked.

What set you off on the cleanse?

I was a web developer for ten years. I was very successful, at the top of my game, but I disliked the work. It wasn’t tangible. It lacked engagement with other people. So, in 2012, I quit and went off to the West Coast for a year to clear out, reset, and strike off in another direction.


Were food and drink always important to you?

One of my other projects, that’s on hold for now, was an online cooking show, “Hot Date with Nate.” It was all about teaching people how to cook their own food. I’m pushing for a higher quality of life. That has informed a great deal of how I approach all my current work. It’s a very un-American idea to spend more money, take more time, and socially engage around preparing and eating food and drink; I believe the pervasive “food for fuel” and “dieting” ideologies are major contributors to precipitously declining public health. We have to do something about it!

What makes your Kombucha (and cocktails) special?

We have a very clean fermentation process that prevents some of the funkiness commonly associated with Kombucha. Our cocktails use organic essential oils to elevate the flavors of the Kombucha, along with the absolutely finest liquor. We’re open from just 4-8 pm on Thursday and Friday. We’re hoping for people that want to savor a drink to come visit. It’s not a place to get wasted.


What are your favorite Jewish foods?

Latkes with sour cream and caviar, brisket (hands-down), and my bubbie’s matzo ball is quite literally the greatest thing on the planet.

What’s your favorite Jewish holiday?

Passover. I love the big ruckus Seders where everyone drinks a bit too much wine and there’s fist pounding on the table and singing.

Find Prohibition Kombucha on tap at co-ops and bars across the city or for purchase in bottles.

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