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How Kombucha Brewery Carlington Booch Helps Fight Addiction

Published on October 28, 2021

Carlington Booch ginger kombucha.

People in recovery can get tired of drinking the same non-alcoholic beverages whenever they go out. An Ottawa-based kombucha brewery called Carlington Booch, named after the Ottawa neighborhood, is here to offer a tasty alternative — and fight addiction at the same time.

Josh Beattie, the company’s operations manager, understands the struggles brought on by alcohol misuse all too well — he ended up losing his job at an electrical union before his recovery. His wife Joanne and his friend Jon Ruby had started a kombucha brewery called Carlington Booch in 2019, and they brought him on board.

Now Beattie and the rest of the Carlington Booch team help people in recovery by holding regular community events and creating a safe space for people to share their struggles and support one another.

Kombucha Company Carlington Booch Helps Fight Addiction in Ottawa

“Our whole purpose, the only reason why we brew kombucha, is because we want to help fight addiction in Ottawa,” Beattie says. “It’s become even more prevalent during the pandemic. We’ve lost a lot of friends due to overdose and suicide, so we really want to come alongside those people because we are those people.”

As part of its social branch, called Ashes to Rubies, Carlington Booch hosts monthly shows for people to come together, connect, tell stories and share their art. Beattie says people are free to share anything that brings them joy — in the past they’ve seen everything from Hip Hop moves to spoken word poetry performed.

“We wanted to create a space for people to share their story and give hope a platform,” he says. “It’s a free event, and maybe you’re struggling, but you may be encouraged to find hope by listening to someone else’s story.”

Carlington Booch Kombucha Brewery Plans to Open a ‘Dry Taproom’

In 2022, Carlington Booch hopes to continue expanding across Ottawa and beyond. They also plan on opening a dry taproom where people in recovery or the sober curious can meet up, hang out and socialize without feeling the pressure of being around alcohol.

“Addiction has taken people out of the community — it’s isolated people — so we want to bring people into a safe space and let them know you don’t need to be ashamed of the struggles you’ve had in the past,” Beattie says.

The company currently carries six flavors of kombucha: ginger, naked, root beer, rhubarb cream soda, raspberry and blueberry. Filled with probiotics, nutrients and antioxidants, kombucha is a great option for anyone looking to swap out their regular glass of vino for something a little healthier.

Other inspiring people making a difference in their communities: Clifton Gillock, the co-founder of an ice pops company that provides employment for people in recovery, and Emily O’Brien, the founder of Comeback Snacks, which supports re-integration for people leaving prison.

Lead image courtesy Carlington Booch Kombucha. Photo by François Mittins.

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The Author
Mackenzie Patterson is a Toronto-based writer and journalist. She enjoys long walks, iced coffee on tap, and discovering all the latest and greatest health and wellness trends.