For Diane and Arjuna, who are business and life partners, a trip to Hawaii set the wheels in motion for Whistler Elixir, the kombucha company that has taken Whistler by storm. Their vivid, aesthetic bottles can now be spotted at many food outlets in town, nestled alongside some of Canada's 'booch giants. They were inspired by Kauai Juice Co., falling in love with their products, branding and business model. But why kombucha?
In case you've been living under a rock, Kombucha is a sparkling beverage produced by fermenting tea with a culture of yeast and bacteria. These ’SCOBYS’ - symbiotic cultures of bacteria and yeast - produce a crisp, refreshing, probiotic drink that can vary from sweet to tangy depending on your tastebuds and the length of the fermentation process. It is thought that the bacteria line your digestive tract and support your immune system, as well as gut health.
So where did it all begin? For Arjuna, Whistler Elixir has been the perfect evolution from his career as a naturopathic doctor and acupuncturist.
Having developed a specific interest in digestive health and the human 'microflora', his interest was piqued by the concept of kombucha brewing. Revisiting his humble roots in biochemistry has been an exciting venture, as he now puts this knowledge to work in their brewing room. For Diane, studying health sciences in university sparked her interest in nutrition and fermentation, which naturally led her to kombucha. Now a kombucha queen, Diane has spent the past several years learning from some of Canada's best brewers and refining her concoctions.
Exemplified by their lengthy careers in healthcare, Diane and Arjuna's values are rooted in individual, community and environmental health. Whistler Elixir is the manifestation of their passions: mountain living, natural health, cultivating community and creating amazing thirst-quenching beverages! For this business couple, sharing their brews with the Sea to Sky community is as rewarding as it gets. Living here means embracing nature, endorsing health, and being in sync with the seasons.
"Living within these gorgeous mountains, with beautiful people who live epic lives.... It’s perfection."
Whistler Elixir brews raw and unfiltered craft kombucha tea in small batches with organic ingredients. Diane uses 95% organic ingredients, and the business is in the process of their Organic Certification. They use local, seasonal berries and botanicals, even wild foraged ingredients when available! Hence the product line is described as 'wild craft' kombucha, embodying strong, bold natural flavors that are distinctively rich and tangy, without additives.
Whenever possible, they use their own organic cold-pressed juice made from fruits in their kitchen. Diane has a keen interest in foraging local elderflowers and wants to keep the operation's footprint as small and minimally invasive as possible. Unlike other kombucha producers, Diane and Arjuna believe in leaving their ferments for a little longer than usual, and opt to use whole botanicals and fruits for a low-sugar, high-nutrient finished product.
Diane and Arjuna were kind enough to let us sample a wide range of their flavors, and it was impossible to choose a favorite.
From aptly named Claude Monet - containing botanicals such as chamomile, lavender, and elderflower, to the Razz-Goji-Rose, a tangy, bolder flavour comprised of rose petals, fresh raspberries, and goji berries, the tasting was a sensory delight.
A standout was Liquid Gold, featuring carrot, turmeric, ginger, orange and black pepper, this was a very healing and grounding tonic.
Their latest flavor, Mountain High, does for your tastebuds what a cucumber mask does for your skin. Made with cucumber, mint, lime, apple and E3 live green algae - it is intoxicating, refreshing and addictively smooth. We finished off bold with the Ginger, made with cold-pressed ginger juice and charged with lemongrass, lemon and kaffir lime leaves. We felt healthier almost immediately!
Don't believe us? Try it for yourself. Whistler Elixir is located at #213-1420 Alpha Lake Road in Function Junction. The taproom hours are from 4-6pm every Thursday. You can also find them stocked at several Whistler locations, all of which are listed below! Look out for the cutest bottles with gorgeous colors in your local drinks fridge or on the menu and choose to #buylocal.
Whistler Elixir is stocked in:
Olive’s Community Market
Coast Mountain Brewery
Araxi & Bar Oso
Whistler Olympic Park
The Grocery Store
Whistler Medical Clinic
Green Lake Station