Confluence Kombucha: A Health-Focused Cafe With a Flair for Fermentation
Kombucha is spelled in the windows of the storefront that looks out onto Manchester Avenue in The Grove, right under the bustling neighborhood’s signature neon sign. Inside Confluence Kombucha, executive chef and brewmaster William Pauley creates flavorful, healing kombuchas and vibrant plates of vegetarian cuisine.
Nine years ago, Pauley started brewing kombucha after a bout of food poisoning landed him in the ICU with a bleeding ulcer. A natural nutritionist friend told him about the health benefits of kombucha, which range from detoxification and improved digestion to disease prevention and immune system stimulation. Since drinking kombucha on a regular basis, Pauley says he has seen a complete transformation in his personal health, and now he seeks to support his community through the Confluence tasting room.
Pauley started his personal kombucha research and development process at home, hosting friends and family to try his new flavors. He has since created 150 different variations, each one infused with herbs (both fresh and dried), fruits and vegetables. Guests who are new to the drink may opt for the flight, a smattering of eight different kombucha flavors. Those who are longtime fans can fill a growler from the tap that rotates often.
The cuisine at Confluence is just as fresh and funky as the kombucha, with a full menu of artfully designed and presented vegetarian plates bursting with flavor and color. Inspired by his time in Korea, Pauley uses fermentation in a variety of elements on his menu. With previous experience working for lauded St. Louis restaurants such as Blood & Sand, The Libertine and Juniper, Pauley has an eye for fine dining and sought to enhance the genre of creative vegetarian food in St. Louis with the gastroLab at Confluence.
Confluence Kombucha and gastroLab
4507 Manchester Ave.
Confluence’s gastroLab reopens on Jan. 10 after taking an extended holiday break. Its kombucha is also available on tap at Lulu’s Local Eatery, Vicia, Firecracker Pizza & Beer, Brasserie and Parlor in Kansas City.
Images courtesy of Confluence Kombucha.