This is an archival story that predates current editorial management.
This archival content was written, edited, and published prior to LAist's acquisition by its current owner, Southern California Public Radio ("SCPR"). Content, such as language choice and subject matter, in archival articles therefore may not align with SCPR's current editorial standards. To learn more about those standards and why we make this distinction, please click here.
New Age Religion Led By Teen Heartthrob Busted For Kombucha
In a story that sounds like it was from the pages of The Onion, officials seized kombucha in an undercover bust on a New Age religion in Venice.Last Friday night, undercover agents with the California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control raided a charity event in Venice hosted by the Full Circle spiritual center on Rose Avenue. Full Circle, if you don't remember, is the New Age religion founded by 10 Things I Hate About You star Andrew Keegan. "Several" containers of the effervescent, gross-looking fermented tea were confiscated by agents because apparently somebody snitched on them for selling it without a permit. "We're a complaint-driven agency, so when someone notifies us about what might be an illegal activity, we respond to it," ABC Special Agent in Charge Will Salao told The Argonaut.
COUNTERPOINT: "They may be a complaint-driven agency, but we're an intention-driven organization and our intentions are pure," said Keegan, taking the high road.
Most kombucha products have less than 0.5% alcohol by volume, but anything stronger is classified as an alcoholic beverage (.pdf) by the feds. Full Circle, who says that serving kombucha is part of their "spiritual practice," was serving the gooooood shit brewed by Kombucha Dog which, according to their website, is "the most potent on the market." Awwwww yeahhhhhh.
Kombucha Dog also says, though, that it is practically impossible to get drunk off their drink no matter how much one drank.
"We were very surprised and concerned when we saw the agents wheeling the containers of Kombucha Dog out of the fundraiser," a Full Circle spokesman said of the bust, which Curbed LA called "The Most Absurdly, Stereotypically Los Angeles Thing That Has Ever Happened."
"Kombucha is something we'd never imagine to be an illegal substance, and it's frustrating the system has that perspective," adds Keegan.
Full Circle was hosting a fundraiser for the marine conservation nonprofit Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, who are best known as the eco-activists who get hosed by Japanese whaling ships in the Animal Planet program Whale Wars.