Nathan Zeender is a proud DC native, born along the banks of the Sligo Creek. Nathan’s hands-on interests, inspired by a culinary imagination and a dilettante nature, include soda and tonic making, beekeeping, foraging and herbalism, cooking and baking, artisan beer brewing, and gardening. WildCraft Soda is the culmination of these pursuits.
Nathan's brewing has been prominently profiled in the Washington Post and the Washington City Paper. He is the head brewer of Right Proper Brewing Company, an artisanal brew pub opening in 2013 in the District.
We work with select purveyors and foragers to provide wildcrafted ingredients to brew our sodas. Whole botanicals, herbs, and spices are decocted in a kettle for a prescribed period of time to extract flavor, aroma, and nutrients. The sodas are lightly sweetened with pure honey for balance, then are immediately chilled, kegged, and carbonated. By always being mindful and keeping our unfiltered sodas refrigerated, we ensure their freshness to our drinkers.
Wildcraft: verb [with object] gather (herbs, plants, and fungi) from the wild.
Healing and nutritive botanical beverages have been brewed for thousands of years. From the druids of Northern Europe to the native peoples of the Americas, these folk beverages have traditionally served both victual and tonic needs.
But we aren't all stodgy historic facts; our sodas are soulful and fun beverages that have the added benefit of being good for you. We encourage the curious to get creative and blend our sodas with their favorite spirits.
The sodas will be draft-only and available at a limited number of our favorite bars and restaurants around the District. In the spring we plan on having a draft stand at a few farmers’ markets around town. We are launching with two flavors and will soon expand with seasonal and other inspired offerings.
Groot Beer is a true root beer. Whole wildcrafted botanicals including sarsparilla root, licorice root, burdock root, ginger root, and chicory root are decocted to extract flavor and healthful compounds to produce an aromatic, earthy, and herbal botanical soda lightly sweetened with pure buckwheat honey. Beverages made from the anatomy of medicinal trees and plants have a long tradition with the native peoples of the Americas and Northern Europe for their nutritive and restorative properties. All of the roots in this recipe have been used for centuries as natural liver and circulatory tonics.
Ebulon is a fruity, tangy, and spicy botanical soda with the complementary flavors of elderberry, hibiscus, rosehip, pink peppercorn, ginger root, and pure wildflower honey. The name is a nod to an historic elderberry cordial known to promote "ebullience.” The recipe is naturally rich with Vitamin C and antioxidants and borrows inspiration from botanical winemaking, the Caribbean flavor palette, and Colonial era drinking vinegars called shrubs.
Your contributions will allow us to procure the equipment and raw materials we will need for production-sized batches including a food-grade pump, heat exchanger, stainless steel kegs, CO2 tanks, draft box, regulators, and fittings. Your support is a vital part of our success.
Risks and challenges
Starting any small business has its inherent risks and challenges. We have already begun maneuvering the sticky wickets of licensing, regulation, and taxation. We are not aware of any other small-batch botanical soda producer in the District--so we will be blazing a new trail and working closely with our local regulatory officials. We believe we are up to the challenge and look forward to sharing our soda and our passion with you.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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