Food & Drink » Picks

Whalebird's Blood Orange Kombucha and Firestone Walker Brewing Co.'s Fortem


Is there anything sexier than a fresh, plump blood orange ready for eating? As you peel the skin, pops of dark blood-colored flesh tease the eye. I love tossing segments of that tart raspberry-citrus flavor into a salad or squeezing the juice into a sensual (and pretty) pink vinaigrette. The local heros at Whalebird Kombucha are similarly entranced by the charms of this vitamin C-packed powerhouse, which is in season right now. A little sweet, a little sour, a little tangy and spiked with authentic blood orange flavor, this brightly colored probiotic kombucha is about as healthy as it is gorgeous to look at. Find Whalebird by the glass at Spark Yoga, Roxanne’s Cafe, Kreuzberg, Bliss Cafe, and SLO Yoga Centre. Your gut will thank you.

Whalebird’s Blood Orange Kombucha—About $4 a glass at Kreuzberg, 685 Higuera St. in SLO and 725 13th St. in Paso Robles.

If you don’t mix things up every once in a while, you will stagnate. Firestone Walker Brewing Co. knows this truth all too well, and—even though it’s grown into a massive success story with accolades to show for it—the brewery is still tinkering, inventing, and making big leaps into the unknown. Case in point: the Paso brewery’s new Leo v. Ursus, an ever changing “chronology of beers” set to pop up on local taps each quarter. The first in this unique, small batch lineup? Fortem, an unfiltered IPA that is extremely drinkable, aromatic, and clean (perfect for those crisp, sunny spring pairings). What’s coming down the pike next? Only time will tell. The only thing that’s constant in life is change (well, that and beer).

Firestone Walker Brewing Co.’s Fortem—Price varies; learn more at

Hayley Thomas Cain is changing up her sipping routine. Send your best drink picks to [email protected].

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