Brewer Yuji Shimada carefully holds the stem of a short wine glass and pours a clear, golden liquid from one of the taps mounted on the commercial refrigerator, the light fizz from natural carbonation creating a thin layer of foam reminiscent of beer head.

"This is what we call the 'original' with no additional flavoring, just the basic ingredients: green tea, black tea, sugar and the fungus for fermentation," the bespectacled 42-year-old says.

"We're the only brewery in Japan with a license to produce nonheated kombucha."