Andrew Keegan, the former teen heartthrob best known for his role in “10 Thing I Hate I Hate About You,” is once again in the spotlight—but not for his hunky good looks.
The actor-turned-New Age lifestyle guru was busted by undercover agents from the California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) last Friday for selling illegal kombucha during a fundraising event at his Full Circle spiritual center in Venice, California, reports Argonaut Online.
Keegan, who started his own religion dubbed Full Circle last year, says he was unaware he had been violating any laws by selling kombucha --a fermented tea drink that has low levels of alcohol.
“Kombucha is something we’d never imagine to be an illegal substance, and it’s frustrating the system has that perspective,” Keegan said. “We’re certainly taking full responsibility for co-creating the event. We try to put our best foot forward. We wanted to raise money for Sea Shepherd as a community; that’s how Full Circle operates.”
Kombucha, the femented sparkling beverage made from tea and yeast, often contains between .5 percent and 1 percent alcohol. ABC agents issued Keegan and event organizations a citation for selling alcohol without a license after witnessing the beverage being served.
“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 Argonaut Online. “They were cited for a misdemeanor for selling alcohol without a license.”
Salao said that his department often approves single-day alcohol sales permits for community functions, but that Keegan’s group had not applied to been granted a permit for their party on May 8.
“They may be a complaint-driven agency, but we’re an intention-driven organization and our intentions are pure,” Keegan said.
“Part of our spiritual practice is that we serve kombucha,” Full Circle spokesman Jason Dilts told Argonaut Online. “We were very surprised and concerned when we saw the agents wheeling the containers of Kombucha Dog out of the fundraiser.”
According to Kombucha Dog’s website, their product is a “raw, undiluted kombucha, handcrafted with all organic ingredients” and comes in flavors like Ginger and Wild Blueberry. Though they say their full-strength kombucha usually contains no more than 1 percent alcohol by volume, Kombucha Dog’s FAQ asserts that “it is NOT possible to get drunk by consuming even large quantities of kombucha in a short period of time.”