FSMA - Food Safety & Modernization Act

FSMA (Food Safety Modernization Act) is a federal law enacted in January of 2011 in the United States that aims to ensure the safety of the food supply. To be in compliance with FSMA, a business must implement a food safety plan that includes, but is not limited to, a HACCP plan. 

However, Food Safety Plans are not unique to the United States. Many countries around the world have food safety regulations that require food businesses to implement a food safety plan. Some of the countries include:

  • European Union (EU): The EU has a comprehensive food safety framework that requires food businesses to implement a food safety management system, such as Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP), as part of their food safety plan.
  • Australia: The Australian food safety regulatory framework requires food businesses to implement a food safety program, which includes HACCP principles, as part of their food safety plan.
  • Canada: The Canadian Food Inspection Agency requires food businesses to implement a food safety program that includes HACCP principles as part of their food safety plan.
  • Japan: The Japanese food safety regulatory framework requires food businesses to implement a food safety management system, which includes HACCP principles, as part of their food safety plan.
  • New Zealand: The New Zealand food safety regulatory framework requires food businesses to implement a food safety program that includes HACCP principles as part of their food safety plan.

It is important to note that the specific requirements for a food safety plan will vary by country, and food businesses should consult with local authorities to ensure compliance with applicable regulations. At KBI we aim to support developing a Food Safety Plan as it is a framework for understanding every aspect of your business to prevent harm to your customers, employees and yourself! 

Top 5 Reasons to Implement a Food Safety Plan

  1. Food Safety: A HACCP (Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points) plan helps ensure the safety of food products by identifying potential hazards and implementing measures to control and prevent them.
  2. Compliance: HACCP is a legally required standard for food safety in many countries, and compliance with these regulations helps companies avoid penalties and protect their reputation.
  3. Quality Control: A HACCP plan helps to monitor and control the quality of food products, ensuring that they meet the required standards and specifications.
  4. Cost Savings: Implementing a HACCP plan can result in cost savings by reducing the risk of food recalls, reducing waste, and improving efficiency in the production process.
  5. Continuous Improvement: HACCP is a continuous process of improvement, and regular review and updates to the plan help to identify and address new hazards as they emerge, improving food safety over time.

More than just HACCP...

FSMA (Food Safety Modernization Act) is a federal law in the United States that aims to ensure the safety of the food supply. To be in compliance with FSMA, a business must implement a food safety plan that includes, but is not limited to, a HACCP plan. In addition to HACCP, a business may also need to comply with the following requirements, depending on their specific operations and the type of food products they produce:

  • Preventive Controls: FSMA requires that businesses implement preventive controls to minimize the risk of foodborne illness or injury.
  • Sanitary Transportation: FSMA requires that food products be transported under conditions that do not compromise their safety. Cold supply chain is crucial for raw fermented foods and drinks.
  • Recordkeeping: FSMA requires that businesses keep records of their food safety activities, including the implementation of their HACCP plan and preventive controls. Recall procedures and lot coding go hand in hand to reduce the risk of spreading contaminated foods. 
  • Employee Training: FSMA requires that employees be trained in food safety and related practices, including the implementation of the HACCP plan and preventive controls.
  • Supplier Verification: FSMA requires that businesses verify that their suppliers are producing food products in a manner that meets applicable food safety requirements.
  • Foreign Supplier Verification Program: For businesses importing food into the United States, FSMA requires that they implement a Foreign Supplier Verification Program to verify that foreign suppliers are producing food products in a manner that meets applicable food safety requirements.

It is important to note that the specific requirements for compliance with FSMA will vary depending on the type of food product and the specific operations of the business.

Save Big with KBI HACCP Templates, Logs & Video Course

Hiring a consultant can cost beaucoup bucks which may put compliance out of reach especially for those just starting out. KBI has made it simple for you to generate your own HACCP plan for a fraction of the price! 

Here’s what’s included:

  • HACCP Plan Cover and Description
  • Process Flow Diagram
  • HACCP Hazard Analysis
  • CCP logs
  • Standard Sanitation Operating Procedures
  • Employee Illness Policy and Agreement
  • Customer/Consumer Complaint and Response log
  • Visitor log
  • Cooler temp log
  • Cooler temp calibration log
  • HACCP PDF Presentation from KKON15 by Susan Fink
  • HACCP PDF Presentation from KKON16 by Edward Rothbauer
  • HACCP Plan Webinar by Hannah Crum (video)

Plus our Member Forum is the perfect place to ask questions and share your plan with others for feedback. Join the community committed to your success – become a member today to take advantage of the many resources, educational video library, discounts on KombuchaKon, Kombucha Kup and so much more! 

Sample image for graphical representation only

What is the KBI Verified Seal Program?

Since its inception in 2014, Kombucha Brewers International (KBI) has long understood that kombucha is not well understood by the vast majority of consumers, regulators, retailers and distributors. As early as 2015, KBI began developing a “KBI Verified” seal, and with the launch of the Kombucha Code of Practice in 2020, there is now a published common understanding of kombucha product standards and labeling requirements.

A seal indicating KBI verification of standards and labeling requirements provides significant value for both consumers and businesses in the kombucha industry. This seal will provide the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) with confidence that the brewing process is controlling spoilage and retailers with confidence that the product is consistent and meets certain specifications.

For brewers, this can lead to less TTB oversight and more market acceptance.  This is an example of self-regulation, where KBI sets the requirements for food safety, HACCP, labeling, and alcohol compliance, and participating brewers comply, provide documentation and sign a certificate of conformance. Compliance will also be further verified through randomly selected, periodic on-site audits to maintain the integrity of the seal by the third-party auditor.

Benefits of Participating in the KBI Verified Seal Program

Participating in the KBI Verified Seal Program has several benefits for both businesses and consumers. Some of these benefits include:

  1. Increased consumer trust: KBI Verified products carry a seal or label that indicates that the product meets industry standards established by the Kombucha Code of Practice in regards to product standards, specifications, labeling and compliance. Consumers who are looking for KBI Verified products can easily identify them by the seal and have confidence in their authenticity.

  2. Improved product quality: To maintain their certification, producers must adhere to industry standards for kombucha production. This results in a higher-quality product for consumers.

  3. Market differentiation: KBI Verified products can differentiate a business from its competitors, which will help attract customers who are specifically looking for authentic kombucha products.

  4. Increased demand: As consumer demand for kombucha and living fermented foods continues to grow, participating in the KBI Verified program can open up new market opportunities for businesses.

  5. Increased trust from retailers and distributors: Kombucha is a newer product in the marketplace and has had its own challenges due to lack of education and exposure. KBI Verified products let the retailers and distributors know that it has been vetted and is safe to carry on store shelves.

  6. Create marketing initiative: With the launch of the KBI Verified Seal Program, we have a vehicle to talk about kombucha in the press and to consumers. Digital assets for education purposes will be combined with a marketing plan to raise awareness of the kombucha category as a whole.

New Dues and Tier Structure Generates Operating Budget to Support KBI Staff and Initiatives


As KBI nears the end of its 8th year as an organization, it’s tremendous to reflect on all that we’ve accomplished on a shoestring budget, thanks in no small part to Kombucha Kamp and KBI’s thrifty values. The last time there was a dues raise and tier change was in 2016. Wow! Dues have only increased 2 times in the last 8 years!


The new dues structure will ensure that KBI has the operational budget to support the growing needs of the members and provide the staff support needed for all of our programming – KombuchaKon, Kombucha Kup, SYMBIOSIS Magazine, Wednesday Webinars, Quarterly Campfire Chats and so much more! Check out the Member Benefit Guide at the bottom of the page for additional resources.


At every tier level, for less than a penny a bottle, the dues ensure that brands have access to valuable education and resources, plus it affords KBI the ability to pivot quickly in crucial situations such as the South Carolina matter that was swiftly resolved earlier this year and resulted in a crucial win for the industry.

KBI often intervenes on behalf of brands and the entire kombucha industry in regulatory matters across the globe. Here are a few examples:

  • South Carolina – kombucha remains classified as a non-alcoholic beverage and is not subject to excise tax nor carding

  • New York –  kombucha remains classified as a non-alcoholic beverage and is not subject to excise tax nor carding

  • Michigan – communicate what information needs to be included for HACCP and testing

  • Brazil – Kombucha Standard of Identity – maintain that fermentation is a required step to be considered kombucha despite pressure from soda companies to water it down

  • Spain – support brands in paying of lower tax due to higher alcohol content of kombucha (above 0.5% and below the legal limit of 1.2% ABV)

  • France – support the establishment of Kombucha France and pursuit of TSG (Traditional Specialty Guarantee) designation to protect raw kombucha

  • TTB – ongoing communication and outreach to strengthen regulator relationships

  • KOMBUCHA Act – ongoing legislative effort to maintain low barrier to entry for kombucha and make commonsense update to law to maintain compliance

New Tier Levels & Dues Structure

Calling all Kombucha Brewers!!

KBI President, Hannah Crum, will be touring around the Midwest & Mid-Atlantic Region to share upcoming developments at KBI. Check the schedule to find out when she will be stopping in your area and come on out for Kombucha, conversation, community and more!

She will be discussing the KBI Verification Seal Program, dues changes and share the roadmap for where KBI and the Kombucha industry is headed in 2023.

Chicago, IL - 8/29

First stop on the Midwest tour is to Chicago, IL where Hannah is speaking at the Fermentation Association’s long awaited first ever in person conference “Fermentation 2022.”

Hannah will be presenting on Monday 8/29 3:30-4:30pm 
“Collaborating for Stability and Growth in the Kombucha Industry”

Following the conference sessions on Monday, Kombucha brewers are invited to a KBI Meet and Greet in the conference hotel lobby bar at 6pm CST.

RSVP requested, please send an email to admin@kombuchabrewers.org

Indianapolis, IN - 9/1

KBI Partner & SYMBIOSIS Magazine sponsor, BrewLogix, is hosting a KBI Meet & Greet & Showcase event in Indianapolis. 

Kombucha brewers from across the state are invited to join us for a presentation, Kombucha on tap (bring yours to share!) and networking. Plus they’ve invited all of their retailer and distributor contacts to sample local Kombucha brews at their Indiana Kombucha Brewers Showcase.

September 1, 2022 – 2:00-4:30pm EST  

Learn more and RSVP for this FREE event here.


Asheville, NC - Tuesday 9/6

Join Hannah along with KBI Board Member, Zane Adams of Buchi Kombucha & FedUp Foods for an afternoon of information at the Center for Craft and an early evening mix and mingle at Rosetta’s Buchi Bar.

Bring samples to share – we gather at 2pm at Center for Craft (program starts 2:30ish) & 5:30pm at Rosetta’s Kitchen.

RSVP is requested, so if you’d like to join us, please send an email to admin@kombuchabrewers.org

Atlanta, GA - Friday 9/9

Melanie and her team at Cultured South will host a book signing and talk with KBI President, Hannah Crum. Enjoy Golda Kombucha, Wellness Elixirs and more alongside the beautiful Atlanta Beltway. 

Friday, 9/9 @ 5-9pm EST 

We look forward to your participation in the upcoming webinar. Please complete your registration by clicking the button below.

Registration is required in order to receive your Zoom link.

If you do not receive your Zoom link, please email admin@kombuchabrewers.org for assistance.

Cultured Analysis LLC is a company that focuses on analysis, consulting, and research and development in the kombucha industry. They consist of a team of three chemists who have developed a keen interest in kombucha and how it is brewed. They approached KBI to collaborate on an acidity study.

The purpose of this collaborative study with KBI is to collect and analyze a wide variety of primary ferments from a range of different kombucha brewers to further validate our new technology. Our hope is that this technology will ultimately be used by brewers as a useful means of providing quality control and consistency for their product.

Cultured Analysis, LLC are currently developing a method to determine the major acid components in a primary ferment. This information can be related to the final flavor of a finished kombucha product. Furthermore, the method can be potentially accomplished in-house as an alternative to more sophisticated and expensive instrumental techniques.

We would like to invite interested kombucha brewers to submit a sample collected at the end of the primary fermentation for us to analyze. Cultured Analysis will send each brewer a complementary sample collection kit. The only cost accrued by you would be shipment of the sample back to us at Cultured Analysis via normal ground shipping for around $15. They will also provide a report indicating the identity and concentrations of the major acid components present.

The data will then be analyzed and shared in a report on the KBI site. Plus we will hold a webinar for all participants to understand the results of the study.


Watch to learn why Titratable Acidity matters

KBI Board Election Results Announced

KBI was founded in 2014 with 40 member brands and 7 Board of Directors. Currently KBI boasts over Over the past several years, the Directors have shifted due to changes in company goals and focus. This has allowed new faces and voices to emerge. This year sees the biggest changes to the KBI Board since its founding.

As of January 2022, the Board consisted of the following Directors:

  •  Hannah Crum*, KBI President/Kombucha Kamp
  • Alex LaGory,* Chairman of the Board, Kombucha Kamp
  • Zane Adams*, FedUp Foods/Buchi Kombucha
  • Chris Ollis, Spring Branch Kombucha (Treasurer)
  • Ed Rothbauer*, Rocky Mtn Cultures/High Country Kombucha
  • Amelia Winslow, Health-Ade Kombucha
  • Corey Wood, Elixir Kombucha
  • Barbara Wildhaber, BWild Kombucha (Secretary, non-voting officer)

New Chairman of the Board - Zane Adams

The organization has grown significantly since 2014. Despite taking a hit in membership during COVID, currently the membership is 280 members, a 600% increase since 2014. To meet the needs of the larger industry and membership, the Board decided to make some changes to increase the diversity and number of voices at the table. 

Notably, after 7 years of service, Alex LaGory stepped down from his position as Chairman of the Board. The seat is now filled by Zane Adams of FedUp Foods & Buchi Kombucha. Alex remains on the Board. 

 Zane is one of the Managing Partners and owners of Buchi Kombucha based in Asheville, NC.  Buchi is the largest craft kombucha brewery on the East Coast. For the past eight years he has been a part of crafting Buchi kombucha to cultivate a culture — both the billions of beneficial bacteria in our bottles as well as a thriving regenerative human culture that celebrates fermented foods.  By engaging in community centered commerce, he advocates that Buchi (and like-minded organizations) are joining a larger dialogue around our food system and living in a more symbiotic way with each other and our planet. 

Zane has been influential in providing thought leadership, compliance protocols and outreach strategies for the kombucha industry. As the son of immigrants, his success at this stage of his career is a direct result of focus, determination and deep community support. Zane is committed to pursuing the Seal Program to uphold the Kombucha Code of Practice (2020). His community organizing skills are vital to this next phase of industry growth and validation.

New KBI Board Members - Meet Johanna & Matt

In February, Amelia Winslow left Health-Ade and vacated her seat on the Board. The Treasurer position was promoted to voting Board member thus leaving a second seat available. KBI then held Board elections to fill the 2 open seats and are excited to announce our new Board members; Johanna Denne of Luna Bay Booch and Matt Silbert of Local Roots Kombucha.

Johanna Denne of Luna Bay Booch (T2)

Johanna Denne is currently Luna Bay’s production manager in Golden, Colorado. She is responsible for overseeing all production of all Luna Bay hard kombucha including R&D, quality assurance, forecasting and portfolio expansion. With her expertise in brewing and mixed culture fermentation, Johanna has been integral in scaling Luna Bay to serve consumers coast to coast. 

Prior to joining Luna Bay, Johanna had been working in production for Crooked Stave Artisan Beer Project where she was responsible for building the Lab and Quality Program and last held the role of director of brewing operations. Crooked Stave is known for its world class traditional wild, sour, and spontaneous beers. Johanna completed her B.S. of Chemistry from Metropolitan State University in Denver and her M.S of Chemistry at the University of Colorado.

Matt Silbert of Local Roots Kombucha (T3)

Matthew Silbert manages the quality assurance department for Local Roots Kombucha. He was a marine biologist before his passion for brewing inspired him to a career in fermentation microbiology. Matt joined the burgeoning team at Local Roots in 2019 and has helped the company through major scaleup. He recently expanded his responsibilities to include organic compliance, ingredient procurement and project management.

At Kombucha Kon 2020, Matt was a panelist on the Hard Kombucha Roundtable. He enjoyed sharing his experiences navigating this new segment of the kombucha industry and felt a great sense of community with the other brewers. He also provided technical support to the committee for the development of the Kombucha Kup.

Matt is excited to be part of an industry that promotes health and well being. He is very aware of how diet affects energy, cognition and overall mood. His vision is to work towards developing a circular production model for breweries to better manage resources as they become more scarce in our growing global population. Health, conservation and community building are some of his core values.


Expansion of Board - International Representative - Kendra Sepúlveda

Additionally, KBI added an International Board Liaison seat to give all of our international brands a representative. Kendra Sepúlveda of Casa de la Kombucha (Spain), longtime KBI Europe Secretary, has been appointed to the position. 

Kendra studied nutrition and dietetics at the University of Texas at Austin, then traveled to Spain to study gastronomy. She became a chef and worked in Michelin star restaurants. Her goal is to stay true to that which resonates with her spirit and share positivity with all those she encounters.

“I am incredibly honored and excited to contribute to this noble and trailblazing organization. I can’t wait to help promote and elevate this wonderful project that has the ability to bring something wonderful to the world.  We are at an excellent time in history to be an industry that is supporting the SDG and I feel fortunate to be a part of that.”

Path to the Board

KBI will be holding elections on a regular basis. The most important feature of a Board candidate is someone who has volunteered or assisted KBI above and beyond simply accessing the many resources available to our members. If you feel inspired to lead, we invite you to reach out and volunteer so that we can provide a path to serve the kombucha industry via the KBI Board of Directors.


Recently, the Department of Revenue in South Carolina was posed a curious question. Is kombucha considered a “similar fermented beverage” to beer? This question created a domino effect and some confusion as to how kombucha with an ABV of 0.5% and below ought to be regulated and by whom.

“Crisis creates community” quipped KBI President, Hannah Crum upon receiving urgent emails minutes apart from Chairman of the Board, Zane Adams of Buchi Kombucha and GT Dave of GT’s Synergy Kombucha. Those emails spurred immediate phone calls to the South Carolina Retail Association (SCRA), helmed by Lee Ann Watson, to learn more about the notice that had just been sent out from their organization.

She pointed KBI to the SC DOR as the body that had issued a guidance indicating they were looking into the matter and that out of an abundance of caution, they advised retailers to start carding anyone purchasing kombucha.From there, web searches revealed that this issue had been brewing for a month or so before it came to KBI’s attention according to a blog post by Brook Bristow of Bristow Beverage.

Health-Ade, Humm, and Brew Dr all reached out to share resources and support. David Ransom of McDermott, Will & Emery, KBI’s lobbying firm and legal counsel, also weighed in and offered advice. 

Ultimately, after 3 weeks of intense conversations and sharing of resources, the SC DOR issued an updated guidance indicating that kombucha would NOT BE REGULATED LIKE ALCOHOL! A huge win for the industry and another example of KBI’s advocacy in action. Read the updated guidance on the SC DOR website.

Here are some of the sensationalized articles describing the situation

Kombucha is not similar to beer

The confusion stems from a statute that defines “nonalcoholic or non-intoxicating” beverages in their Tax Code as follows:

(1) all beers, ales, porters, and other similar malt or fermented beverages containing not in excess of five percent of alcohol by weight;

(2) all beers, ales, porters, and other similar malt or fermented beverages containing more than five percent but less than fourteen percent of alcohol by weight that are manufactured, distributed, or sold in containers of six and one-half ounces or more or the metric equivalent; and

(3) all wines containing not in excess of twenty-one percent of alcohol by volume.

One of only 4 states with this type of definition on the books, it was intended to allow beer and wine to be sold on Sundays. Since alcoholic beverages up to 6.5% ABV are considered “nonalcoholic” why then would this impact kombucha? In lieu of a definition of non-alcoholic beverage that mirrors the Federal definition of anything below 0.5%, it considers any beverage from 0-6.5% ABV to be under their regulatory and taxable purview.

When these laws were written and adopted in 1996, the commercial kombucha industry was in its infancy and was not sold in South Carolina at that time. Clearly the lawmakers were not intending for this definition to include kombucha, water kefir, or any of the traditionally fermented low-alcohol beverages that have become more popular in recent decades.

KBI is actively collaborating with a wide variety of stakeholders to assist lawmakers in better understanding what exactly is kombucha and how its materially different than beer or other high alcohol ferments.


Kombucha is an acetic acid ferment like vinegar

Vinegar Fermentation Definition

Fermentation is …(an) anaerobic (non-oxygen-requiring) pathway for breaking down glucose, one that’s performed by many types of organisms and cells. In fermentation, the only energy extraction pathway is glycolysis, with one or two extra reactions tacked on at the end.1

Vinegar is the product of a two-stage fermentation. In the first stage, yeast convert sugars into ethanol anaerobically, while in the second ethanol is oxidized to acetic (ethanoic) acid aerobically by bacteria of the genera Acetobacter and Gluconobacter.2

Vinegar production dates back at least to 200 BC, and it is an illustrative example of microbial biotransformation.3

The “microbial biotransformation” of sugared tea that defines kombucha is a two-step process. First, ethanol is created through fermentation of sugar by yeast. The yeast secrete an enzyme, invertase, that splits the disaccharide compound known as sugar into its monosaccharide components – glucose and fructose. Fermentation creates CO2 (carbon dioxide) and ethanol.

Then through respiration, acetic acid bacteria (AAB) convert the ethanol produced into organic acids – acetic and gluconic acid primarily with some lactic, glucuronic and malic depending on the substrate (ie type of tea/sugar being fermented).

Trace amounts of ethanol remain as a natural preservative that prevents pathogens from colonizing the liquid. Several studies have shown kombucha to be antimicrobial against a wide range of common pathogens including Salmonella, Listeria, E. coli and many others.

Hard Kombucha

Of course, anyone brewing “Hard Kombucha” would be subject to all the laws regulating alcoholic beverages as they are intentionally created to have a higher alcohol content to be consumed by adults of legal drinking age.

The KBI Code of Practice definitions of Hard Kombucha clearly indicate that non-native yeasts need to be added to yield a higher alcohol content.

3.8. Hard Kombucha: A kombucha which is crafted to yield a higher alcohol content than traditional kombucha using non-native yeasts or combining with higher alcohol containing beverages such as beer, cider, wine, spirits, etc. These products contain an alcohol content greater than 4% ABV and are subject to local excise taxes.

3.8.1. Crafted Hard Kombucha: A traditional kombucha fermentation to which additional non-native yeast is added at a later phase resulting in a higher than possible alcohol content.

3.8.2. Spiked Hard Kombucha: A kombucha to which alcohol is added to yield a higher alcohol beverage. Could also be termed “Kombucha Cocktail.”

Traditionally Fermented, Healthy Low Alcohol Beverages

Kombucha, water kefir, ginger bug, milk kefir, and a wide range of traditionally fermented beverages have been consumed by humans since the dawn of time. The trace amounts of ethanol as discussed above serve a specific preservative function with a medicinal side benefit of making it easier to absorb the nutrients.

While it would be wonderful to create a new beverage category, the process is long and arduous and requires a lot of financing for education and lobbying. As such, KBI has chosen to specifically focus on updating the Internal Revenue Code (IRC) specifically for kombucha to raise the threshold for taxation from 0.5% ABV to 1.25% ABV which harmonizes with culturally similar countries in North America and across the globe.

We hope that you will support our lobbying efforts and sign our petition as they ensure that as an industry we are able to self-regulate and be compliant, especially when the “laws of man are more closely harmonized to the laws of nature.”

Anyone who regularly enjoys kombucha knows from experience that it is non-intoxicating and consumes it for the wide range of health benefits it provides. KBI is process agnostic as “any kombucha is better than no kombucha.” Energy drinks, sodas, sugar-laden, chemical-laden and non-fermented “probiotic” sodas are capitalizing on a trend while also tricking consumers into choosing cheaper products with few if any benefits and oftentimes, in the case of sodas and energy drinks, “poison in pretty packages pimped by pretty people.” 

The KBI Code of Practice aims to preserve the traditional fermentation processes with manufacturing controls applied to create safe, nutritious beverages that can be accessed by anyone. We also believe that educated consumers make intelligent choices. The KBI Seal Program will ensure that “what’s on the label, is what’s in the bottle.” 

If the last two years have taught us anything, it’s that health needs to be a top priority at all times. Why not go to the root cause and support your microbiome with traditionally fermented foods and drinks!

strength in numbers


Many hands make light work.
Teamwork makes the dream work.
We grow together.

Here at KBI, we are a grassroots organization with a small, yet dedicated staff and passionate volunteers who donate their time, energy and brainpower to stabilize and grow our beloved Kombucha industry.

The pandemic of 2020 which is continuing into 2021 has thrown sharp focus onto our collective societal and individual weaknesses. 

Health and Immunity are the top words on everyone’s mind and KOMBUCHA can be a valuable tool to achieve good health and strong immune systems. 

And it has also illuminated the many ways in which we can continue to grow as an industry and evolve to meet the changing needs of our consumers, supply chain and distribution outlets. To that end, we’ve introduced monthly recurring memberships to help our BIPs/T1s/T2s & ADJ (water kefir!) members gain access to vital resources while retaining flexibility. 

 Many brands, even in the face of seeming insurmountable challenges, remained resilient and have established even deeper roots with their community.

Let us help you grow your business as we “change the world, one gut at a time.”


Be like Corey & Volunteer Today!

Volunteer Requirements

  • Able to make phone calls 1-3 hours per week
  • Access to a computer to take notes
  • Passion to share about your experience with KBI

How It Works

  • Sign up today
  • Make calls (script & training provided)
  • Take notes
  • Report feedback

Share a Testimonial

Schedule too busy but still want to help? Then send us an email and we’ll share them here and on our YouTube channel!

The KBI Admin team will be send out follow up emails based on your notes. Thank you for your support & participation!



Any video submissions become the property of KBI.


The Kombucha Research Lab at Oregon State University, headed by Dr. Christopher Curtin, is conducting a new experiment to develop standards of identity for Kombucha products. With an increasing assortment of flavours and brands, the range of Kombucha products has been ever broadening. Kombucha Brewers International in collaboration with the Curtin Lab is determining Kombucha styles based upon organic acid and metabolite byproducts. Finished products as well as information regarding tea type and juice additives will be collected to construct a network of Kombucha composition. Nuclear magnetic resonance technology will be used to produce individual reports as well as to fulfill the study’s objective. 

What is the goal of the study?

  • ​Analyze finished products to determine amounts and types of analytes present
  • Use known properties from analytes to correlate to flavor profiles
  • Test TA/Brix to determine Kombucha Sourness Unit (KSU) scale – intended for consumers
  • Offer DNA Sequencing as an additional opportunity for those wanting more insight into which organisms are in their products at an affordable price

What is needed for participation?

In order to participate in the study, a finished product must be mailed to a laboratory personnel COLD (if possible, or room temp if too cost prohibitive). A brand may submit one or more samples for the study. For each sample submission, a questionnaire is to be filled out, containing information about tea type, flavor, juice additions, sweetening agent, and descriptors of flavor. The questionnaire must be completed for sample processing. 

When do you need to receive samples?

Sample collection begins May 25th and runs through July 30th. 

Results will be presented at Virtual KombuchaKon (VKK) – Sept 17-18, 2020 – individual results will be shared prior to VKK

How does my brand participate?

  1. Decide how many samples you’d like to have analyzed.
  2. Purchase that number of tests.
    1. KBI members = $125 per sample
    2. Non KBI members = $250 per sample
  3. Decide whether you want one or more of your sample(s) DNA sequenced, and purchase that number of tests (you will indicate which samples to DNA sequence in your questionnaire).
  4. Fill out Questionnaire (which will be emailed to you following your payment) – MUST BE COMPLETE IN ORDER TO RECEIVE REPORT – no refunds will be issued for incomplete questionnaires.
  5. Send samples on ice (if possible).
  6. Wait for results.


We need at least 35 brands to participate in the DNA Sequencing portion in order for the Curtin Lab to be able to run the tests. To help with that aim, we’ve extended the dates for sample collection. And if 50 samples or more are tested, the cost goes down (and KBI will refund excess payment).

​DNA Sequencing Cost per sample
​35 samples = $225 KBI members; $350 non-members
​50 samples = $165 KBI members; $260 non-members – SIGNIFICANT SAVINGS
​100 samples = $125 KBI members; $180 non- members – BEST PRICE

Sample Report


KBI Style Study

Choose your status

After you have indicated your member status and selected the number of samples you will be submitting above, choose whether to add DNA Sequencing to your sample(s) below.  DNA sequencing is an add-on to the Style Study only.  You may not select DNA sequencing, without also participating in the Style Study, but you may choose to DNA sequence just one, or a selection of, the samples you submit.  You will indicate which sample(s) you would like DNA sequenced when you complete the questionnaire you will receive after you are confirmed.

DNA Sequencing

Choose your status