Tim Orr, Jacks Kombucha, Constantine, United Kingdom

Q: When did you first discover kombucha?

Riding a motorcycle across America. By the end of the ride my biggest issue was where to get my next bottle. My route looked like a tour of Wholefoods locations!

Q: Why did you start your own kombucha company?

I love the art of brewing and to be able to create a sustainable business that has as little environmental impact as possible. Love Local!

Q: What is your favorite flavor of kombucha? 

Whalebird dry hopped pamplemousse. It rocks!!!

Q: What is your former/current other life or career?

Motorcycle Tour Guide

Q: What is a saying that you live by?

Be kind and do the right thing

 

Mel Tremblay, Babes Boocha!, Hanover, Canada

Q: When did you first discover kombucha?

I was first introduced to kombucha in 2018. A former employer had brought some scobys to work as she had too many to keep up with. I was instantly fascinated by this culture and the benefits she informed me of. At the time I was diving deep into nutrition and its effects on the body. An effort to ease my husband’s psoriasis.

Q: Why did you start your own kombucha company?

2018 was the first time I’d ever heard of kombucha. In our small rural area of Southern Ontario, there were only a handful of people that had heard of it at that time. I saw a healthy product, and a gap that needed to be filled and anyone I’d shared my brew with loved it. Win win! I run a very small brewery, roughly 288 square feet. Small but mighty, with lots of love poured into every bottle.

Q: What is your favorite flavor of kombucha? 

Apple of my Chai by Laurentian Brew Kombucha in Ottawa Valley.

Q: What is your former/current other life or career?

I was a server for many years, switched into automotive for a while, tried the factory life, but landed at Canada Post. I love being outside and interacting with the community. I’m a part time letter carrier which gives me time to pursue my kombucha brewery dreams as well.

Q: What is a saying that you live by?

“Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.” —Ralph Waldo Emerson

Caley Gunthorpe,  Apple Blossom Kombucha Co, East Lansing, MI, USA

Q: When did you first discover kombucha?
I actually discovered kombucha while training for bodybuilding shows in 2010, trying to get my gut health in check. My first experience was GTs Synergy Trilogy, and it was love at first sip as we all say!

Q: Why did you start your own kombucha company?
I think like most of us, the cost of kombucha became quite a lot (as then a young college student) so I began brewing on my own. Little by little I found myself sharing my kombucha with others. Then decided I should go all in!

Q: What is your favorite flavor of kombucha?
Sacred Springs, any flavor! They make such cool flavor combinations, and also Michigan Made! 🙂

Q: What is your former/current other life or career?
Just recently I gave up my full time career as a Health and Physical Education teacher to pursue kombucha full time! It was the perfect transition time for me, I just had a baby (now 6 months!) and am expanding to a new brewery. Although I still personal train and teach group fitness on the side 🙂

Q: What is a saying that you live by?
Those who think they have no time for health and wellness now, will have to find time for illness later.

Bienvendios a KBI México : Kombucheros Unidos Mexicanos

Somos unidos en este momento para discutir los lineamientos de la modificación de la NOM-51 y sus implicaciones para la Kombucha en México

Hemos establecido una clase de miembro especial para los productores de México a un precio mas bajo para apollar la industria de Kombucha que esta creciendo.

JOIN NOW! 

Beneficios de ser miembro de KBI México

  • Acceso a la plataforma virtual, Members Forum/ Webinars 
  • Documentos en Español: Código de Ética, Mejores Prácticas, Identidad de Kombucha; HACCP plan
  • Descuentos y acceso a productos y eventos – webinar de topicos educativos gratis
  • Membresía Full Access ($395)/ Membresía Mexicanos limitada descuento 40% $250USD x año

Kombucha Microbiology: Understanding SCOBY Diversity to Reverse Engineering a SCOBY Webinar

Presented by:

Keisha Rose Harrison

BIO

Keisha-Rose Harrison, MS is a PhD candidate of Fermentation Science in the Food Science & Technology Department at Oregon State University (OSU). She received a BA in Cell Biology & Biochemistry from Rice University and a Master of Science in Nutrition from the University of Houston.

Keisha’s love of microbiology and home brewing led her to her current field of study at OSU. She joined Dr. Chris Curtin’s lab to combine her love of Kombucha and Molecular Biology. She aims to develop a categorical system for Kombucha by first assessing the level of microbial diversity that varies from SCOBY to SCOBY. Currently, Keisha is collecting samples from across North America to identify the bacteria and yeast that live within our commercial breweries. She believes to get at the heart of Kombucha, we have to get better acquainted with it first!

WEBINAR DESCRIPTION

During the course of this webinar, we will review the cutting-edge Kombucha genomic research being performed at Oregon State University and its application to the industry. In collaboration with KBI, this group of OSU researchers have been able to characterize the dominant organisms that play a role in Kombucha fermentation through two previous rounds of genomic studies (KBI Diversity Study I and II). Findings revealed defined SCOBY styles among the commercial population and furthermore a characteristic difference in organic acid production. To best serve the industry, OSU has been directing its attention towards enhancing the tractability of the Kombucha SCOBY. Participation in this webinar should lead to a better understanding of the Kombucha SCOBY and the methods being used to evaluate culture stability.

We invite you to listen in and ask questions. FREE for KBI Members &  Study Participants, $40 for Non-Members

SIGN UP TODAY TO ATTEND THE WEBINAR

July 15th 1:00pm PST

Details

DATE: July 15th, 2020
TIME: 1-3pm PST; 90 min presentation & 30 min Q&A
COST: Free for KBI members & Study Participants, $40 for Non-Members
REGISTRATION LINK
Have questions? Please send in advance to admin@kombuchabrewers.org

Want to see other KBI webinars? Find them here.

Not a KBI Member, JOIN TODAY

 

From May 12- May 15, 2020, kombucha brewers from all over the country came together to lobby their representatives in support of the KOMBUCHA ACT. With many states in full lock down, and Congressional staff working from home, KBI’s bi-annual hill climb looked a little bit different this year than in years passed. Normally, KBI President Hannah Crum and her team fly to Washington, alongside kombucha brewers and advocates. Hours are spent “climbing the hill”- running from building to building, meeting with Congressional Staff, and educating staff and representatives about what the heck kombucha even is.

Since the KOMBUCHA Act was introduced in 2016, KBI has attended over 180 meetings with Senate and Congressional staff, to educate lawmakers about the Kombucha industry and to drum up support for the Act. The COVID crisis threatened to cancel our critically timed May hill climb, but KBI and our brewer advocates got creative. Unable to meet with staff and representatives in person, our team set up 17 virtual meetings over video and online conferencing platforms.

Over the span of just a few days, KBI members, board members, and staff worked together to communicate the stories of how this crisis has impacted our industry and how the Act will provide stability for additional industry expansion. Away from the hustle and bustle of Capitol Hill, the meetings took on a more intimate, personal tone. Often, hill climbs are a rushed and hectic scene. Through the magic of the “work from home” hill climb, we were able to promote the KOMBUCHA Act, and the needs of our industry in general, to focused and interested staffers.

We shared some of the unique struggles our industry has faced over the last few months, like loss of product as well as CO2 shortages. The staffers and representatives were extremely kind, generous with their time, and responsive. As a direct result of our meetings, the KOMBUCHA Act picked up four additional co-sponsors.

We all know that kombucha brewers are a passionate, creative, and hardworking group. This May’s virtual hill climb is further proof of that, and showed that when we get creative and put in the work, big things can happen to benefit our industry!

JOIN US FOR UPCOMING VIRTUAL HILL CLIMB EVENTS AND HAVE YOUR VOICE HEARD!

CALIFORNIA KOMBUCHA BREWERS – June 23-25th

Meetings already set up with:

  • Senator Kamala Harris
  • Speaker Nancy Pelosi
  • Plus YOUR LOCAL REPRESENTATIVE

FLORIDA & NEW YORK KOMBUCHA BREWERS – July 21-23rd

If you’d like to join the meetings, or schedule a meeting with your local congressman, please email lgo@kombuchabrewers.org.

In response to COVID-19 pandemic the kombucha industry banded together to bring our personal brand of worldwide healing to those threatened physically, emotionally and economically.

Kombucha Heal-In Results

  • With the help of sponsors, social media partners, and participating brewers, we exceeded our goal of 100,000 bottles of kombucha donated to hospitals and food banks around the world.
  • We also provided financial support to struggling small business brewers through a week-long program matching gift card sales, and…

  • Our “Embody Health” social media campaign and press around our Heal-In initiative helped to raise the profile of the kombucha industry and participating brands and sponsors.

THANK YOU
to the sponsors of our gift card matching initiative:

Tier 1:

Gamer Packaging
Gamer Packaging
Rocky Mountain Cultures
Rocky Mountain Cultures
Teatulia Organic Teas
Teatulia Organic Teas

Tier 2:

Stephen Crandall
Deerland Enzymes
Deerland Enzymes
Kombucha Kamp
Kombucha Kamp

Tier 3:

Labeltronix
Labeltronix
Mannanova Solutions
Mannanova Solutions
rBiopharm
rBiopharm

Gift Card Matching and Donations

Twenty small business brewers participated in our Gift Card matching program, May 5-11. For each dollar in gift cards they sold that week, a matching dollar from our sponsor pool purchased their kombucha for local donation.

These brewers and MANY others, large and small, far and wide, also reported donations they self-funded and donation initiatives they organized to get free kombucha into the hands of those who needed it.

Check out highlights from brewers’ donations here: 
(Hover over the slider to stay on a slide, or use the L & R arrows to move forward or back)

Brewers participating in the gift card matching program:

Better Kombucha
Coastal Craft Kombucha
Collingwood Kombucha Company
Cross Culture Kombucha
ELIXIR Kombucha
Ensign Beverage
Fed Brew
Idaho Kombucha Co.
Katalyst Kombucha
KTea Kombucha
Mombucha
Ninja Kombucha
Oregonic Tonic Kombucha
Panacea Brewing Company
Pilot Kombucha
Reputation Beverage Co
Revel Kombucha Bar
Rich Elixirs
True Büch Kombucha
Social media & kombucha-donating brewer participants:

Brew Dr.
Buchi
Cathy’s Kombucha
Diosa Organics
East Coast Kombucha
GT’s
Health-Ade Kombucha
Nesalla
Revive Kombucha
Rocky Mountain Cultures
Yugen Kombucha

Press Highlights









A number of brewers received local news media and print media coverage for their donation deliveries to hospitals and food banks, including Collingwood Kombucha, ELIXIR Kombucha, KTea, True Büch Kombucha and Yugen Kombucha.

Thank you!

We are truly amazed at the level or response from our brewers, suppliers, and kombucha consumers. It illustrates that love and compassion can be the foundation to embodying our health.

Thank you to all who participated in, and supported, our Kombucha Heal-In initiative.

Questions? Contact Us!

Hannah Crum – president@kombuchabrewers.org

Kim Noble – director@kombuchabrewers.org

108 Coronado Ct.
Suite B
Fort Collins, CO 80525

(970) 226-8649

Introduction

Rare Combinations LLC contracted Beyers Analytical Brewing Sciences (BABS) to provide an impartial and critical review of their Kombucha Alcohol Detector. BABS is an analytical laboratory based in Fort Collins, Colorado that is dedicated to developing and performing chemical and microbiological measurements for kombucha and beer producers. The analysts at BABS are certified beer chemists with the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) and are qualified to provide accurate measurements of components within beverage products. BABS provides education for kombucha producers regarding analytical techniques that can be used to monitor their products. The low level of ethanol required for non-alcoholic kombucha necessitates quick, affordable, and reliable testing that can be used to measure levels at or below 0.5% alcohol by volume (ABV).

Methodology

BABS compared the Rare Combinations LLC Kombucha Alcohol Detector (KAD) to gas chromatography paired with flame ionization detection (GC-FID) utilizing AOAC 2016.12. Standards were purchased from Cerilliant when applicable. Quality controls were made from grain alcohol and analytically proofed using a calibrated Anton-Paar DMA4500 densitometer that provides accurate density readings to five decimal places (± 0.00001). Five kombucha samples were purchased from a local grocery store and tested by GC-FID and KAD in duplicate to allow comparison. The KAD was operated according to instructions provided by Rare Combinations LLC. The ABV read-out and the raw value read‑out were recorded for each sample measured by the KAD. All sample measurements were performed in duplicate and occurred at room temperature (22-23~C).

Results

The KAD instrument interface provides sample measurement results reported as ABV from a factory-installed calibration curve as well as the ability to make a custom calibration curve using raw data from the detector’s response. We decided to evaluate the accuracy of the instrument using the factory-installed calibration curve as well as using its capability to generate a custom calibration curve for alcohol. The table below compares the results from GC-FID, the KAD factory-installed calibration curve, and the KAD custom calibration curve.

Table 1: Comparison of alcohol values determined by GC-FID and KAD

Sample Measured ABV (%) (GC-FID) Measured ABV (%) (KAD – Factory Curve) Measured ABV (%) (KAD – Custom Curve)
Kombucha 1 0.35 ± 0.01 0.44 ± 0.05 0.32 ± 0.05
Kombucha 2 0.82 ± 0.01 0.79 ± 0.05 0.76 ± 0.05
Kombucha 3 0.60 ± 0.01 0.63 ± 0.05 0.54 ± 0.05
Kombucha 4 0.86 ± 0.01 0.78 ± 0.05 0.76 ± 0.05
Kombucha 5 0.16 ± 0.01 0.25 ± 0.05 0.14 ± 0.05
QC 0.75% 0.74 ± 0.01 0.68 ± 0.05 0.77 ± 0.05

 

Discussion

The KAD version that we used can provide comparable results to the GC-FID using either the factory-installed calibration curve or the custom calibration curve. However, we would recommend that each customer who purchases the KAD take the time to build their own calibration curve on site and determine what curve fit works best for them.

Final Recommendations

The KAD can be a powerful tool for spot-checking alcohol concentrations in day-to-day operations. Taking the time to develop an on-site, instrument-specific calibration curve for each KAD can potentially increase accuracy. Any instrument is only as good as the operator running it. Training, accurate standards, and quality control are required to achieve reliable measurements. Proximity to the threshold concentration of 0.5% is also an important consideration. Testing of final product with GC-FID using method AOAC 2016.12 is still recommended to ensure legal compliance.

Disclosure and Disclaimer

BABS received payment from Rare Combinations LLC to perform this instrument review and validation. Rare Combinations LLC wanted a completely impartial review and did not make payment contingent upon any specific or desired outcomes. BABS does not make any guarantees or promises to the efficacy of the KAD for individual users or the reproducibility or robustness of the instrument over time. The writing in this document is the result of a small‑scale study performed by BABS and is the opinion of BABS only. The data, opinions, observations, and anything of the like should not be used as legal guidance. Past performance is no guarantee of future results. The KAD cannot replace GC-FID as an absolute analytical method.

image of the capitol bldg in washington dc

Our next Capitol Hill Climb to support the KOMBUCHA Act was originally scheduled for May 13th, 2020. However, due to the current limitations of COVID-19 related travel restrictions and physical distancing requirements, we are taking our efforts online! What does this mean for kombucha brewers across the United States? It’s now easier than ever to attend a lobbying event and exercise your fundamental rights! So fire up your computers, turn on that webcam, and let’s bring our voices (and faces) to Washington!

  • Learn the ropes of lobbying with experienced brewers
  • Have a platform to share how the current economic crisis has impacted your business
  • Advocate for your industry and business
  • Create valuable relationships with lawmakers
  • Receive hands on training from our experienced lobbying team via a one time Zoom meeting- Friday, May 8th 11am PST
  • Network with fellow brewers and activists during our virtual lobbying happy hour on Friday May 15th at 1pm PST, led by KBI president Hannah Crum
  • ** NON KBI MEMBERS also welcome to join us – We fight for your rights too!

More information about the KOMBUCHA Act and our lobbying efforts can be found on our website.  

 If you are available to join us, please contact KBI at lgo@kombuchabrewers.org to receive updated information as it becomes available. 

The registration form to participate can be found here.

 

 Alison Root, Megan Root, and Eoin Flinn, Booch, Kikuyu, Kenya 

Q: When did you first discover kombucha?

November 2016. Late to the party. Started a kombucha company 2 months later in January 2017.

Q: Why did you start your own kombucha company?

I fell in love with kombucha, the taste and the increased energy, it wasn’t available on the market here in Kenya, and I knew I would drop off making it at home after a few months – time to employ people!

Q: What is your favorite flavor of kombucha? 

Mama Kombucha (another Kenyan brand)

Q: What is your former/current other life or career?

Engineer to Salesman to Entrepreneur. These days making beer and soap in addition to kombucha.

Q: What is a saying that you live by?

Never give up!