Best Practices for Kombucha Brewers

In the interest of self regulation and the propagation of “good actors” throughout the industry, KBI Brewery, Adjunct & Brewery in Process Members agree to the following:

I. Business Practices

  •   To obtain a business license from your local state & municipality
  •    To be in compliance with state and federal tax regulations including:
    • Workers Compensation insurance
    • Human resources and payroll practices
    • OSHA
  •   To carry a general liability policy of at least $1 million

II. Safety & Quality

  • To demonstrate compliance with state and federal health inspection and/or quality regulations as required in your state
  • To demonstrate compliance with all state and federal food and beverage safety regulations
  • To maintain an overall food safety and HACCP plan for your facility
    • pH as a key Critical Control Point (CCP) including in-process and finished goods
    • To make accurate and representative shelf life claims based on testing
  • To maintain cold storage for raw, unpasteurized Kombucha throughout the supply chain to the consumer
  • To utilize dispensing equipment specific to Kombucha on draft
  • To adhere to the practices stipulated by the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) if based in the United States including HACCP plan and other applicable documentation

III. Alcohol Compliance

  • Applicable to companies producing a non-alcoholic kombucha:
    • To have the company’s product tested for alcohol content using the KBI approved method:
    • KBI Approved Ethanol Testing Methodology
    • The company should test its product at the point at which it is ready for market for every batch (if in house) and at a minimum, quarterly, and retain on file lab results which demonstrate an alcohol level below the legal limit for your country – in the United States (<0.5%)
    •  A minimum of twice per year, the company should test its kombucha pulled from retention samples held in house, and must maintain records that demonstrate that the alcohol level is below the legal limit for your country
  • Applicable to companies producing an alcoholic kombucha:
    •  To determine whether it qualifies as a brewery or winery, and to obtain the necessary state and federal permits
    •  To be in compliance with state and federal regulations regarding the best practices for a product of its classification (typically beer or wine depending on the state or country)

IV. Labeling

  •  To accurately represent the contents of your product in labeling; including, if applicable, volume, calories, sugar content, full ingredient disclosure per CFR 21 or local regulatory agency
  • To be in compliance with the USDA NOP governing use of the word “organic” by non-Certified Organic products or local regulatory agency
  • To avoid unsubstantiated health claims according to federal regulations or local regulatory agency

Best Practices in Other Languages 

  1. Chinese (Simplified)
  2. Finnish
  3. Italian
  4. Spanish


Update: July 2020 – This document is now superseded by the Kombucha Code of Practice which offers more extensive guidelines.