Our next Capitol Hill Climb to support the KOMBUCHA Act is NEXT WEEK. This is a unique networking opportunity for ANY USA based Kombucha brewers to not only exercise their rights as US citizens but also to share quality time with fellow brewers. Here are all of the great things we do on our biannual Hill Climbs!
Network with fellow brewers and save money by sharing accommodations in the KBI Airbnb
Learn the ropes of lobbying with experienced brewers
Advocate for your industry
Create valuable relationship building skills with lawmakers
Join us in Washington DC on 9/25
Airbnb House 9/24-9/26 (leave morning of 9/26)
Dinner 9/24 & post lobbying meetup at The Dubliner 9/25, leave the morning of 9/26
Specifically looking for companies from Maine, Indiana, Montana, South Carolina, Florida and anyone who is close enough to drive in from New York, Virginia, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Vermont, New Hampshire, or any other eastern seaboard state to join us –
** NON KBI MEMBERS also welcome to join us – We fight for your rights too!
If you are available to join us, please contact KBI at email@example.com to receive updated information as it becomes available.
We are booking an Airbnb that will be located near the Congressional offices, so please let us asap then if you would like to stay with us. The final cost is a LOT less expensive than renting a hotel room and allows all of us to share space, break bread and have fun!
B Corp Certification Process Webinar
Presented By Danny Metcalf – Director of Business Operations, Brew Dr. Kombucha
Join KBI & Danny Metcalf on Sept 18th @ 1pm PST for a webinar to discuss the process of B Corp certification. Brew Dr Kombucha embarked on the B Corp journey over three years ago to cement the core environmental/culture beliefs of Founder & CEO Matt Thomas.
Danny spearheaded the assessment process and implementation of policies to align with B Corp, leading to a successful certification in the fall of 2018. Since certification, Brew Doctor Kombucha has been actively working to ingrain B Corp into their day-to-day culture, operations, and belief edifice.
Does your brand aspire to cultivating change from within the corporate structure? Do these values align with your own? Then, we invite you to listen in and ask questions. FREE for KBI Members; $40 for non-members.
“Certified B Corporations are businesses that meet the highest standards of verified social and environmental performance, public transparency, and legal accountability to balance profit and purpose. B Corps are accelerating a global culture shift to redefine success in business and build a more inclusive and sustainable economy.
Society’s most challenging problems cannot be solved by government and nonprofits alone. The B Corp community works toward reduced inequality, lower levels of poverty, a healthier environment, stronger communities, and the creation of more high quality jobs with dignity and purpose. By harnessing the power of business, B Corps use profits and growth as a means to a greater end: positive impact for their employees, communities, and the environment.
B Corps form a community of leaders and drive a global movement of people using business as a force for good. The values and aspirations of the B Corp community are embedded in the B Corp Declaration of Interdependence.”
From the welcome reception on Wednesday to the after-party on Friday, the attendees at the Kombucha Brewers International (KBI) 2019 sixth annual conference celebrated the theme of “Growing Strong Culture”. As everyone who has brewed ‘booch knows, the quality of the drink depends on the strength of the SCOBY (the symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast). This year’s event was the biggest to date, with 424 attendees and 61 sponsor booths. People from 17 countries represented 112 brands from around the world. There were kombucha brewers from as far away as Japan, Iceland and Australia and as close to home as California and Oregon.
To hear what attracted some of the international visitors to the event, listen to this podcast.
Kombucha brewers at the conference gained strength from being part of a community of like-minded people. It was a unique opportunity for people to come together as an industry. The content of the keynotes, the information from trade show vendors, and the discussions around the kombucha sample bar all gave new and experienced brewers alike valuable insight into a rapidly growing industry.
The 61 sponsor booths at the Trade Show showcased companies able to assist in every phase of the kombucha business. A comprehensive set of solutions under one roof covered everything from financing and production to ingredients, testing, marketing and distribution. Anyone looking to start a kombucha company ought to start their search here to review the list of vendors for the tools they need to launch, evolve and strengthen their business.
There were multiple solutions on offer in each category. Organic teas and flavorings sourced from around the world. Brewing vessels, kegs, bottling and labeling equipment for every sized operation. These suppliers also service the craft beer industry and solve similar challenges in the growing kombucha industry.
To hear from a random selection of vendors check out this podcast.
Bobbie Leahy, director of sales for SPINS– the leading provider of data and insights for the natural foods industry – reviewed natural beverage trends. While US kombucha and fermented beverage sales are up 21% to $728 million in the past year, velocities are down. Warning “what goes up sometimes goes down,” Leahy cautioned brewers to be ready to defend their distribution channels. It was no surprise to hear that the top four brands (GTs, KeVita, Health-Ade, and Humm) account for 85% of sales in the conventional channel. The ‘long tail’ of the remaining brands each account for less than 1% of sales.
Game-Changing Brew Tank Design
Keeping alcohol content under 0.5% ABV is one of the main challenges faced by kombucha brewers. A joint presentation by Stout Tanks and Kettles and Texas-based Bare Bucha described what might possibly be a game-changing design in stainless steel brewing tanks. Unlike the typical cylindrical-shaped vessels, Bare Bucha spent over a year experimenting with an innovative stackable tray designed to provide ideal levels of oxygen to the brew. The increased contact with oxygen allows aerobic bacteria to metabolize ethanol to acetic acid; sugars to lactic acid; and glucose to gluconic acid. The Stout Tanks Symbiosis Fermenter shifts the balance towards bacteria, which reduces overall alcohol.
If these trays prove as effective with other brewers as they have for Bare Bucha, they could well be the shape of things to come and hopefully spurs additional innovations for fermenting Kombucha without compromising quality.
Kombucha Standards of Identity
KBI President Hannah Crum and members of the KBI Board gave an overview of the industry and called for establishing a standard of identity for ‘booch. This is a diverse industry: 43% of KBI members are women-owned companies, 17% minority owned and 11% LGBTQ+ owned. Members brew ‘booch in everything from 2-gallon glass jars to 6,000-gallon stainless steel fermenters.
Work on developing meaningful standards of identity continues, as KBI gears up to publish an acceptable definition of authentic kombucha. Under development since last fall, the standard will attempt to define authentic ‘booch both in terms of source materials and brewing process. It recognizes that creating an authentic product requires fermenting sweetened tea with a SCOBY and that the end product is not pasteurized or adulterated.
The campaign received a boost when GT Dave announced an endowment of $1 million to KBI in support of the program that will, he stated, “fight for what kombucha is, protect it, honor it, and celebrate it.”
Other presenters went into detail about the brewing techniques and best practices necessary to produce quality ‘booch, as well as the microbiology and DNA profiles of SCOBYs and kombucha liquid.
Laraine Dave $1 Million Endowment
Rapturous applause greeted the surprise announcement by GT Dave of a $1 million endowment gift to KBI. GT explained the endowment will help KBI in two main areas. ”First, it supports the promotion of the fair and cohesive legislation necessary for our industry to thrive. Second, we urgently need a standard of identity to protect the integrity of the product.”
GT Dave illustrated the challenge of maintaining authenticity by showing the range of what passes for “orange juice” on the shelves: from artificially flavored juice that might sell for $0.06/oz to fresh squeezed juice for $0.72/oz. Most consumers are well aware of the difference and willingly pay the price for the more authentic juice if that is important to them.
Kombucha Tasting Bar
The well-stocked kombucha tasting bar was the office water cooler at the event. Participants took advantage of the opportunity to share their kombucha with other attendees. There were over 50 brands on ice. Everyone had a KombuchaKon 2019 souvenir shot glass and a chance to savor more flavors of kombucha in one place than anywhere else on the planet.
As people gathered around the ‘booch tasting bar at the end of the day, we asked what were some of the big takeaways. Here’s what they told us.
Tyler Gage calls for Fierce Collaboration
The founder of the RUNA energy drink brewed from guayusa, a nutrient dense leaf found almost exclusively in the Amazonian forests in Ecuador, shared his story in a closing keynote. After college, Tyler moved to the rainforest for two years to learn the local languages and ancient traditions of the native Kichwa tribe. The company partners with these farmers in the Amazon to grow caffeinated guayusa leaves and provides income to the local community. RUNA now supports more than 3,000 farming families in Ecuador, and RUNA products are sold in over 10,000 stores across the U.S. and Canada. Tyler notes that “when you’re doing something authentic, that for whatever reason the universe tends to attract resources and support.” Though like every entrepreneur’s story, there were hiccups along the way, Tyler has landed on his feet at Terrafertil, a superfoods brand recently acquired by Nestle Foods.
His powerful story of how collaboration across cultures built a strong and successful company made a fitting end to KombuchaKon 2019.
Did you miss a talk or would you like to have all the info at your fingertips? Here’s your chance to have all the information that was presented at KKon19! Purchase your conference recording now for $199 by clicking on the ad. *Does not include Brewery Member only content.
Inspirational Beverage Entrepreneur Tyler Gage to Deliver Keynote at KombuchaKon 2019
Los Angeles, CA: Kombucha Brewers International (KBI) is delighted to announce that Tyler Gage, co-founder of RUNA and Managing Director at Terrafertil, will deliver the keynote at next year’s KombuchaKon.
Tyler is an entrepreneur, author, and speaker whose personal trajectory in the business world aptly reflects the conference theme “Growing Strong Culture.” Like many members of the kombucha brewing community, Tyler started small, with a passion for traditional healing. He is known for offering inspiration to growing organizations, and for helping others examine how to dig deeper, and bring greater meaning and purpose to their personal and professional pursuits.
Tyler is a Forbes “30 Under 30 Entrepreneur” and a winner of both the Big Apple “Entrepreneur of the Year” Award, and the Specialty Food Association “Citizen Leader of the Year” Award. Tyler also serves on the Advisory Council for Entrepreneurship at Brown University and advises, invests in, and supports other start-ups. We are delighted to welcome him to KombuchaKon to share with our delegates his business savvy and unique and powerful approach to building business, and creating social good.
What is KombuchaKon?
KombuchaKon is the only conference and trade show specifically targeting those in the kombucha industry. Every year we come together for two days to discuss topics unique to the kombucha brewing industry. We network and share ideas, learn new techniques, take an in-depth look at market trends, and bond over kombucha “kocktails.”
New for 2019
Every year we strive to elevate the conference to make it a valuable event for everyone involved. Here are some of the changes we have in store for this year:
Business Week Conference – as we mature from our humble roots into a fully fledged industry, the conference is now taking place during the week. Come early or stay for the weekend to enjoy all that Los Angeles and Long Beach have to offer: bring the family and make it a mini vacation
Online Registration – no more delays to complete the registration process, plus we have some new offerings with your conference ticket.
Member-Tiered Pricing – in order to continue to improve the offerings at KombuchaKon, we are moving to a tiered ticket pricing system. We also have a new member tier level – more details coming soon! Register at your current tier level.
Lunch Option – instead of heading off-site to track down a meal, we are now offering an onsite lunch option. Spend more time at our even-bigger trade show, or grab your meal and have a picnic on the lawn outside with new and old friends.
Childcare – we know that brewing kombucha is often a family affair! Bring the little ones along and drop in whenever you wish to see how they are doing.
Passport Program – new this year, we are inviting sponsors to offer awesome prizes to our attendees. Get your passport stamped to enter the raffles. Winners will be drawn before the keynote on Friday.
KombuchaKon 2019 will be held on April 18-19, 2019 at the Long Beach Convention Center, Long Beach, California. It will feature a conference, trade show, pre-party, cocktail reception and, of course, the World’s Largest Kombucha Bar!
KKon 2019 agenda:click here Prospective attendees:click here Interested in becoming a sponsor? click here Press and media passes: click here — Kombucha Brewers International is the non-profit trade association for the international kombucha brewing industry. To learn more about the kombucha industry, or for more information on membership, please contact KBI President Hannah Crum at firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit www.kombuchabrewers.org
The 2nd Annual KBI EU Committee Meeting was a resounding success!
The meeting attracted more than 40 attendees representing a total of 22 European breweries from 8 different countries. It also inspired a total of 16 new members – 14 brands and 2 affiliates.
On Thursday, president Hannah Crum hosted “Paella con la Presidente” and met with several KBI and non KBI Kombucha brands while enjoying the literal fruits of the sea and one of Spain’s most famous dishes. Friday night Flax and Kale hosted KBI members for a delicious meal and a tour of their onsite “Kombucha laboratory.” Then on Saturday, everyone gathered at Kashaya Kombucha’s newly opened brewery for the 2nd annual meeting program.
During the meeting, several vital topics were covered including the new Standard of Identity (SoI) for Kombucha being developed by KBI members and the Board which led to a lively discussion. Additionally, ways to establish the SoI in the EU were also explored as presented by Laurent Coullumbe-Labarthe (Karma, France), former head of KBI EU as well as Mireia Mas Gilbert (Kombucha la Valiente, Spain) one of the hosts and organizers of the KBI EU meeting. HubDiagnostics presented on their Kombucha testing portal they hope to launch later this year.
At the request of several members, we arranged a tour of a local beer brewery, Edge Brewery, being run by Americans in Barcelona. Thanks to a sponsor donation from Good Culture, KBI was able to subsidize half of the cost of the tour. The tour provided some insight into how larger types of equipment from the beer industry may potentially be used for Kombucha brewing, plus we all enjoyed some tasty brews and delicious fare.
Upon return to Kashaya, there were additional presentations; one from Mannanova and the other from Hanna Instruments on different types of testing equipment. Hanna Instruments gave away one of their testers and Nicolas Lavalliere (LOV Kombucha, Spain) was the winner!
KBI EU Committee Secretary, Kendra Sepulveda Littles (Bliss Kombucha, Spain) provided a report from Veritas, a local organic market, regarding local Kombucha sales. Saturday night, we ventured out to Bailus Bar where we ordered Kombucha Kocktails which included spirits brewed onsite.
Sunday, a smaller group of KBI members traveled to Tarragona, about an hour from Barcelona, to visit Kombucha la Valiente’s facility. Mireia and Javier were wonderful hosts and Krister Hall (The Good Guys Kombucha, Finland) provided a lesson in tea as that is his field of expertise and what inspired him to start brewing Kombucha.
We left Barcelona with so many great memories and thankfulness to everyone who attended the seminars, tours and delicious dinners. We’d like to offer our sincerest gratitude to all of the KBI members who went above and beyond donating their time and effort to make this a successful event
Kendra Littles (Bliss Kombucha, Spain)
Fern & Christopher (Kashaya Kombucha, Spain)
Mireia & Javier (Kombucha la Valiente, Spain)
Jesus Zamorano (Soul K, Spain)
Notes and the presentations from the meeting can be found HERE in the Member Forum.
We invite every KBI member from the EU to join us on our monthly European Committee meeting calls: 1st Wednesday of every month at 17:30 CEST
KBI is heading to Barcelona! Join KBI members from across Europe for a weekend in Barcelona where will you will attend workshops and seminars on pertinent, local issues. You will also have the opportunity to sample Kombucha from local breweries while touring Barcelona.
When: October 19th – 21st, 2018 Where: Barcelona, Spain @ Various Locations
Register This is a weekend dedicate to KBI’s Europe Committee, you must be a member to attend. If you are already a KBI Europe Committee member and would like to attend, please use This Link to register. The first attendee will be charged €20 and, upon completing registration, will receive a code that provides additional complimentary tickets to staff who work at the same brewery.
Current Agenda (Subject to change and additional fees; all meals are pay as you go)
Friday October 19
2pm/14:00 Non-KBI Members – Meet KBI President & Learn more about KBI
8pm/20:00 KBI-Members ONLY – Meet and greet casual dinner at the Kombucha Lab Flax and Kale
11pm/23:00 Dr. Stravinsky for homemade kombucha cocktails
Saturday October 20 Kashaya Kombucha Brewery is our official host – thank you! (coffee & light snacks will be served)
9am Coffee & Networking
10 am Conversation about Standard of Identity – Hannah Crum, KBI President
11am Traditional Specialities Guaranteed (TSG) & Establishing KBI as an Association in the EU – Hannah Crum (KBI), Mireia Mas Gilbert (Kombucha la Valiente, Spain), Laurent Coulloumme-Labarthe (Karma Kombucha, France)
12-2pm/12-14:00 Edge Brewery Tour (+ €20) beer brewery that offers tour & tasting
3pm/15:00 – Afternoon program begins (Speakers TBD)
9pm/21:00 – Meet for Dinner (Location TBD)
11pm/23:00 – Drinks
Sunday October 21
10-3pm/ 10-15:00 Visit Kombucha La Valiente Kombucha brewery in Tarragona (+ €20 for the bus transport to and from the brewery)
Become a Member Not a KBI member? Check out our Membership page for additional information about KBI, membership perks and how to join!
Muchas Gracias to Kendra Sepulveda and the KBI EU Committee planning team for organizing this event!
Kombucha, the wildly popular fermented tea, gets a special showcase with the new Kombucha Pavilion debuting at World Tea Expo, June 12-14 in Las Vegas.
Produced in partnership with Kombucha Brewers International, the Kombucha Pavilion offers 10-15 furnished, turnkey booths in a dedicated area on the exposition floor to kombucha producers who want to showcase their brews.
“We’re thrilled about the partnership, getting Kombucha Brewers International onboard is exciting,” said Frank Fazio, director of new business development for World Tea Media.
Hannah Crum, founder and president of Kombucha Brewers International, believes coming together at World Tea Expo is a great opportunity for small to medium kombucha producers to have real conversations with buyers, including retailers and distributors. “It’s a natural symbiosis and this is the first of many years of working together,” she said.
Kombucha has experienced consistent annual growth in the natural and conventional retail segments. In recent years, the fermented tea has grown 30 percent in natural and 50 percent in conventional, said Fazio.
“Kombucha is the fastest growing RTD beverage in the world currently and this is a fantastic opportunity for emerging kombucha brands to showcase their products to a diversity of retail buyers,” said Brian Keating, founder of the Sage Group, a consultancy and think tank focused on the specialty tea and natural products industries. It is also a great venue for kombucha companies to interact with tea companies, said Keating.
Energias Market Research predicts the global kombucha market will experience a compounded annual growth rate of 17.7 percent between 2018 and 2024. A key factor in the rising demand for kombucha is the growing demand for healthy and natural food and beverages. The probiotic-filled beverage is known for supporting gut health.
“As many as one new brand per week pops up,” said Keating, who believes being a part of the Kombucha Pavilion is a great way for a kombucha company to become more embedded in the tea industry. “As the epicenter of tea trade and commerce, World Tea Expo is particularly excited to welcome the kombucha industry.”
Crum will speak at the expo. “An Introduction to Kombucha Brewing and Expanding Marketplace” takes place from 10 to 11 a.m. June 12 in Room 226 at the Las Vegas Convention Center.
Join us at the Expert Review Panel on Ethanol Testing for Kombucha at the AOAC’s 131’st Annual Meeting taking place at the Atlanta Marriott on Sunday September 24th from 1-4pm. The meeting is free for all to attend.
KBI President, Hannah Crum, will be on the panel. KBI Secretary, Melanie Wade (Golda Kombucha), along with Claire Irie of Lupa’s Kitchen and Adina Martinez of Mighty Bucha will also be in attendance and will be bringing Kombucha to share with the panel.
(from L to R: Elixir, Funky Fresh, Golda, Humm, Craft, High Country, KBI, Health-Ade, Bootleg Bucha) On Wednesday, March 22nd, KBI members from around the United States converged in Washington DC to educate lawmakers about our growing industry and regulatory […]
Wednesday, 12th April 2017
(from L to R: Elixir, Funky Fresh, Golda, Humm, Craft, High Country, KBI, Health-Ade, Bootleg Bucha)
On Wednesday, March 22nd, KBI members from around the United States converged in Washington DC to educate lawmakers about our growing industry and regulatory needs. In total, 15 member brand attended 28 meetings with members of Congress and the Senate. After a long day on the Hill talking about the KOMBUCHA Act, everyone was invited to attend a Kombucha tasting reception on the Hill. We had a fantastic turn out as over 100 different Hill staffers came out to nosh and enjoy some booch (some were seen squirreling bottles away as they left!).
KBI hopes that this buzz will turn into additional bipartisan co-sponsor signatures for the bills in the House and the Senate. Since it deals specifically with updating the tax code, the goal is to include it in any bills that might be up for a vote on the issue of tax reform.
Thank you to those who attended the Hill Climb:
Aqua ViTea Kombucha (VT)
BAO Food & Drink (NJ)
Blue Ridge Bucha (VA)
Bootleg Bucha (NY)
Craft Kombucha (DC)
Elixir Kombucha (KY)
Funky Fresh (PA)
Golda Kombucha (GA)
GT’s Kombucha (CA)
Health-Ade Kombucha (CA)
High Country Kombucha (CO)
Holy Kombucha (TX)
Humm Kombucha (OR)
Ninja Kombucha (VA)
Sole Kombucha (PA)
WANT TO GET INVOLVED? HERE’S HOW:
Send your Congressperson and Senator an email requesting their support.
Invite your Congressperson/Senator to visit your facility when they are next in-state.
Traveling to DC or your state capitol? Set up a meeting with your Rep or Senator. Email KBI to get a copy of the talking points.
Stay tuned to the KBI newsletter for updates on how else you can be involved!
KBI’s Kombucha Village at the Green Festival Expo in Washington, DC was a great experience for the brands and attendees!
The Kombucha Village atmosphere brings brands together to share responsibilities, promote each the category as a whole, and sample and sell, sell, sell! Rather than being spread throughout the conference floor, several brands band together to demonstrate solidarity and to introduce consumers to the entire category. Sampling & DIRECT SELLING are encouraged at these events to hook everyone from the kombucha curious to the serious sippers, and the DC date was no exception.
The KBI Kombucha Village in Washington DC included the following brands:
In yet another packed session, KBI president Hannah Crum was on-hand to share with attendees the benefits and basic facts of kombucha in an educational presentation. She also pitched in pouring samples and answering questions while enticing passersby to stop for a quick sip!
“What I love about the Kombucha Village is that it introduces consumers to the category. They can quickly see at a glance that we are more than just a single brand and they are excited to try all the different flavors.” ~ Peter Roderick, Mountain Culture
Don’t miss your chance to “brand together” as KBI still has five more Kombucha Villages with slots available. Start planning now for Fall- reserve your spot today before these dates fill up!
Future KBI Kombucha Villages:
MENF Albany, OR (June 4-5) – SOLD OUT!
Green Festival Los Angeles (September 16-18)
MENF Seven Springs, PA (September 23-25)
MENF Topeka, KS (October 22-23)
Green Festival San Francisco (November 11-13)
Green Festival Portland (December 9-11)
AVERAGE MENF ATTENDANCE 10,000-15,000 people
AVERAGE GF ATTENDANCE 3,000-8,000 people
“Buchi has long understood the value of connecting directly to new customers. Education and sampling is vital to introducing newbies to Kombucha as it brings more drinkers into the category. We are thrilled to have forged this terrific opportunity and are even more excited to see it grow. Hope you will join us at the Kombucha Village!” Michael Numinous, Buchi Kombucha