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!

After a long-awaited decision in the state legislature, California is finally joining 20 other states that have legalized the sale of CBD in dietary supplements, foods, beverages and cosmetics under AB45. 

Non-Californians may assume that it was already legal in California, since recreational THC has been legal in the state since 2016. CBD has also become legalized in states which are generally thought of as less cannabis-friendly than California. However, CBD has existed in legal limbo in California until now. 

What is CBD?

CBD stands for cannabidiol, which is a naturally-occurring chemical compound found in hemp and marijuana plants. Unlike THC, it is non-intoxicating.

What does CBD legalization mean for kombucha brewers?

Due to the legal gray area that exists regarding CBD, it has already been found in baked goods, water, coffee, supplements, lip balm, and countless other consumables for years. Even some kombucha brands such as GT’s have adopted CBD into their flavor repertoire. 

Now that the law has taken effect, more brands will be able to confidently produce and market CBD kombucha in grocery stores and cafes throughout California. It is only  a matter of time before we see CBD-infused kombucha becoming much more prevalent on shelves. 

Is the delta-8 strain legal in California?

The delta-8 strain of cannabis is excluded from the legalization of CBD sales under AB45, and the Department of Public Health also has the authority to restrict other cannabinoids based on their intoxicating effect. Likewise, the details behind how CBD products will be regulated and taxed are yet to come. This is expected to take several months. 

The background on the legalization of CBD in California

Although recreational THC has been legal in California since 2016, CBD lagged behind until now. The Farm Bill of 2018 removed CBD from the definition of marijuana in the Controlled Substance Act, however it’s still restricted under the FD&C Act for the use of supplements and food additives. Still, most states have declared CBD legal in varying degrees, many allowing for its use in food and supplements. In some cases, CBD laws are simply not being enforced. The reason why California’s CBD policy trailed their THC policy is unknown, but some speculate that marijuana growers lobbied against it. Another challenge is the fact that any molecule that has been researched as a drug by the FDA cannot be used as a dietary supplement, and CBD has been researched and approved by the FDA in the drug Epidiolex for the treatment of seizures. Although CBD regulation remains unclear on a national level, the passage of AB45 removes much of the risk of selling CBD products in California.

Where can I learn more about cannabis kombucha?

Kombucha Brewers International hosts an annual conference, called KombuchaKon, dedicated to commercial Kombucha brewing and cannabis has been a hot topic in recent years. For more information on how to properly label your kombucha, check out the Kombucha Code of Practice. 



2021 has been a political rollercoaster, to say the least. In spite of that, KBI is gaining in its efforts to increase the ABV for kombucha and bring the IRS code into alignment with natural fermentation. The KOMBUCHA Act, which raises the ABV at which kombucha is taxable and regulated by the TTB from .5% to 1.25%, has been reintroduced in the 117th Congress as H.R. 2124 / S. 892.


KBI has made significant headway to passing the KOMBUCHA Act before the end of the year. Since 2021 began, our industry has met with 45 legislative offices in 19 states, bringing the total number of KOMBUCHA Act meetings to 226. 36 brands have participated so far, and over 50 have signed up to get involved.

More than that, kombucha businesses have reached 15 people in key positions to help move our bill through Congress this year, including Speaker Pelosi’s office and both leaders in the Senate. Our efforts have signed on 7 bipartisan cosponsors since the introduction of H.R. 2124 / S. 892 in late March.

Summer 2021 is a critical period for the kombucha industry, as there are some umbrella bills in active discussion that have a strong possibility of housing The KOMBUCHA Act. This is the number one hurdle that has prevented its passage in past years. In other words, THIS IS THE TIME.

While we have some powerful supporters, technical bills such as The KOMBUCHA Act can get lost in the shuffle with the many political issues currently in play. Missing this opportunity would jeopardize 5 years of efforts to resolve part of a major issue in our industry. For this reason, we are introducing some new strategies to reach more lawmakers and raise the visibility of H.R. 2124 / S. 892. We want to ensure that the voices of our industry—your voices—can be heard through the noise.

This summer, KBI will be coordinating the following initiatives:


  • Kombucha Donations to District Offices across the US—constituents can send products to their representative’s offices to showcase local goods. Giving these offices kombucha gets it in the hands, and on the minds, of the staffers advising on this legislation. Some of our members have already been doing this and are enthusiastically received. Starting in June, KBI will be coordinating efforts to send local brands’ kombucha to these offices and needs volunteers in every part of the US to donate product.


  • Rolling Zoom meetings with Senators and Congresspeople— In lieu of another Virtual Hill Climb, KBI will be taking advantage of the new Zoom protocol to schedule meetings with lawmakers and constituents on a rolling basis. This will allow us to accommodate more schedules, as availability will not be restricted to specific dates. This means we need kombucha companies to continue to volunteer for these 15-20 minute calls, especially in the following states: IN, IA, LA, MA, MI, MT, NJ, NV, OK, PA, RI. Please email to arrange one or two meetings (be sure to include your general availability in the email).


  • Sending Group Letters to Congressional Leaders: Another tactic we’ll use to draw attention to our bill is to send signed letters from producers located in the states of key lawmakers. Gathering signatures from individual brewers and listing them all on a joint letter shows the size and strength of the kombucha community. We’ll be sending emails asking if we can add your brand’s name to the list of supporters– a quick “yes” is all you need to participate.


  • Ongoing Efforts to Promote Signing Our Petition: KBI has set up a petition that individuals in the US can use to send prefilled emails to their representatives in support of H.R. 2124 / S. 892. These emails keep The KOMBUCHA Act in the minds of staffers and are the easiest way for busy kombucha brands to advocate for the bill. Simply ask your customers to go to this site to sign the petition support your business.


KBI is developing digital and print materials that any business can integrate in its social media, newsletters, events and farmers’ market booths to get people who care about your product to sign this petition preserve the living kombucha they love.

Other efforts led by KBI will include press, phone calls, and future Hill Climbs determined as we assess our progress. We are determined to keep the pace throughout this Congressional term until we pass The KOMBUCHA Act, a historic step toward establishing kombucha as an important industry and easing unnecessary restrictions on producers.

Please join KBI and your fellow kombucha businesses to help enact this legislation. If the KOMBUCHA Act is something that will help relieve your concerns about storage, shelf life, or simply the variability of alcohol levels in a living product, email for more info on one of these initiatives. Some of them require no more than a few minutes or a social media share.


We’d be remiss if we didn’t make a brief pitch here for your support: if you are not already a member of KBI and value our work, please consider signing up for the monthly or annual options that help to sustain us and all the efforts through which KBI is working to support the industry and kombucha businesses everywhere.


Let’s make sure we can celebrate the PASSAGE OF THIS BILL at KKon 2022! Stay tuned for updates throughout the summer.

*** Please sign up to donate kombucha if you can—this is an out-of-the-ordinary experience for staffers that creates lasting positive associations with our industry. Having your kombucha in these offices also serves the purpose of establishing relationships with your lawmakers and exposing your brand to well-connected people in your sales area.


After years of tireless efforts from our lobbying team and many of you, we now have the momentum and the legislative support to pass the KOMBUCHA Act but we can’t do it without you! This year we’re returning to the Capitol with a Virtual Hill Climb on March 23-26, 2021, and we need all US kombucha brewers to join us.

Ongoing COVID restrictions have opened up a historic opportunity for you to connect with your representatives and voice your needs from anywhere in the US. No costs to cover and very little time required– it’s as easy as a 30-min Zoom meeting (with which we’ve all become WELL-acquainted this year).

In addition to pushing forward important legislation, you’ll:

  • Have a platform to share how the current economic crisis has affected your business
  • Advocate for your industry
  • Create valuable relationships with lawmakers
  • Receive hands-on training from our experienced lobbying team via a one time Zoom meeting- Thursday, March 18th, 11am PST/2pm ET
  • Network with fellow brewers during our virtual lobbying happy hour on Friday March 26th at 2pm PST/5pm ET, led by KBI president Hannah Crum
  • ***NON KBI MEMBERS ARE WELCOME*** – We advocate for you, too!

On World Kombucha Day, our congressional sponsors are re-introducing the bipartisan, uncontroversial bill we’ve been laying groundwork for since 2016 to ease outdated restrictions on kombucha brewers. With the recent changes to Congress, we have a real chance to pass the KOMBUCHA Act THIS YEAR. To secure this bill, members of Congress need to see and hear from kombucha brewing constituents. Only with your presence can we show lawmakers how important–and how timely– it is to pass this Act and ease the burden on kombucha brewers to comply with an outdated, ill-fitting law.

The KOMBUCHA Act, a game-changing piece of legislation for our growing industry, will raise the alcohol by volume (ABV) threshold for Kombucha to 1.25% ABV from 0.5% ABV. Today, as you know, if your Kombucha leaves the brewery at, say, 0.4% ABV, but increases to above 0.5% ABV at any point thereafter, you are subject to federal excise taxes intended for beer. That is a patently unfair and outdated result. These laws were never intended to make Kombucha subject to taxes designated for beer. Passing the KOMBUCHA Act under the next appropriations bill will relieve this unnecessary burden on kombucha brewers. Only Kombucha above that level (1.25%) will be subject to federal excise taxes when this Act becomes law.

We’ve seen the difference organizing can make in overturning the status quo, and how crucial the involvement of each individual is. This year’s Virtual Hill Climb is the most important one yet. We need any and all US kombucha brewers (members or not) to join the fight for this legislation by meeting with your representative to support the KOMBUCHA Act. Simply sign up for a Zoom meeting any time March 23-26 (8am-5pm ET)– our team will be with you every step of the way.

More information about the KOMBUCHA Act and our lobbying efforts can be found on our website. Again, it’s easier and more important than ever to attend this lobbying event and exercise your fundamental rights! No hotels to pay for, no flights to take, no days away from your business– just 30 minutes on your computer, with people invested in your success.

If you are available to join us, please fill out the registration form here. You may also contact KBI at to ask questions and receive updated information as it becomes available.

It’s time. We have the power. Let’s bring our voices to Washington!


Thanks to Past Participants:







Aqua ViTea Kombucha, VT
BABA’s Brew, PA
BAO Food & Drink, NJ
Blue Ridge Bucha, VA
Bootleg Bucha, NY
Buchi, NC
Capitol Kombucha, DC
Craft Kombucha, DC
Elixir Kombucha, KY
Funky Fresh, PA
Golda Kombucha, GA
GT’s Kombucha, CA
Health-Ade, CA
Hex Ferments, MD
High Country, CO
Holy Kombucha, TX
Humm Kombucha, OR
Katboocha, NY
Live Soda, TX
Ninja Kombucha, VA
Pilot Kombucha, NY
Revive Kombucha, CA
Sole Kombucha, PA

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!



Meetings already set up with:

  • Senator Kamala Harris
  • Speaker Nancy Pelosi


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

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 to receive updated information as it becomes available. 

The registration form to participate can be found here.

Kombucha es un producto que se puede producir de manera segura tanto en casa como de manera comercial. Al ser un alimento tradicional fermentado, sus componentes microbianos y los ácidos orgánicos que produce aseguran que se mantenga bien preservada, incluso sin refrigeración. El papel de los alimentos fermentados precede otros tipos de tecnologías de preservación tales como refrigeración, pasteurización o conservantes químicos.

Colombia tiene una larga historia de utilizar alimentos fermentados para proveer alimentos altos en nutrientes a su población nativa. La cassava, el cacao y el maíz han sido fermentados por medio de procesos tradicionales para crear almidón agrio, chicha, champús, masa agria, guarapo, y muchas cosas más .

La kombucha es originaria de Asia y ha viajado por el mundo muchas veces donde ha disfrutado de popularidad como una bebida casera en China, Japón, Corea, Rusia, Alemania, Italia y Estados Unidos. Fue en los Estados Unidos donde la bebida salió a la venta por primera vez en 1995.

KBI responde a cada una de las preocupaciones del gobierno colombiano para demostrar que la industria comercial de kombucha tiene políticas responsables y proactivas establecidas para asegurar la seguridad de nuestros productos para todos. Sabemos que esta vibrante industria puede ofrecer una alternativa saludable tanto a los refrescos y jugos como a las bebidas energéticas llenas de químicos. Empoderar y educar a los productores de kombucha crea un ambiente donde los consumidores tienen más opciones, ofrece oportunidades económicas para más personas y genera una población más saludable, lo cual la responsabilidad del gobierno.

Kombucha Brewers International Response to INVIMA of Colombia

Kombucha is an incredibly safe product to brew at home as well as commercially. As a traditional fermented food, it’s microbial makeup and the organic acids it produces ensures that it is well preserved even without refrigeration. The role of fermented foods far precedes other types of preservation technology such as refrigeration, pasteurization or chemical preservatives.

Colombia has a long history of using fermented foods to provide nutrient dense foods for their native population. Cassava, cacao and maize have all been fermented through traditional processes to create almidón agrio, chicha, champús, masa agria, guarapo and many more. Kombucha originates in Asia and has traveled the world many times over where it has enjoyed popularity primarily as a home brewed beverage from China, Japan and Korea to Russia, Germany, Italy and the United States. It is in the US where the beverage first became available for purchase in 1995.

KBI addresses each of the concerns laid out by the Colombian government to demonstrate that the commercial kombucha industry has responsible and proactive policies in place to ensure the safety of our products for all people. We know that this vibrant industry can provide a healthier alternative to sugary sodas and juices as well as chemical laden energy drinks. Empowering and educating kombucha producers creates an environment where consumers have more choice, provides economic opportunities to more people and generates a healthier populace which reduces the burden on governments.


¿Cómo garantizar el contenido microbiológico para garantizar la ausencia de patógenos?

Con respecto a la seguridad de producción y el consumo humano, sus miles de años de historia son un testamento, ya que los humanos no consumirían recursos, tiempo o energía produciendo un alimento que los dañara. Varios estudios han demostrado que el nivel de pH y el perfil de ácido orgánico de la kombucha previene la contaminación a manos de patógenos comunes, incluyendo E. coli, salmonela, listeria, entre otros.

Los invitamos a leer nuestra hoja informativa de la industria para encontrar información adicional.

How does one ensure microbiological content to guarantee the non-presence of pathogens?

Regarding safety for production and human consumption, its thousands-year-old history is a testament, as humans would not spend resources, time or energy on producing a food that could harm them. Many research papers have demonstrated that kombucha’s unique pH level and organic acid profile prevents contamination by a host of common pathogens including E. coli, Salmonella, Listeria and many others.

We invite you to read our industry fact sheet for additional information.


¿Cuáles son las mejores prácticas, procesos y regulaciones que la industria utiliza para garantizar la cualidad del SCOBY?

Pueden leer las Mejores Prácticas de KBI aquí →

KBI ha trabajado con muchos gobiernos para garantizar que prácticas seguras sean utilizadas y ayudó de manera directa a los productores brasileños para establecer su Estándar de Identidad, el cual menciona algunas de las especificaciones técnicas fundamentales para la kombucha. KBI hará público su Código de Prácticas y programa de privacidad en verano del 2020.

What are the best Practices, process and controls that the industry uses to guarantee the SCOBY quality?

You may read the KBI Best Practices in Spanish here →

KBI has worked with many governments to ensure safe practices are utilized and directly assisted our Brazilian producers to establish their Standard of Identity, which lists some of the critical technical specifications for kombucha. KBI will be releasing our Code of Practice and seal program in the summer of 2020.


¿Qué características físicas o químicas son analizadas para aprobar la calidad del SCOBY?

Los miembros de KBI reciben entrenamiento para desarrollar planes HACCP para garantizar la seguridad de las prácticas de producción y demostrar un amplio conocimiento de sus procesos. Nuestros puntos críticos de control consisten en niveles de pH controlados en todo momento junto con inspecciones visuales para eliminar los cultivos que presenten moho. Al ser un organismo abundante, cualquier manifestación es visible para el ojo de inmediato ya que el moho que se produce en la kombucha es el mismo que se produce en cualquier otro alimento.

What physical or chemical characteristics are analyzed to approve the quality of the SCOBY?

KBI members receive training in how to develop HACCP plans to ensure safe brewing practices and to demonstrate full knowledge of their processes. Our critical control points consist of proper pH levels maintained at all times along with visual inspections to eliminate cultures that exhibit mold. As a hearty organism, any infestation is immediately apparent to the naked eye, as the mold that occurs on kombucha is the same as mold on any other food product.


Si el SCOBY se echa a perder, ¿qué se puede hacer para reestablecer su calidad?

Los SCOBY normalmente son organismos resistentes, y mientras tengan los nutrientes y los controles ambientales apropiados, son fáciles de cuidar. Los cultivos de moho y todo el líquido deben desecharse de inmediato. Los SCOBY pueden conseguirse por medio de proveedores comerciales o pueden crearse nuevos cultivos al trabajar con los saludables que ya se tienen.

If the SCOBY goes bad, what can be done to reestablish  SCOBY quality?

SCOBYs are generally hardy organisms, and as long as they have proper nutrients and environmental controls, they are easy to care for. Moldy cultures, along with all of the liquid, are to be disposed of immediately. SCOBYs are available for purchase from commercial suppliers, or new cultures may be cultivated by working with existing cultures that are healthy.


¿Hay documentos con las prácticas principales de la industria para detener la fermentación del alcohol?

Como se menciona en Mejores Prácticas, la kombucha cruda almacenada a la temperatura apropiada mantiene el control de calidad por más tiempo. La kombucha tradicional es fermentada, baja en alcohol sin efectos embriagantes que normalmente se consume cruda, es decir no pasteurizada, para proteger los probióticos y los nutrientes vivos y evitar que se dañen.

Que no esté pasteurizada significa que no ha sido tratada con calor ni químicos. Al seguir siendo un producto en crudo, puede experimentar leves cambios en etanol mientras el proceso de fermentación continúa dentro de la botella.

Para detener el proceso, la kombucha cruda debe mantenerse fría en todo momento para mantener la integridad del producto y prevenir la fermentación dentro de la botella.

La temperatura del almacenamiento debe mantenerse a una temperatura de 34-40º F /1.1-4.4ºC para alentar la fermentación de la kombucha a lo largo de la cadena de suministro.

La vida útil de la kombucha se define por la cantidad de tiempo que puede permanecer almacenada en frío antes de que los niveles de etanol sobrepasen el límite legal (que varía dependiendo de la ubicación).

Los productos que dicen ser crudos y poder almacenarse no se reconocen como estables sin evidencia complementaria empírica por parte de un laboratorio de pruebas de terceros para verificar que el nivel de etanol se mantenga dentro del límite legal de su ubicación. Productos de este tipo no existen en el mercado estadounidense ya que la kombucha cruda está sujeta a su refrigeración.

Are there documents with the industry leading practices to stop the alcoholic fermentation.

As outlined in the Best Practices, raw kombucha stored at the appropriate temperatures maintains quality control for extended periods of time. Kombucha is a traditionally fermented, low alcohol, non-intoxicating beverage that is most commonly consumed raw, meaning unpasteurized, to protect the probiotics and nutrients in a living form from being damaged.

Unpasteurized means not subject to pasteurization via heat or chemical means. As a result of remaining a raw product, it can experience slight shifts in ethanol as the fermentation process continues in the bottle.

To arrest that process, raw Kombucha must be kept cold at all times to maintain the integrity of the product and to prevent over fermentation in the bottle.

Cold storage ought to be maintained at 34-40º F /1.1-4.4ºC to slow the fermentation of the Kombucha throughout the supply chain.

Shelf life of Kombucha is determined by how long the product can remain in cold storage before the ethanol level goes above the prescribed legal limit (will vary based on location).

Products that claim to be both shelf-stable and raw are not currently recognized as stable without further evidence vis-a-vis shelf life testing by a third party lab to verify that the ethanol level remains within the legal limit for that location. No such products currently exist in the US marketplace as all raw Kombucha is subject to refrigeration.


¿Hay documentos donde podemos probar que la FDA ha confirmado que la kombucha es legal; que está catalogada como una comida y es segura para consumo humano?

Todos los miembros de KBI en Estados Unidos deben matricular sus instalaciones de acuerdo con la Ley contra el Bioterrorismo del 2002. Hay más de 750 marcas comerciales de kombucha en Estados Unidos nada más. Así que aunque la FDA no tiene una postura oficial en cuanto a la kombucha, claramente está enterada de la industria y lo considera un producto seguro.

Is there documentation to prove the FDA has stated that Kombucha is legal; that is catalogued as a food and save to consume by humans?

All KBI members based in the U.S. are required to enroll their facility in accordance with the Bioterrorism Act of 2002. There are more than 750 commercial kombucha brands in the United States alone. So while the FDA doesn’t have an official stance on kombucha, it is clearly aware of the industry and considers our products safe.


¿Tienen algún documento que pueda ayudarnos en nuestra misión de hacer legal la kombucha en Colombia?

Múltiples estudios discuten los beneficios para los humanos. Aquí hay una reseña de varios estudios sobre este tema:

Are there any toxicological studies that proves that kombucha is safe for human consumption?

Numerous studies discuss its benefits for humans. Here is a review of several studies on this subject:


¿Hay estudios que prueben que mantener el nivel de pH de la kombucha debajo de 3.5 es un método aprovado para evitar los patógenos en la kombucha?

Un conocimiento básico de química puede probar que esto es verdad. Aquí hay algunos estudios adicionales que se pueden revisar:

Are there any studies that proves that maintaining the kombucha ph below 3.5 is an approved method to keep pathogens out of the kombucha?

Simple knowledge of chemistry will prove that to be true. Here are some additional studies for review:


¿Hay documentos que prueben que la kombucha no genera metanol durante el proceso de fermentación?

Ninguno de los estudios sobre la kombucha han mostrado la presencia de metanol. La producción de metanol se relaciona con la cantidad de pectinas en la hierba. El té y el azúcar no contienen pectinas y, por lo tanto, no pueden producir metanol.

Any documents that proves that kombucha does not generate methanol in the fermentation process?

None of the studies on kombucha have shown the presence of methanol. Methanol production is linked to pectin content in the wort. Tea and sugar do not contain pectin and therefore cannot produce methanol.


¿Tienen algún documento que pueda ayudarnos en nuestra misión de hacer legal la kombucha en Colombia?
Any other document that you have that can help us in our quest to make legal kombucha in Colombia?

Entra a la base de datos de investigaciones sobre kombucha →

Access the Kombucha Research Database here to find numerous studies →


ALERTA SANITARIA Dirección de Alimentos y Bebidas Alerta No. 024-2020

Alimentos que se comercializan con la expresión “Kombucha”

Nombre del producto: Alimentos que se comercializan con la expresión “Kombucha”

Registro sanitario: RSAV15I10313/RSA-004946-2017 / RSA-006687-2018 /RSA-005012-2017 / RSA-0007265-2018 / NSA-005392-2018

Fuente de la alerta: Denuncias y acciones de inspección, vigilancia y control (IVC) No. Identificación interno: AA200101

Descripción del caso El Instituto Nacional de Vigilancia de Medicamentos y Alimentos (Invima) informa a la comunidad, que conforme a las competencias de inspección, vigilancia y control se han detectado irregularidades en relación con la siguiente declaración en alimentos: Kombucha es una bebida elaborada a partir de té endulzado y fermentado utilizando un cultivo simbiótico de bacterias y levaduras (SCOBY). En el mercado se han encontrado algunas bebidas que utilizan como ingrediente el “SCOBY”. Al cual se le atribuyen diferentes propiedades en salud, según referencias bibliográficas . Cabe anotar que el “SCOBY” es un ingrediente que no ha sido autorizado por el Invima para su uso en alimentos y bebidas. Bogotá, 19 Febrero 2020 Marcas “o.k. kombucha”, “Alino”, “HAPPY”, “La fantástica”, “Kogui kombucha”, “Coordenada 0” y “Yogi”

Por lo anterior el Invima se permite informar a la población en general que los alimentos que se comercializan en Colombia y que contienen la expresión kombucha, presentan la siguiente situación sanitaria:

1. En relación con la autorización para comercializar alimentos a los cuales el Invima les otorgó Registro Sanitario o Notificación Sanitaria, y que están utilizando dentro de su composición el ingrediente “SCOBY” o están haciendo uso de la expresión “Kombucha”, el Invima hace claridad de lo siguiente:

a) Para el Registro Sanitario RSAV15I10313 correspondiente al alimento “bebida con té diferentes variedades”, que incluye las marcas “o.k. kombucha”, “alino”, en presentación comercial caja por 6, 12 y 24 unidades de 250, 330, 500 y 1000 mililitros, y cuyo fabricante es Cohen Leiderman Flora propietaria del establecimiento de comercio o.k. kombucha, mediante acciones de Inspección, Vigilancia y Control se evidenció que el fabricante utiliza “cultivo probiótico de Kombucha”, el cual no está aprobado en el Registro Sanitario, así como el incumplimiento del rotulado y publicidad de la bebida con té variedades, marca kombucha.

b) Para el Registro Sanitario RSA-004946-2017 correspondiente al alimento “bebida con té diferentes variedades”, que incluye la marca “HAPPY” en presentación comercial botellas (PET o vidrio) de 120, 180, 200, 250, 320, 350, 500, 750, 1000 y 3780 mililitros, y cuyo fabricante es Drink With Purpose S.A.S, se evidenció que en el proceso de fabricación del alimento se estaba llevando a cabo fermentación alcohólica obtenida mediante la adición del “SCOBY” como ingrediente y, adicionalmente, el rotulado del alimento hace alusión a la expresión “kombucha”.

c) Para el Registro Sanitario RSA-006687-2018 correspondiente al alimento “bebida con té”, que incluye la marca “La fantástica” en presentación comercial botellas de 200, 400, 600, 800 y 1000 mililitros, y cuyo fabricante es ST Agnes Brewing Company té vivo la fantástica, se evidenció que la actual dirección del fabricante no corresponde con la suministrada ante el Invima al momento de solicitar el Registro Sanitario.

d) Para el Registro Sanitario RSA-005012-2017 correspondiente al alimento “Bebida con té verde y negro diferentes variedades”, que incluye la marca “Kogui kombucha” en presentación comercial de 250 a 1000 mililitros, y cuyo fabricante es el establecimiento de comercio Koghi Products, se evidenció que en el proceso de fabricación del alimento se estaba llevando a cabo fermentación alcohólica, no autorizada.

e) El Registro Sanitario RSA-0007265-2018 correspondiente al alimento “bebida a base de agua y té”, que incluye la marca “Coordenada 0” en presentación comercial de frasco de vidrio de 10 hasta 10000 mililitros, y cuyo fabricante es Coordenada 0 SAS, se encuentra suspendido.

f) Para la Notificación Sanitaria NSA-005392-2018 correspondiente al alimento “Infusiones de té diferentes variedades”, que incluye la marca “Yogi” en presentación comercial bolsas de té y cuyo fabricante es “East West Tea Company” (Estados Unidos) e importado a Colombia por Green Tradings S.A.S., se evidenció que la dirección suministrada ante el Invima por el importador corresponde a un domicilio del cual se desconoce el tipo de actividad comercial allí realizada.

2. Respecto a la vigilancia de la publicidad en diferentes medios, el Invima identificó que en algunas páginas de internet se promocionan alimentos que utilizan la expresión Kombucha, declarando propiedades en salud; preventivas, curativas y/o terapéuticas, lo que conlleva al incumplimiento de la legislación sanitaria vigente (artículos 272 y 274 de la ley 9 de 1979 y la resolución 5109 de 2005 – artículos 4 y 5). Se enlistan algunas de las páginas de internet en donde se ha identificado este tipo de publicidad:



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De acuerdo con lo descrito anteriormente, el Invima advierte que los productos relacionados no cumplen con la normatividad sanitaria y por lo tanto no están autorizados para su comercialización, razón por la cual, se están adelantando las actuaciones administrativas para verificar las condiciones de los registros sanitarios y las declaraciones de los ingredientes de cada uno de los productos. Medidas para la comunidad en general Considerando lo anterior, tenga en cuenta los siguientes aspectos: 1. Absténgase de adquirir y consumir los alimentos que listen o hagan alusión a las expresiones “Kombucha” o “SCOBY”, u otros que existan en el mercado, tengan o no Registro Sanitario, y que utilicen en su rótulo palabras asociadas a las expresiones anteriormente descritas. 2. Informe de manera inmediata al Invima, o a las Entidades Territoriales de Salud, si tiene conocimiento de lugares donde se elaboren, distribuyan o comercialicen alimentos que listen dentro de sus ingredientes “SCOBY” o que declaren en su denominación la expresión “Kombucha”.

Medidas para secretarías de salud departamentales, distritales y municipales Categoría Especial, I, II y III:

1. Realizar las actividades de inspección, vigilancia y control (IVC) en los establecimientos donde potencialmente puedan comercializarse los alimentos citados, verificando la existencia de productos que declaren las expresiones “SCOBY” y/o “Kombucha” en su rotulado o etiquetado.

2. Durante las actividades de Inspección, Vigilancia y Control (IVC) verificar si existe publicidad de alimentos que incluyan las expresiones “SCOBY” y/o “Kombucha” y su relación con propiedades en salud; preventivas, curativas y/o terapéuticas.

3. Comunicar al Invima los resultados de las acciones de Inspección, Vigilancia y Control (IVC) a los correos y, en caso de evidenciar uno o más de los incumplimientos referidos. Si desea obtener mayor información comuníquese con el Invima a: o al teléfono 294 8700, extensiones 3844 y 3846 – Dirección de Alimentos y Bebidas. Igualmente se podrán realizar peticiones, quejas, reclamos, denuncias o sugerencias: Consultar registros sanitarios: En los siguientes enlaces podrá acceder directamente a la información de su interés en la página web del Invima. Realizar peticiones, quejas, reclamos, denuncias o sugerencias Consultar registros sanitarios Realizar reportes en línea de eventos adversos  Farmacovigilancia Reactivovigilancia Tecnovigilancia


HEALTH ALERT Food and Beverage Department Alert No. 024-2020

Foods that are marketed  with the expression “Kombucha”

Product name: Foods that are marketed with the expression “Kombucha”

Sanitary record: RSAV15I10313 / RSA-004946-2017 / RSA- 006687-2018 / RSA-005012-2017 / RSA-0007265-2018 / NSA-005392-2018

Source of alert: Complaints and actions of inspection, surveillance and control (IVC) No. Internal identification: AA200101

Description of the case The National Institute of Food and Drug Surveillance (Invima) informs the community that, according to the inspection, surveillance and control powers, irregularities have been detected in relation to the following food declaration: Kombucha is a beverage made from sweetened and fermented tea using a symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeasts (SCOBY). In the market some drinks have been found that use the “SCOBY” as an ingredient. To which different health properties are attributed, according to bibliographic references. It should be noted that the “SCOBY” is an ingredient that has not been authorized by the Invima for use in food and beverages. Bogotá, February 19, 2020 Marks “ok kombucha”, “Alino”, “HAPPY”, “La fantastic”, “Kogui kombucha”, “Coordinate 0” and “Yogi”

By the above the Invima is allowed to inform the general population that the foods that are sold in Colombia and that contain the expression kombucha, present the following sanitary situation:

1. In relation to the authorization to commercialize foods to which the Invima granted them Sanitary Registry or Sanitary Notification, and that they are using the ingredient “SCOBY” within their composition or are making use of the expression “Kombucha”, the Invima makes clear of the following:

a) For the Sanitary Registry RSAV15I10313 corresponding to the food “drink with different varieties of tea ”, which includes the brands“ ok kombucha ”,“ alino ”, in commercial presentation box for 6, 12 and 24 units of 250, 330, 500 and 1000 milliliters, and whose factory before Cohen Leiderman Flora owns the ok kombucha trade establishment, through Inspection, Surveillance and Control actions it was evidenced that the manufacturer uses “Kombucha probiotic culture”, which is not approved in the Sanitary Registry, as well as the breach of the labeling and advertising of the beverage with tea varieties, Kombucha brand.

b) For the Sanitary Registry RSA-004946-2017 corresponding to the food “drink with tea different varieties”, which includes the brand “HAPPY” in commercial presentation bottles (PET or glass) of 120, 180, 200, 250, 320, 350 , 500, 750, 1000 and 3780 milliliters, and whose manufacturer is Drink With Purpose SAS, it was evidenced that alcoholic fermentation was obtained in the food manufacturing process obtained by adding “SCOBY” as an ingredient and, additionally, the labeling of the food refers to the expression “kombucha”.

c) For the Sanitary Registry RSA-006687-2018 corresponding to the food “drink with tea”, which includes the brand “The fantastic” in commercial presentation bottles of 200, 400, 600, 800 and 1000 milliliters, and whose manufacturer is ST Agnes Brewing Company live the fantastic, it was evident that the current address of the manufacturer does not correspond to that supplied before the Invima at the time of requesting the Sanitary Registry.

d) For the Sanitary Registry RSA-005012-2017 corresponding to the food “Drink with green and black tea different varieties”, which includes the brand “Kogui kombucha” in commercial presentation of 250 to 1000 milliliters, and whose manufacturer is the establishment of commerce Koghi Products, it was evidenced that in the process of manufacturing the food alcoholic fermentation was taking place, not authorized.

e) The Sanitary Registry RSA-0007265-2018 corresponding to the food “drink based on water and tea”, which includes the brand “Coordinate 0” in commercial presentation of glass jar of 10 up to 10,000 milliliters, and whose manufacturer is Coordinate 0 SAS, is suspended.

f) For the Sanitary Notification NSA-005392-2018 corresponding to the food “Tea infusions different varieties”, which includes the brand “Yogi” in commercial presentation of tea bags and whose manufacturer is “East West Tea Company” (United States) and Imported to Colombia by Green Tradings SAS, it was evidenced that the address supplied to the Invima by the importer corresponds to a domicile whose type of commercial activity is unknown.

2. Regarding the surveillance of advertising in different media, Invima identified that in some websites, foods that use the expression Kombucha are promoted, declaring health properties; preventive, curative and / or therapeutic, which leads to non-compliance with current health legislation (articles 272 and 274 of law 9 of 1979 and resolution 5109 of 2005 – articles 4 and 5). Some of the websites where this type of advertising has been identified are listed:



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As described above, Invima warns that the related products do not comply with sanitary regulations and therefore are not authorized for marketing, which is why, administrative actions are being carried out to verify the conditions of the sanitary records and the declarations of the ingredients of each of the products.

Measures for the community in general considering the above, consider the following aspects:

1. Refrain from acquiring and consuming the foods you listen to or make reference to the expressions “Kombucha” or “SCOBY”, or others that exist in the market, whether or not they have a Sanitary Registry, and that use words associated with the expressions described above on their label.

2. Immediately inform Invima, or the Territorial Health Entities, if you are aware of places where food is prepared, distributed or marketed within the “SCOBY” ingredients or that declares the expression “Kombucha” in its name.

Measures for departmental, district and municipal health secretariats Special Category, I, II and III:

1. Carry out inspection, surveillance and control (IVC) activities in establishments where the aforementioned foods can potentially be marketed, verifying the existence of products that declare the expressions “SCOBY” and / or “Kombucha” in their labeling or labeling.

2. During the Inspection, Surveillance and Control (IVC) activities, verify whether there is food advertising that includes the expressions “SCOBY” and / or “Kombucha” and its relation to health properties; preventive, curative and / or therapeutic.

3. Communicate to Invima the results of the Inspection, Surveillance and Control (IVC) actions to the emails and, in case of evidencing one or more of the aforementioned breaches. If you would like more information, please contact the Invima at: or by phone 294 8700, extensions 3844 and 3846 – Food and Beverage Department. Likewise, requests, complaints, claims, complaints or suggestions may be made: Consult health records: : 8082 / Queries / consultations / consreg_encabcum.jsp In the following links you can directly access the information of your interest on the Invima website. Make requests, complaints, claims, complaints or suggestions Consult health records Make online reports of adverse events  Pharmacovigilance Reagent Surveillance Tecnovigilancia


Kombucha Brewer Resources & Strategies in the Time OF COVID-19 Webinar

Presented By:

Katherine Florman
Director of Human Resources for MAG Group

Dave Ransom
Attorney and lobbyist for the kombucha brewers industry, McDermott Will & Emery LLP

Erica Stocker
Public Policy Advisor, McDermott Will & Emery LLP


Join us for a webinar led by HR professional, Katherine Florman, lobbyist, Dave Ransom, and Public Policy Advisor, Erica Stocker to discuss the HR and legal ramifications of the COVID-19 pandemic.  This webinar will compare stats and trends across regions, address kombucha’s status as an essential business, identify HR priorities for appropriately addressing our employees and customers, and look at how current and upcoming policy decisions may affect our brewers.  We’ll also check-in with our brewers to see how we are weathering the storm and exchange stories and ideas for remaining productive.


  • Ways to take care of yourself and your employees.
  • A list of employment policies and procedures to create or review
  • How employees and small businesses can access available aid and stimulus resources
  • How does kombucha qualify as an “essential business?”
  • What policies have been enacted (or are being considered) that may help kombucha businesses?
  • Ideas for pivoting your business model to retain/maximize sales 
  • Links to informational and template resources
  • And much more!

We invite you to listen in and ask questions. FREE for KBI Members & Non-Members

BONUS – Post webinar discussion on how different brands are pivoting or collaborating to ensure customers have access to the foods they need. Skip to the end for the conversation.


April 1st 1:00pm PST


DATE: April 1st, 2020
TIME: 1-3pm PST; 90 min presentation & 30 min Q&A
COST: Free for KBI members & Non-Members
Have questions? Please send in advance to

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Here are some additional resources and websites to monitor for safety tips and updates. Stay safe & healthy!

Coronavirus: Tips for Self-Protection. Be cautious, but don't panic! Prevention is similar to avoiding other illnesses.

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General Information

Draft Kombucha and Taproom Information

Kombucha Brewery Facility Information

  • Center for Disease Control and Prevention: Interim Guidance for Businesses and Employers
  • Occupational Safety and Health Administration: COVID-19 Control and Prevention
  • FDA briefing to food stakeholders:
    • There has been NO evidence of the transmission of the Coronavirus from food or food packaging.
    • Food products do not have to be placed on-hold or recalled if an employee at a food facility is diagnosed with COVID-19.
    • Personal hygiene, as well as facility, equipment, and utensil cleaning and sanitization procedures that are required in GMPs, are expected to still be appropriate amid this crisis.
    • Now routine domestic inspections will also be postponed and only “mission-critical” inspections will be conducted as necessary in cases where there is Class I Recall, a foodborne outbreak, or COVID-19 related situation.
    • Ensuring a continuous supply of safe food is a critical factor for the US and the FDA and Department of Homeland Security are working together to ensure that is the case. Food facilities involved in this supply, are therefore not subject to the quarantine and shelter in place orders and any issues with this should be addressed to the latter and FEMA.

Small Business Assistance 

Essential Businesses
The definition may vary according to your local ordinance. These businesses may carry your products and/or your facility may be able to offer to pick up or delivery. 

  • Grocery stores, certified farmers’ markets,  farm and produce stands, supermarkets, food banks,  convenience stores,  and other establishments engaged in the retail sale of canned food, dry goods, fresh fruits and vegetables, pet supply, fresh meats, fish, and poultry, and any other household consumer products (such as cleaning and personal care products).  This  includes  stores that sell groceries and also sell other non-grocery products, and  products necessary to maintain the safety, sanitation, and essential operation of residences”
  • Restaurants and other facilities that prepare and serve food, but only for delivery or carry out – social distancing measures must be practiced
  • Businesses that ship or deliver groceries, food, goods or services directly to residences

International Information

Join the conversation in the KBI Members Forum

Guidance for Travelers

“Essential Travel” includes travel for any of the following purposes. Individuals engaged in any Essential Travel must comply with all Social Distancing Requirements
Any travel related to the provision of or access to Essential Activities, Essential Governmental Functions, Essential Businesses, or Minimum Basic Operations

Travelers are encouraged to always exercise healthy travel habits when traveling and to follow guidance issued by official sources of public health information.

Are we missing a vital resource? Please send your link to so we can share them here.

Michigan, despite previously stating that kombucha was not covered by its bottle bill laws, has now determined that kombucha is a non-alcoholic, carbonated beverage and is subject to the bottle bill laws. Pursuant to a press release issued by the Michigan Dept. of Treasury, companies have until May 1, 2020, to get in compliance. After that, retailers must collect deposits and kombucha containers not marked with deposit information would be considered non-compliant.

The Department is cognizant that retailers and manufacturers may have relied upon its previous informal guidance that kombucha products were not subject to the bottle deposit law. Accordingly, retailers and manufacturers must begin complying with the Department’s determination no later than May 1, 2020. After that date, all parties in the distribution chain must begin collecting and refunding deposits on kombucha containers, as they do for other nonalcoholic carbonated beverages, and kombucha containers that are not marked with the required deposit information may not validly be sold in the state.

You can read the full notice here.


Where can I find information about proper labeling of beverage containers?”

‘MCL Section 445.572(7) states: “Each beverage container sold or offered for sale by a dealer within this state shall clearly indicate by embossing or by a stamp, a label, or other method securely affixed to the beverage container, the refund value of the container and the name of this state.” For more information, contact Mr. Kenneth Wozniak, Michigan Liquor Control Commission, at 517-322-5900 or 517-322-1140.’