Dear Fellow Kombucha Lovers,

Happy Solstice! After a decade of dedicated service to the Kombucha industry, I’m writing to share a heartfelt decision. My passion for Kombucha remains unwavering, and it’s time for me to return to my roots at Kombucha Kamp. This wasn’t an easy decision, but it’s one I’ve carefully considered, balancing my desire to continue serving with family and business responsibilities.

Alex and I co-founded KBI in 2013 as an outgrowth of Kombucha Kamp’s mission of “changing the world, one gut at a time.” We always knew we’d have to do it in symbiosis, just like our mother culture, the SCOBY. Community is at the core of Kombucha’s microscopic dance of fermentation and is at the heart of KBI’s values.

While this transition is bittersweet, I know the legacy Alex & I created will live forever. At Kombucha Kamp, I remain a staunch advocate and ally of the culture I adore. I’m confident that this change will lead to new growth in our industry.

As I reflect on the past 10 years, I see that together we’ve forged a tremendous path and created a strong foundation for our nascent industry. These past 10 years have paved the way for our future success. Here are some of the milestones we’ve achieved together along the way.

  • Initiated KombuchaKon – the first B2B conference dedicated to protecting Kombucha and fostering friendship in the industry 
  • Spearheaded the AOAC method process for Ethanol Testing for Kombucha which yielded multiple potential methods creating parity, transparency and in-house testing tools producers
  • Collaborated with numerous State, Federal and International government bodies and agencies to educate on the safety of our products and production methods including but not limited to:
    • 2015 – Defend Kombucha in the US against those leveraging government and litigation against all major players for illegal testing and oversight; started the process for the Seal Program
    • 2016 – meet with the TTB to discuss the Kombucha category
    • 2016 – introduced the KOMBUCHA Act to update outdated laws and commonsense oversight
    • 2017 – meet with the State of NY Dept of AG & SLA to clarify safety of Kombucha and how to be classified (ie not as alcohol) leading to a boom of businesses in NY state
    • 2017 – lobby against sugar tax on Kombucha yet not on diet sodas in Colorado to set precedent for other states considering a similar tax
    • 2018 & 2019 – collaborate with stakeholders in Prince Edward Island & British Columbia leading to the creation of safety standards for Kombucha in Canada
    • 2019 – advised and supported ABKOM in Brazil as they worked with MAPA to establish the first national regulations on Kombucha in the world defining Kombucha as “fermented”
    • 2019 – traveled to New Zealand & Australia to meet with the Australian Victorian state government to discuss with industry necessary measures to protect consumers and unite industry
    • 2020 – launched the Kombucha Code of Practice after 5 years of conversations with the industry
    • 2021 – supported the Kombucha industry in Spain to prevent excessive sugar tax hikes based on definitions of soft drink
    • 2022 – educate the taxation bureau of South Carolina to prevent taxing ALL Kombucha as alcohol and avoiding a potential domino effect in other states in the US
    • 2023 – establish KBI Seal Program criteria based on the Kombucha Code of Practice for launch in 2024
  • Established World Kombucha Day 2.21.20 to celebrate our historic culture around the globe
  • Created the Kombucha Kup Awards of Excellence in 2022 to raise awareness and quality standards for commercial Kombucha worldwide using the Kombucha Flavor Flower as a resource
  • Collaborated on research with OSU PhD recipient Keisha Harrision via the DNA Sequencing Study; paired Craft Kombucha with Georgetown whos study published in 2023; establish the Kombucha Research Database
  • Supported KBI members to launch online sales; organized the largest donation of 167K bottles of Kombucha to frontline workers during COVID with our Heal-In
  • Publish SYMBIOSIS Magazine in collaboration with Booch News and BrewLogix to document our rich and diverse culture as we continue to grow together

This short list of our many challenges overcome and accomplishments achieved highlights the essence of why we exist as an organization. I will say it again – “The world needs Kombucha now more than ever!” Especially in these challenging times and we need to stick together. Partnering with KBI via membership dollars is what funds research and education campaigns.

Looking forward to 2024, it is my sincere pleasure to announce that Kendra Sepúlveda of Apopacho Kombucha is taking the helm as the interim Executive Director. She shares a vision for the industry that will carry us through this time of change. As I transition, I’ll remain involved with KBI through the board. I also plan to take a sabbatical to reflect on this unique experience. I look forward to supporting the next generation of industry leaders who share our passion.

Microbes are magic. Trust YOUR gut. We grow together.


Hannah Ruhamah, “The Kombucha Mamma”, Crum
Changing the world, one gut at a time!

Steven and Cody, Mooch, Pasadena, CA

Q: When did you first discover kombucha?

A: Around 6 years ago a friend shared their hangover remedy with me which involved emergen-C, cold brew and kombucha. I tried it, and loved it enough to start drinking it when I wasn’t hungover.

Q: Why did you start your own kombucha company?

A: In addition to enjoying kombucha, we are also passionate about the benefits of micro-dosing plant medicines like mushrooms. So we combined the two in an attempt to make a microdosed, probiotic rich beverage that isn’t upsetting to the stomach like chocolates and gummies often are.

Q: What is your favorite flavor of kombucha? 

A: Brew Dr.’s Clear Mind

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

A: (Steven) Music producer, musician (Cody) Videographer, photographer

Q: What is a saying that you live by?

A: (Steven) It’s easier to steer a moving car, than a stationary one. (Cody) We do not come into this world, we come out of it.