KBI Board Election Results Announced

KBI was founded in 2014 with 40 member brands and 7 Board of Directors. Currently KBI boasts over Over the past several years, the Directors have shifted due to changes in company goals and focus. This has allowed new faces and voices to emerge. This year sees the biggest changes to the KBI Board since its founding.

As of January 2022, the Board consisted of the following Directors:

  •  Hannah Crum*, KBI President/Kombucha Kamp
  • Alex LaGory,* Chairman of the Board, Kombucha Kamp
  • Zane Adams*, FedUp Foods/Buchi Kombucha
  • Chris Ollis, Spring Branch Kombucha (Treasurer)
  • Ed Rothbauer*, Rocky Mtn Cultures/High Country Kombucha
  • Amelia Winslow, Health-Ade Kombucha
  • Corey Wood, Elixir Kombucha
  • Barbara Wildhaber, BWild Kombucha (Secretary, non-voting officer)

New Chairman of the Board - Zane Adams

The organization has grown significantly since 2014. Despite taking a hit in membership during COVID, currently the membership is 280 members, a 600% increase since 2014. To meet the needs of the larger industry and membership, the Board decided to make some changes to increase the diversity and number of voices at the table. 

Notably, after 7 years of service, Alex LaGory stepped down from his position as Chairman of the Board. The seat is now filled by Zane Adams of FedUp Foods & Buchi Kombucha. Alex remains on the Board. 

 Zane is one of the Managing Partners and owners of Buchi Kombucha based in Asheville, NC.  Buchi is the largest craft kombucha brewery on the East Coast. For the past eight years he has been a part of crafting Buchi kombucha to cultivate a culture — both the billions of beneficial bacteria in our bottles as well as a thriving regenerative human culture that celebrates fermented foods.  By engaging in community centered commerce, he advocates that Buchi (and like-minded organizations) are joining a larger dialogue around our food system and living in a more symbiotic way with each other and our planet. 

Zane has been influential in providing thought leadership, compliance protocols and outreach strategies for the kombucha industry. As the son of immigrants, his success at this stage of his career is a direct result of focus, determination and deep community support. Zane is committed to pursuing the Seal Program to uphold the Kombucha Code of Practice (2020). His community organizing skills are vital to this next phase of industry growth and validation.

New KBI Board Members - Meet Johanna & Matt

In February, Amelia Winslow left Health-Ade and vacated her seat on the Board. The Treasurer position was promoted to voting Board member thus leaving a second seat available. KBI then held Board elections to fill the 2 open seats and are excited to announce our new Board members; Johanna Denne of Luna Bay Booch and Matt Silbert of Local Roots Kombucha.

Johanna Denne of Luna Bay Booch (T2)

Johanna Denne is currently Luna Bay’s production manager in Golden, Colorado. She is responsible for overseeing all production of all Luna Bay hard kombucha including R&D, quality assurance, forecasting and portfolio expansion. With her expertise in brewing and mixed culture fermentation, Johanna has been integral in scaling Luna Bay to serve consumers coast to coast. 

Prior to joining Luna Bay, Johanna had been working in production for Crooked Stave Artisan Beer Project where she was responsible for building the Lab and Quality Program and last held the role of director of brewing operations. Crooked Stave is known for its world class traditional wild, sour, and spontaneous beers. Johanna completed her B.S. of Chemistry from Metropolitan State University in Denver and her M.S of Chemistry at the University of Colorado.

Matt Silbert of Local Roots Kombucha (T3)

Matthew Silbert manages the quality assurance department for Local Roots Kombucha. He was a marine biologist before his passion for brewing inspired him to a career in fermentation microbiology. Matt joined the burgeoning team at Local Roots in 2019 and has helped the company through major scaleup. He recently expanded his responsibilities to include organic compliance, ingredient procurement and project management.

At Kombucha Kon 2020, Matt was a panelist on the Hard Kombucha Roundtable. He enjoyed sharing his experiences navigating this new segment of the kombucha industry and felt a great sense of community with the other brewers. He also provided technical support to the committee for the development of the Kombucha Kup.

Matt is excited to be part of an industry that promotes health and well being. He is very aware of how diet affects energy, cognition and overall mood. His vision is to work towards developing a circular production model for breweries to better manage resources as they become more scarce in our growing global population. Health, conservation and community building are some of his core values.


Expansion of Board - International Representative - Kendra Sepúlveda

Additionally, KBI added an International Board Liaison seat to give all of our international brands a representative. Kendra Sepúlveda of Casa de la Kombucha (Spain), longtime KBI Europe Secretary, has been appointed to the position. 

Kendra studied nutrition and dietetics at the University of Texas at Austin, then traveled to Spain to study gastronomy. She became a chef and worked in Michelin star restaurants. Her goal is to stay true to that which resonates with her spirit and share positivity with all those she encounters.

“I am incredibly honored and excited to contribute to this noble and trailblazing organization. I can’t wait to help promote and elevate this wonderful project that has the ability to bring something wonderful to the world.  We are at an excellent time in history to be an industry that is supporting the SDG and I feel fortunate to be a part of that.”

Path to the Board

KBI will be holding elections on a regular basis. The most important feature of a Board candidate is someone who has volunteered or assisted KBI above and beyond simply accessing the many resources available to our members. If you feel inspired to lead, we invite you to reach out and volunteer so that we can provide a path to serve the kombucha industry via the KBI Board of Directors.

A New Tool for the Kombucha Drinker’s Palate 

Like all the finer things in life, many of which also happen to be fermented, Kombucha is often an acquired taste. Over time, the Kombucha drinker’s palate becomes more sophisticated – able to discern subtle notes from the tea, flavorings or organisms in the fermentation process. To support this evolution,, KBI is proud to present “The Kombucha Flavor Flower.”

After months of development with industry stakeholders, we have created a 108 petal “Flavor Flower” that provides the vocabulary for identifying the flavors of the brew, as well as 2 offshoot “flowers” that describe the mouthfeel and potential off flavors.

The development of the Kombucha Flavor Flower is a crucial next step to support our blossoming industry, elevating the way consumers and brewers alike savor the unique taste we’ve grown to love.

Kombucha Sensory Program

When it comes to novel foods and beverages, you might get a consumer to try your product once. That means that first sip has to wow them. If quality assurance beyond pH and Brix testing isn’t part of your brewing process, you may be sending the wrong message with your brew. Establishing a sensory testing program ensures that the brewmaster’s flavor profiles are being executed on a consistent basis, batch after batch.

In addition to the Flavor Flower, KBI also developed a sensory rating chart that any member can download and use to start their own sensory program immediately. Together, when these tools are used on a regular basis, baseline profiles emerge that future products can be compared with to ensure they are meeting the quality standards of the brand.

To learn more about sensory training and how it can improve your product, don’t miss Lindsay Barr of Draught Labs speaking at KombuchaKon 2022 – Leveling Up.

Flavor Flower

When reinventing the wheel, KBI drew inspiration from the flavor wheels from beer, wine, spirits, tea and coffee. In the main flower, we’ve organized the type of flavor into recognizable categories – citrus, berry, and so forth – with individualized flavor descriptors. Sometimes the descriptors will be identical to the flavoring agents, other times, they may not.

If green tea or yerba mate is used as the base, we’d expect grassy notes to dominate. Fresh pressed turmeric juice evokes rich earthy tones, however if the turmeric is powdered, the flavor may come across as more citrusy. If you’re using herbs but getting a grassy or vegetal flavor, your kombucha may not be communicating its flavors clearly.

Mouthfeel Flower

How a food or beverage feels in the mouth is just as important as its flavor. Ever wonder how to differentiate the texture of your kombucha? We all know some kombuchas are more bubbly than others, but they also have other characteristics such as linger and body. An unfiltered Kombucha may have a rounder flavor that hits a different part of the palate along with a softer bubble than one that has been filtered or force carbonated. The interplay of both flavor and mouthfeel create a sensation, a story, if you will, of the fermentation that changes when any aspect is not in balance.

All of these factors contribute to the way customers perceive the beverage. Look at the Mouthfeel flower to begin dialing in how your kombucha FEELS to customers, and not just what its flavors are.

Off-Flavors Flower

With the Off-Flavors flower, you’ll be able to troubleshoot problems. Does your latest batch taste off somehow? Maybe that strange taste in your latest batch that has a rotten egg or the ever dreaded mouse taint flavor or smell. If there’s a sharp flavor to it, check the chart: does it have a taste of nail polish remover or metal? Such flavors are associated with deviations in fermentation. As the science of Kombucha is relatively new, we are in the early stages of fully understanding how the microbes create both good and bad flavors. Some of these issues are similar to those from the beer or wine industry and we can research using these terms.

Take a look and see if you can find your kombucha’s flavors on our chart, and help establish a new standard for sensory development in kombucha. Members can access a PDF version of the Flavor Flower as well as a sensory rating chart here. (Not a member? Join us today!)

Thirsty for Feedback? Enter the Kombucha Kup Competition

Want an unbiased perspective? Enter our industry’s FIRST international Kombucha Kup Awards. Each entry will receive detailed judge feedback to help you hone your craft. Plus winners will take home Gold, Silver or Bronze along with bragging rights and an award winning brew!


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

Presented by:

Keisha Rose Harrison


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

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


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

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


July 15th 1:00pm PST


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

Want to see other KBI webinars? Find them here.

Not a KBI Member, JOIN TODAY


Draft Standards Manual Webinar

Presented by:
Jared Gustafson


Jared started Kombucha On Tap in January 2014 after working at Outdoor Channel Television. Jared enjoys spending his time outdoors as much as possible, you’ll find him mountain biking, running, backpacking, doing triathlons, rock climbing, canyoneering, taking a yoga class, and other athletic endeavors that allow him to explore the world in different ways. Jared is an Eagle Scout, finds a way to have the best costume at any theme party, and is one of the most genuine and happy guys you’ll ever meet! His motto is, “you can’t control everything that happens to you, but you can control your reaction to everything.


Draft systems may be installed by distributors, wholesalers, retailers, or draft installation teams and once in place, each system commonly pours a wide range of brewers’ and suppliers’products. We have sought to bring the industry together to agree upon guidelines that present
everyone’s Kombucha in an optimal condition.

When handled properly from brewery to bar to glass, draft Kombucha delivers what many consider to be the freshest, most flavorful product available to the customer. However, the job does not end once the keg is tapped and the booch begins to flow. Good Kombucha quality depends on proper alignment of the dispense variables and consistent housekeeping practices.


March 18th 1:00 pm PST


DATE: March 18th, 2020
TIME: 1:00-3:00 pm PST; 30 min presentation & 15 min Q&A
COST: Free for KBI members, $100 for non-members
Have questions? Please send in advance to admin@kombuchabrewers.org

Want to see other KBI webinars? Find them here.

Not a KBI Member, JOIN TODAY

Kombucha HACCP Plan Template Review

Presented by:
Susan Fink


Susan has a bachelors degree in Food Science from the University of Wisconsin, an MBA from Roosevelt University in Chicago and has spent 40 years in the food industry working in various capacities including manufacturing, quality and R&D. In 2011, Susan founded KARMA KOMBUCHA , and was a KBI founding member and board director for five years. She continues to remain active with KBI serving as a consultant on various technical and regulatory issues. As an independent consultant, Susan also helps fledgling entrepreneurs with formulation, regulatory, and other key parameters related to beverage startups.


The Food Modernization and Safety Act (FSMA) is now law for all sizes of businesses across the United States. FSMA aims to shore up the food supply by requiring manufacturers of all sizes to be completely responsible for what’s in their products at all times. This means any food production business is required to generate several supporting documents that outlines every step of the process including HACCP plan (Hazardous And Critical Control Points), lot coding and recall procedures.

This hazard analysis is used to identify and control reasonable foreseeable biological, chemical, and physical hazards within the preparation, use, storage, transportation, and sale of perishable goods. It also determines critical control points (CCP) in the process of food production. If a preventative control is identified, written documentation of monitoring and verification procedures, corrective actions, and recall plan are required for each process control.

While there are many resources that one can read online or courses one can take to understand the principles, there are few resources outside of hiring a consultant that demonstrates how to apply these principles directly to Kombucha manufacturing. KBI is thrilled to announce that we now have editable templates for generating a HACCP plan for your Kombucha manufacturing process – one of the key pieces required by most state and local regulators prior to launching a Kombucha business.

Having a plan is only one piece of the puzzle, then the manufacturer has to be able to articulate to their inspectors the entire Kombucha fermentation process from SCOBY & starter liquid to finished product. Join us for an engaging discussion with Susan Fink, former Kombucha manufacturer of Karma Kombucha and food safety expert from her many years working at Kraft Foods and other large food manufacturers. This webinar will walk you through the template so you can fill it out based on your process plus provide an opportunity to ask questions.

We hope you will join us for this vital and engaging presentation. Webinar tickets provide access to the presentation but does not include the templates which are only available to KBI members at this time.

TEMPLATES AVAILABLE HERE (must be KBI member to access the templates).

We invite you to listen in and ask questions. FREE for KBI Members; $100 for non-members.


February 26th 11:30am PST


DATE: February 26th, 2020
TIME: 11:30am-1:30pm PST; 30 min presentation & 15 min Q&A
COST: Free for KBI members, $100 for non-members
Have questions? Please send in advance to admin@kombuchabrewers.org

Want to see other KBI webinars? Find them here.

Not a KBI Member, JOIN TODAY

Teatulia Bangladesh Trip

By Barbara Wildhaber, BWild Kombucha

Our trip to Bangladesh to visit the Teatulia tea garden was truly amazing!


This trip allowed us to witness firsthand the amount of care and detail that goes into the whole process of making their teas. From visiting their nursery where they grow starts from their mother bushes, to helping plant small tea plants in the garden, to seeing the workers hand plucking leaves, and then finally processing those tea leaves themselves in their tea factory.


Did you know they don’t even use conventional organic pesticides in their garden? They make their own pesticides out of herbs and plants to spray on the tea bushes as needed. Likewise, Teatulia also makes their own fertilizer and bio-diesel! They have a cow lending program that allows them to give cows to women as a business opportunity (which is unheard of in a male dominated country) to pay back the loan in cow dung that Teatulia “purchases” from them. The women get to keep the milk and can sell the extra at the market making money for their families. Some of the women who originally started with the program about 10 years ago now have 15-18 cows and now employ their husbands to help them take care of the cows!



Teatulia has also built a wonderful relationship with their workers by empowering them to learn what we would consider the basics of school (reading, writing and arithmetic). School is not free in Bangladesh!!! You must pay to even attend public school. Thus, only those with money or sometimes just one child from a family can attend school and that is usually a boy since they are more employable as adults.



They even offer pre-school care for the workers. This is not just play time, but they are also teaching these kids about hygiene, counting and other basic skills through their time together. We were lucky enough to have the kids sing a few songs for us and did a craft with them. They made me glasses and rings out of leaves.




Even being able to see the two sides of the road was both amazing and sad at the same time. On one side of the road you have the beautiful lush tea garden. And the other side of the road is the barren land from rock lifting that is actively happening. Rock lifting is illegal, but it is still actively happening all over. It is like night and day the difference and the road is really like drawing a line in the sand.

Oh, and we cannot forget about the food. We were immersed in their culture with being able to enjoy traditional breakfast, lunches and dinners at the tea garden. Each meal there was a huge, round 10 foot table covered in a full array of flavors and textures. We tried so many different veggies and dishes that I have no idea what I was eating most of the time. But the flavors were amazing, they use so many different spices and combinations than we do. It was spicy but not a hot spicy, a flavorful spicy taste to each dish.  One of my favorites was the rice dish at breakfast (it was like cream of wheat but much better, since I never cared for cream of wheat). John’s favorite was the Parathas with honey on them. I also had a few veggie dishes that I would make sure I had a little extra of on my plate each meal when they served them.


To experience all of this firsthand was truly a gift and one we will not forget. I encourage everyone to get their cards filled out this year (at KKon 2020) so you can enter to win a trip of a lifetime, as I guarantee that you will never look at tea the same way again.




Distribution Guide for Commercial Kombucha

Presented By:
Danny Metcalf, Brew Dr. Kombucha

Danny Metcalf is the Director of Business Operations at Brew Dr Kombucha. His primary focus is scaling the fast growing organization in line with the company’s sustainability initiatives. He was responsible for orchestrating B Corp certification at Brew Dr and continues to oversee the sustainability department. Prior to working at Brew Dr, Danny was an analyst at the Department of Energy.

Cory Mathews, Lazy Beach Brewing

Cory and his wife Jess, started Lazy Beach Brewing in 2014 and began making Hard Kombucha in 2015. We self distribute to local bars and restaurants as well as create all sorts of different flavors for our taproom.

The committee met frequently between May and August 2019 to hash out the details of this info; we’re excited to share what we discovered and get additional feedback to include additional resources.

  • Learn about the various methods of distribution and route to markets for Kombucha brands of any size (including BIP)
  • Define appropriate margins at retail level
  • Broker vs in-house: when to align with a broker at retail
  • How to manage in-house fleet including at what point does it make sense to hire a delivery driver and schedule regular maintenance

We invite you to listen in and ask questions. FREE for KBI Members; $40 for non-members.


January 15th 1pm PST


DATE: January 15th, 2020
TIME: 1-3pm PST; 30 min presentation & 15 min Q&A
COST: Free for KBI members, $40 for non-members
Have questions? Please send in advance to admin@kombuchabrewers.org

Want to see other KBI webinars? Find them here.

Not a KBI Member, JOIN TODAY

GT Dave, GT’s Living Foods, Beverly Hills, CA, USA

Q: When did you first discover kombucha?

A: I discovered it in 1993 when my parents started making it at our Los Angeles home.

Q: Why did you start your own kombucha company?

A: I started bottling my organic, raw kombucha because I wanted to make an authentic kombucha available to those who could not make it on their own.

Q: What is your favorite flavor of kombucha? 

A: I like all the “elements” flavors from BUCHI from NC.

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

A: I started making Kombucha when I was 15 so I guess the best answer is “high school student.”

Q: What is a saying that you live by?

A: There’s no time like now.



G3: Beverage on Tap – What’s to Come
DATE: 11/14/18; 1 pm PST on Zoom
WHO: Scott Fore – Manager of G3’s Beer Sales Group
COST: Free Members/ $20 Non-Members


Join us for a webinar led by Scott Fore – Manager of G3’s Beer Sales Group to discuss the future of beverages on tap. This webinar will teach how putting your beverages on tap offers you lower up-front development costs, along with small-batch-to-large-batch production flexibility and higher margins in sales. 


– Why are Beverages On Tap So Important to Your Business?

– What Beverages are Going on Tap?

– Who is pushing the On Tap Industry to Innovation?

– I have got this Beverage I want to put on tap. What do I need to know?

– Supply Chain – How It Works

– And much more!




Scott Fore – Manager of G3’s Beer Sales Group

As manager of G3’s Beer Sales Group, Scott Fore manages a team of sales professionals that focus on the beer and specialty beverage market. His current role is to assist customers to expand their on-premise presence and explore export markets. He works closely with one- way petainerKegTM manufacturing and G3 teams to provide market education, filling training, technical services and logistics support so customers easily transition to this draught format. In addition to the keg, G3 offers integrated packaging solutions from crowns, corks and labels.

Scott has 24 years of deep knowledge and experiences in the beverages industry. He has worked in distribution, national accounts, category management, supply chain, import and export, production for domestic and international companies such as Southcorp Wines, Rocland Wine Group and 2X4 Brewing & Imports. He has developed distribution networks globally for wine and craft beer brands like Chocolate Box Wines, Ass Kisser Ales, Parallel 49 Brewing Company and Steamworks Brewing Company. Scott’s unique background ofsales, operations and production allows him to assess the viability of a beverage and its potential growth.

DATE: 1/16/2019 1 pm on Zoom
WHO: Aubrey Dyer
COST: Free (members); $20 (non-members)

The presentation will discuss some of the challenges involved producing a beverage that is authentic, has great flavour and of course meets legal requirements on a commercial scale. The Flavourtech Spinning Cone Column will be explained in detail and some of the approaches taken to alcohol adjustment in the Beer and Wine industries discussed.

Presentation Topics

  • The Challenges and Constraints in Scaling Up: Some of the challenges involved in producing a beverage that is authentic, has great flavour and of course meets legal requirements on a commercial scale.
  • Introduction to the Spinning Cone Column (SCC): The Flavourtech Spinning Cone Column will be explained in detail and some of the approaches taken to alcohol adjustment in the Beer and Wine industries discussed.
  • Alternative processing options
  • SCC deployment options

Webinar Host

Aubrey Dyer spent 20 years in a range of technical and commercial roles in the New Zealand Food and Beverage industry before taking responsibility for the Americas Region for Flavourtech in early 2011. Since then he has worked closely with many premium food and beverage companies, assisting them to develop and produce market leading products with Flavourtech’s processing technologies.

About Flavourtech
Flavourtech has been in business for over 40 years with extensive expertise high-quality in flavour, alcohol, tea and coffee processing.

About Scan American Corporation
Scan American Corporation were founded in 1977 and specialize in distribution and support unique equipment from around the globe