Our Keynote Speaker for 2016 

Gary Fish of Deschutes Brewery and Brewers Association

gary fish deschutes brewery

KKon Dates & Times

Friday Feb 5

8am-9am & 2pm-5pm Registration 

8:30am-12:30pm  KBI Member Meeting – Brewery & BIP Meeting

2pm-5pm Trade Show

5pm-7pm Platinum Sponsor Cocktail Reception – all registrants welcome to attend

Saturday Feb 6,

8am-9am  Registration

9am-6pm Conference 

6pm-9pm Closing Reception

All activities are taking place at the Long Beach Convention Center – Seaside Pavilion – click here for directions & address

Conference Topics

Track 1: KBI Verification Programled by members of Special Projects Team

  • Best Practices & KBI Verification Program – Mike Beshore, Humm Kombucha
  • Business Practices & Legal Requirements – KBI Operations Admin
  • HACCP Plan Overview – Food Safety Modernization Act Prerequisite Programs – Susan Fink, Karma Kombucha 
  • HACCP Plan Training – Step by Step for Kombucha Breweries – Ed Rothbauer, High Country
  • Nutritional Panel & Label Claims – Daina Trout, Health-Ade & Justin Prochnow, Greenberg Traurig

Track 2: Science & Business of Kombucha

  • Grassroots Marketing – Getting the Word Out Without Breaking the Bank – How to Leverage Social Media, Festivals & Live Demos to Promote Your Brand – Zane Adams, Buchi & Alison Schmitt, Golda Kombucha
  • Kombucha Components – Lab Testing Methods & Research + AOAC Working Group Update – Sam LaBonia, Cornerstone Laboratories LLC 
  • Techniques for Controlling Ethanol Production in Kombucha Fermentation – Hannah Crum, Kombucha Kamp

General Sessions

KBI Best Practices Overview & KBI Verification Program – Mike Beshore, Humm Kombucha

Nutritional Panel & Label Claims – Daina Trout, Health-Ade & Justin Prochnow, Greenberg Traurig

SPINS: Kombucha Market Analysis – Bobbi Leahy, SPINS

Keynote with Gary Fish of Deschutes Brewery & Brewers Association


Download the Full Agenda Here

KombuchaKon Speakers 

Zane Adams: Track 2: Grassroots Marketing

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Zane champions Marketing and Enterprise Partnerships as one of the employee owners of Buchi Kombucha based in Asheville, NC. Buchi is a community centered, women founded and 15% worker-owned business continuing the ancient folk tradition of brewing kombucha. Zane is on KBI’s Board of Directors and Buchi is a founding member of KBI. As the Board Liaison to the PR committee, he is helping to create awareness for KBI and facilitating the dialog between KBI, its various member stakeholders and the general public.

Mike Beshore: Track 1: Best Practices & KBI Verification Overview


Mike works for Humm Kombucha, based in Bend, OR. He joined the Humm team in January of 2014 and quickly became involved with KBI to help move the industry forward. Mike serves on the KBI Special Projects Team to develop the KBI Best Practices and KBI Verification Program. He is helping the kombucha industry moved toward self regulation and safe and sustainable practices.

Humm is a founding member of KBI.

Hannah Crum: Track 2: AOAC Update & Techniques for Controlling Ethanol Production in Kombucha Fermentation
Kombucha Kamp

Hannah Crum The Kombucha Mamma of Kombucha Kamp_1.5x2

President of Kombucha Brewers International, the non-profit trade association for the Kombucha industry, Hannah Crum is a longtime educator and Kombucha advocate. Taking KBI’s mission to promote and protect the Kombucha industry worldwide to heart, she has been a featured speaker at conferences, festivals and on television as the leading expert in Kombucha. Founder of the popular educational site, Kombucha Kamp, which is the most visited website in the world for Kombucha information, recipes and advice. Along with her partner, KBI co-founder and Chairman of the Board, Alex LaGory, they have directly mentored and consulted Kombucha brewers from start-up to scale-ups since 2007 and have co-written the authoritative tome, The Big Book of Kombucha, due out March 2016.

Co-founder and President of KBI. Hannah is an active member of the Special Projects Team and serves on the Board of Directors.

Susan Fink: Track 1: HACCP Plan Overview – Food Safety Modernization Act Prerequisite Programs
Karma Kombucha 


Susan is the brewmaster at Karma Kombucha (IL) which she founded in 2012. Prior to starting Karma, Susan was a homebrewer for six years. She developed a passion for kombucha after experiencing a strengthened immune system from drinking it daily, a huge factor in maintaining an Ironman triathlete lifestyle. As a 35 year veteran of the food industry, she has held numerous positions in Operations/Manufacturing as well as Research and Development with both Safeway Stores and Kraft Foods. Susan also holds a BS in Food Science from the University of Wisconsin.

Susan is on KBI’s Board of Directors and Karma Kombucha is a founding member of KBI. Susan is the Board liaison for the Research & Education Committee and is an active member of the Special Projects Team.

Gary Fish: Keynote Speaker
Deschutes Brewery & Brewers Association

gary fish deschutes brewery

Gary Fish – Founder and President of Deschutes Brewery, Inc., a regional brewery and brewpub located in Bend, Oregon with distribution in nineteen western states.  Deschutes also operates a brewpub in Portland, Oregon.

Raised in Northern California, Gary was exposed to the beer and wine industry as the son of a grape grower.  He received his Bachelor of Science degree in Economics from the University of Utah in 1979 and began his restaurant management career in Salt Lake City.  After several years of managing/owning several successful restaurants, he moved to Bend in 1987 and opened the Deschutes Brewery & Public House in 1988.  In its first full year of business, the pub produced roughly 800 barrels of beer.  Deschutes Brewery produced and sold approximately 340,000 barrels of beer in 2015.

Gary also served as President of Sagebrush Classic, Inc., a 501(c)-3 non-profit corporation that conducted a charity golf tournament and dinner for 24 years. The event attracted golfers from throughout the region and chefs from around the world and became the region’s most successful charitable event, raising well over $3 Million.  The proceeds benefited children’s charities in Central Oregon.  Gary is a past President of the Rotary Club of Greater Bend, the Bend Chamber of Commerce, the Bend Downtowners, and the Oregon Brewers Guild.  Gary was given the “Community Service” award in 2001 and named “Restaurateur of the Year” in 2003 by the Oregon Restaurant Association.   He is the past Chair of the Brewers Association of America, America’s oldest brewing trade association.  He currently serves as Board Chair of the Brewers Association, a trade association representing the more than 3,000 Craft Breweries in America that was formed from the merger of the Brewers Association of America and the Association of Brewers.  In 1999 Gary was named Bend Chamber Citizen of the Year.  Recently, Gary was awarded the Al and Pat Reser Civic Leadership Award at the Governor’s Gold Awards in Portland, Oregon and the Regional Entrepreneur of the Year by Ernst & Young.  Gary also serves on the board and executive committee of The Freshwater Trust, a conservation group based in Portland, Oregon.

Deschutes Brewery was named Business of the Year by the Bend Chamber of Commerce in 1996, Brewpub of the Year by Brewpub Magazine in 1999, and was named Brewery of the Year by Malt Advocate Magazine in that same year.  Deschutes was recently named “Manufacturer of the Year” by the Oregon Entrepreneur’s Forum in Portland, Oregon and twice given the “Good Neighbor” award by the Oregon Restaurant Association.  Deschutes’ beers have won many awards in national and international competitions.  Deschutes Brewery ranks in the top seven craft breweries nationally for growth and volume.

Sam LaBonia: Track 2: Kombucha Components – Lab Testing Metrics & Research + AOAC Working Group Update
Cornerstone Laboratories LLC

sam labonia

Samuel J. LaBonia, ‘Sam’ for short, is a graduate of the University of New Orleans, possessing a Bachelor’s Degree in Chemistry, and the President of Cornerstone Laboratories LLC in Memphis, Tennessee. Sam’s background includes extensive experience in the environmental, petroleum, and industrial fields. His expertise lies primarily in Method Development, Method Validation, Project Management, Practical Application, and GC/MS. Sam is a member of the American Chemical Society (ACS), the American Oil Chemists Society (AOCS), American Organization of Analytical Chemists (AOAC), and the American Public Health Association (APHA), and holds a special certification from the United States Department of Treasury – Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau.

Sam authored the KBI Approved Testing Method for Ethanol in Kombucha and is co-chair of the AOAC Working Group to develop an official method for testing ethanol in Kombucha.

Bobbi Leahy: Kombucha Market Analysis & Future Trends

Headshot 2 (60) Desaturated

Bobbi Leahy has over 25 years CPG experience across retail, manufacturer and information supplier organizations, including 12 years with SPINS.  In her current role as Director of Sales-West, Bobbi works with SPINS’ clients both large and small, utilizing SPINS services across retail channels & with consumer behavior measurement, to support the various growth initiatives.  Bobbi and her daughter split their time between Northern California and Seattle.

Justin Prochnow: Track 1: Nutrition Panel & Label Claims
Greenberg Taurig LLP

Justin J. Prochnow focuses his practice on assisting companies with regulatory, business, and legal needs in the beverage, food, dietary supplement, cosmetic, medical device, and OTC industries. Justin works closely with companies to ensure regulatory compliance with statutes and regulations enforced by the Food and Drug Administration, the Federal Trade Commission and other regulatory agencies, including the review of product labels, labeling, advertising, websites and other marketing materials. Justin assists companies with responding to governmental and regulatory actions, including FDA inspections and warning letters, FTC Civil Investigative Demands, and ASRC and NAD cases. Justin prepares and reviews business documents for industry members, including consulting, manufacturing, supply and distribution agreements. Justin and his team also defend industry companies from both governmental agencies and civil litigators in litigation ranging from breach of contract cases to the growing number of class actions alleging false and misleading advertising.

Prior to joining the firm, Justin served as an assistant city attorney in the Denver City Attorney’s Office, prosecuting numerous criminal court cases. Justin also was a federal law clerk for United States Magistrate Bruce D. Pringle in Denver, Colorado.

Ed Rothbauer: Track 1: HACCP Plan Training: Step by Step for Kombucha Breweries

ed rothbauer_cropped

Steve Dickman and Ed Rothbauer began brewing their own pure and authentic Kombucha while they were roommates in 2003. Ed brewed the tea in the early 90′s after learning of its healing properties and in an effort to help his recovery from paralysis after an accidental fall from a roof. The two friends proceeded to brew unique Kombucha blends that soon gained popularity with friends, family, local community members and now drinkers across the country. High Country Kombucha is brewed high in the Colorado Rocky Mountains with only pure spring water. All ingredients are sourced in their organic form and concentrated flavoring is never used.

From humble beginnings, High Country Kombucha has grown by leaps and bounds and has proven itself in the marketplace. With so many large companies trying to gain hold of the Kombucha market, High Country Kombucha continues to offer the highest quality, strongest Kombucha on the market, all while maintaining a small company status.

Ed serves on KBI’s Board of Directors and is a founding member of KBI. He is the Board liaison to the Legislation and Government Oversight Committee and is a HACCP Certified Trainer.

Alison Ruth Schmitt: Track 2: Grassroots Marketing
Golda Kombucha


Alison Ruth Schmitt is Brand Manager with Atlanta-based Golda Kombucha, Georgia’s first and finest kombucha brewer. Born in London, UK she has a background in media, design and film. She was first introduced to ‘hippie tea’ in 2008 while attending graduate school in San Francisco. Like so many before her she was soon hooked on the mysterious brew and began making her own, while trying to spread the word among skeptical friends.

On returning to London in 2012, Alison landed her first job in the kombucha industry with GO! Kombucha. Her role there was varied: brand ambassador, assisting with brand development and managing their social media. Alison moved to Atlanta to get married in 2014. Soon afterwards she discovered Golda Kombucha and, by her own admission, “kept pestering Melanie until she gave me a job”. Working for Golda Kombucha has deepened her knowledge of commercial kombucha production. She enjoys the challenges and many successes of working for a rapidly growing company in a rapidly evolving industry.

Daina Trout: Track 1: Nutrition Panel & Label Claims
Health-Ade Kombucha

daina trout

Daina Slekys Trout is co-founder and CEO of Health-Ade. Daina has been making (and drinking) kombucha long before starting this business, and her recipe has been the foundation behind Health-Ade’s brew. With a background in nutrition and strong love for good food, Daina has always been seriously dedicated to making sure Health-Ade uses the best ingredients and most natural processes.

As CEO, Daina’s charged with leading the growing Health-Ade family to the 3 founders’ vision—to make the best tasting and highest quality kombucha one can buy. She thinks the keys to Health-Ade’s success will be 1) never compromising quality, no matter how easy it seems and 2) hiring A-players that work smarter than most and have fun. Prior to starting Health-Ade, Daina worked in nutrition, sales, and change management. She received her BS from Georgetown University in Washington D.C., and two masters degrees (in Nutritional Biochem and Public Health) from Tufts University in Boston.

Daina is the head of the Legislation and Government Oversight Committee for Kombucha Brewers International and chair of the Special Projects Team which is in charge of developing the KBI Verified Program setting standards and Best Practices for the Kombucha industry. Health-Ade is a founding member of KBI.

Social Events

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Friday (2/5) 5-7pm Kombucha Kocktail Platinum Sponsor Reception

Saturday (2/6) 6-9pm Closing Reception

Sunday (2/7) Sunday Funday Activities

Super Bowl Party

Whale Watching Boat Trip to Catalina Island

Want to know more about KombuchaKon? Click Here

A Huge Thank You to our Sponsors

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Sponsor KKon & get in at the ground level with Kombucha Brewery members
at our first annual tradeshow – get all the details here



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