5th Annual KombuchaKon – Defining Our Culture

Our Keynote Speaker for 2018 – Bob Pease, CEO & President of the Brewers Association for Small & Independent Craft Brewers

Bob Pease is the President  & Chief Executive Officer for the Brewers Association. The Brewers Association is the trade association representing small and independent American Craft Brewers with over 3,500 brewery members.  In his role, Pease is responsible for the strategic development and tactical execution of the association’s mission in the areas of membership development, events, media relations & government affairs. He has led the charge to strengthen the small brewer’s voice in Washington, D.C. In his current role he is responsible for managing the day-to-day operations of the association, whose 3,500 brewery members produce more than 99% of all the beer produced in the United States.

In 2009 Pease began to work extensively on Government Affairs related issues facing small and independent brewers and became the Brewers Association point person for Government Affairs issues in Washington, DC where he advocates for the interests of small and independent brewers.  He is now a registered lobbyist on behalf of the craft brewing industry and travels to Washington, D.C. on a regular basis.

Pease has a degree in Political Science from the University of Colorado. He is a member of American Society of Association Executives, a graduate of the Siebel Institute Professional Beer Tasting and Styles course and is a certified TIPS trainer.

He lives in Boulder, CO with his wife Peggy, daughter Kyra and dog Ruben. He enjoys spending time with his family, reading, telemark skiing, cycling, golf and beer drinking in his spare time.

KKon Dates & Times

Click to View Entire KKon 2018 Agenda

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

All Day Saturday & Sunday Worlds Largest Kombucha Bar

Friday Feb 9

Pre party 6-8pm
Rock Bottom Brewery
featuring Kombucha Cocktails and Craft Beer – free to all KKon Attendees & Sponors

Avoid registration lines and pre-register by attending the Pre-Party!

Saturday Feb 10

8am-9am Registration

9am-11:30am KBI Member Meeting – Brewery & BIP Meeting

2pm-5pm Trade Show

2pm-5pm Conference 

5pm-6pm Kombucha Kocktail Reception

Sunday Feb 12

8am-9am Registration

8am-4pm Trade Show

9am-6pm Conference

4pm-5pm Keynote Speaker – Bob Pease, Brewers Association

Conference Topics – MORE TO COME!

  • SPINS Kombucha & Fermented Drinks Market Overview
  • Strategies for Sustainability Panel
  • Contracts Best Practices
  • Kombucha Genetics: What Sequencing Technology Can Tell Us about SCOBY Taxonomy
  • From Bootstrap to Organization
  • Worker Co-ops & Business Transition
  • How to Study your SCOBY – In House Techniques for Culture Analysis
  • Pros & Cons of Taking On Investment Panel

Athena Aktipis, Arizona State University
Can kombucha save us from the zombie apocalypse? An overview of the
Microbiome and Behavior Project at Arizona State University

Athena Aktipis is an Assistant Professor in the Psychology Department at Arizona State University, co-Director of the Human Generosity Project, co-Director of the Microbiome and Behavior Project and co-founder of the Center for Evolution and Cancer at the University of California, San Francisco. Dr. Aktipis completed her BA at Reed College (Psychology), her PhD at University of Pennsylvania (Psychology) and post-doctoral work at University of Arizona (Ecology and Evolutionary Biology). She is a cooperation theorist, social psychologist and theoretical evolutionary biologist who works on puzzles of human sociality and health. This includes mysteries of human sharing, cancer susceptibility, maternal health and the interactions between hosts and their microbes.

Jessica Aldridge, Adventures in Waste
Sustainability Panel

As an award winning and accomplished waste solutions manager with over 13 years’ experience in the Zero Waste and resource management industry, Jessica understands the needs of finding sustainable solutions to our growing waste problems. A lifelong educator, activist and leader, she has pioneered programs at the school, business & city level. Founder of Adventures in Waste, a nonprofit and media outlet run by women who are dedicated to reducing waste as it pertains to environment, art, social and cultural impacts, and solutions. Currently, she is the Sustainability Manager at Athens Services, where, she oversees the development of environmental and Zero Waste programs for educational outreach, project management, government affairs, marketing/communications, and policy development.

Awards:  Inaugural Waste360, 40 Under 40 Award (2016); “Best Public Advocate for Sustainability” by LA Sustainable Business Council (2013); Excellence in Environment/Energy Efficiency from 11th Annual Women in Business Legislative Awards (2010)

Hannah Crum* & Alex LaGory*, Kombucha Kamp & KBI
Member Meeting; Conversation about Standard of Identity; Moderator, Quality Control Panel

Hannah Crum The Kombucha Mamma of Kombucha Kamp_1.5x2

Hannah Crum, aka “The Kombucha Mamma,” and partner, Alex LaGory, are longtime educators and Kombucha advocates. Their popular educational site, KombuchaKamp.com, is the most visited website in the world for Kombucha information, recipes and advice.  In 2014, to further their mission of “changing the world, one gut at a time,” they co-founded KBI where Alex serves as Chairman of the Board and Hannah is President. Together, they have directly mentored and consulted Kombucha brewers from start-up to scale-ups since 2007 and co-wrote the authoritative tome, “The Big Book of Kombucha” (Storey, 2016). Taking KBI’s mission to promote and protect the Kombucha industry worldwide to heart, Hannah has been a featured speaker at conferences, festivals and on television as the leading expert in Kombucha. 

Jamie Danek, Humm Kombucha*
Moderator, Pros & Cons of Investment Panel; Conversation about Standard of Identity

Jamie leads Humm with endless energy, abundant optimism and a big heart; traits that have enabled her to find success at numerous startups during a career spanning more than 21 years. Previously, Jamie founded and served as CEO and N​ational S​ales D​irector of JLD Enterprises, a very successful consulting firm before pivoting to create EON Organics, a natural products company with distribution throughout the East Coast. Using the skills and knowledge gleaned from these successes, Jamie built Humm from the ground up and​ is now focused on defining strategy and leading the overall execution of Humm’s rapid expansion. Her passion to share the idea that great taste can be healthy is rivaled only by her desire to spread joy throughout the world. As a founding ​board ​member of Kombucha Brewers International, Jamie is a national leader driving positive advocacy for the kombucha sector. Jamie has a Bachelor of Science Degree in international marketing from Temple University. She is an avid traveler and spends as much time as possible outside, usually on her mountain bike.

Francois Guillot, r-Biopharm

François Guillot, PhD was born in 1960, Agriculture Engineer in 1983 and Doctor in Agriculture Science 1987. 30 years of experience in analytical methods in different positions (R&D, product specialist and product manager) and three companies (Roche, Becton Dickinson and R-Biopharm). International product manager for Enzymatics at R-Biopharm since 2008.

Keisha-Rose Harrison, Oregon State University
Kombucha Genetics: What Sequencing Technology Can Tell Us About SCOBY Taxonomy

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 Bachelor of Arts in Cell Biology and Biochemistry from Rice University and a Master of Science in Nutrition from the University of Houston. Prior to her research in Kombucha, Keisha worked as a Research Assistant within the Pediatric Nutrition Department at the Baylor College of Medicine. She specialized in nucleic acid processing for metabolic analyses; assessing gene activation across a number of platforms, including gut microbes, infected viscera, and neural tissue.

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 earlier in the year where she began to combine her experience with 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!

Adam Hiner  Founder/Stunt Man, Boochcraft
Sustainability Panel

Coming from a background in business management and finance Adam has managed a diverse number of businesses including his own. He has been involved in many startups including an online mortgage company, valet service, catering business and local restaurant. Adam has been brewing kombucha for over 10 years and began brewing for retail sale at his own restaurant in 2011. Local Habit was the first restaurant in San Diego to offer kombucha on tap and likely one of the first in the country. Adam’s true passions include surfing, acroyoga, hiking, organic gardening, cooking and building culture around Boochcraft. Adam currently manages marketing and sales for Boochcraft.

Jessica Just, Brew Dr
Quality Control Panel

Jessica Just is Director of Technical Services, Brew Dr. Kombucha. As an experienced fermentation scientist with two decades in the fermented beverage sector, Jessica’s been involved in all aspects of beverage production from material handling, processing, and fermentation to stabilization and packaging. She holds a B.S. and M.S. in Food Science from Oregon State University and prior to joining Brew Dr. Kombucha taught brewing, winemaking, and cidermaking at her alma mater. Jessica currently oversees Brew Dr. Kombucha’s Lab, QA/QC programs, food safety/regulatory compliance, and kombucha R&D.

Bobbi Leahy, SPINS
Kombucha Market & Future Trends w/Q&A

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.

Sean Lovett, Revive Kombucha
Pros & Cons of Taking Investment Panel; Sustainability Panel

Sean Lovett is the Founder and CEO of Revive Kombucha, a kombucha brewery based in Petaluma, CA, where he lives with his wife, Rebekah, and their two daughters. Originally from Chicago, where Sean honed his entrepreneurial skills, he moved to Sonoma County in 2009 to explore Northern California’s rich winemaking and brewing resources. A serious soda habit drove him to seek a healthy alternative in kombucha, with the expressed goal of making something as refreshing and drinkable as his favorite soft drink. Eight years later, his efforts have grown into Revive, an employee-owned company with a line of top-selling, locally produced, organic and healthy kombuchas that are distributed nationwide. A committed environmentalist, Sean has experimented with the possibilities of environmentally conscious production and business practices, including the use of biofuels, an award-winning bottle exchange program and water conservation efforts that drastically reduce the water usage in his brewery.

Chris McCoy, Kombucha Town
From Bootstrap to Organization

Chris McCoy was born in rural southern Colorado in 1986 where he lived on a cattle ranch until the age of 9 years old. In 1996 he moved to Bellingham, WA with his family. During his time in Colorado and the Pacific North-West, Chris developed a deep appreciation for the natural world and the environment. Following his father’s death from brain cancer in 2008 and then becoming the primary care giver for his mother with Alzheimer’s in 2011, Chris became passionate about healthy living and hyper aware of what we put in our bodies and how it affects us long term.

While studying environmental science and economics at Western Washington University, Chris identified that there were very few options for healthy beverages in the market place. He then began experimenting and researching how to create a healthy, environmentally friendly beverage company. Since founding Kombucha Town in September 2011, Chris has become an expert in the Kombucha Industry –  Kombucha Town is a founding member of Kombucha Brewers International. It is Chris’s passion and vision to bring refreshing Kombucha products to as many people as possible to help foster a healthier, happier world.

Shrinath Narayanan, Arizona State University
Poster Session

Shrinath (Shri) Narayanan is a research volunteer working in Dr. Athena Aktipis lab as Arizona State University (ASU). He has his undergraduate degree (B.Tech) in Biotechnology from Anna University and received his master degree in Cell and Molecular Biology from University of Texas at Dallas.Throughout his course of study he has trained as a molecular biologist. During his masters,  he worked with Dr. Nikki Delk on examining the effects of cytokines on breast cancer cells with respect to its receptor status. Since then, he has developed a strong interest in the evolutionary perspectives of cancer development and multicellularity. Currently, he is working with Dr. Aktipis on studying Kombucha as a model system for cooperation and conflict. They study the system by introducing perturbations and observing its reactions while also investigating the antimicrobial activity, metabolomics and metagenomics of the system.

Justin Prochnow, Greenberg Traurig
Compliance Central: Successfully Advertising and Promoting Your Products Without Drawing Unwanted Attention; Contracts Best Practices

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.

Maxi Richmond, Boochcraft
How to Study your SCOBY – In House Techniques for Culture Analysis

Maxi received her PhD from the University of Connecticut in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology. Her studies have focused on the diversity, systematics, and community ecology of a range of organisms including microbes, beetles, and flies. At Boochcraft, she manages production and oversees research and development projects investigating the microbes in kombucha cultures. The overarching goal of research at Boochcraft is to establish a scientific framework for the optimization of the taste and health aspects of kombucha.

Trevor Ross*, LIVE Beverages
Quality Control Panel

Trevor Ross is the Founder and CEO of LIVE Beverages (LIVE Kombucha Soda and LIVE Sparkling Drinking Vinegars). The mission of LIVE is to provide great-tasting functional beverages that are not only better choices than soda but also great complements to a healthy lifestyle.

In 2007, Trevor lost his sister to breast cancer, which was a wake-up call to Trevor to re-prioritize health and well-being in his busy lifestyle and that of his family. His father, a lifetime soda addict, became his focus. Trevor, an engineer by trade, started fermenting and brewing a healthy alternative to cola and developed a kombucha that tasted like pop. His dad, usually a skeptic of ‘health food’, gave his seal of approval and completely kicked his cola habit! Trevor was inspired to share his innovation with soda addicts and health enthusiasts everywhere and began bottling LIVE Kombucha Soda in Austin, Texas.

Trevor is an Austin native – born and raised – and lives there with his wife, two children and 200 lb. English Mastiff, Mozart. Trevor graduated from the University of Texas with a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering. His hobbies include being an avid rock climber and wake surfing enthusiast.

Garth Shaneyfelt, Katalyst Kombucha
Worker-Coops and Business Transition

Neuroscientist, long-time home-brewer, biker, gardener, runner, outdoors-man, and un-repentent schemer Garth Shaneyfelt finally broke free from his 15 years in the tech world to focus on building the local and cooperative economy. One of the original founders of Green River Ambrosia, Garth now applies his leadership and finance skills as the General Manager of Artisan Beverage Cooperative.

Matt Thomas, Brew Dr
Pros & Cons of Taking Investment

Matt Thomas is the Founder and CEO of Brew Dr. Kombucha, as well as Townshend’s Tea Company and Townshend’s Distillery. After starting his first teahouse in 2003 with only $45,000 raised from friends and family, he now employs over 250 people across his three distinct tea-focused companies. Townshend’s Tea Company currently operates nine retail teahouses throughout the Northwest. Brew Dr. Kombucha is sold in all 50 states and across Canada. And Townshend’s Distillery has earned fast recognition and awards for its line of innovative tea-based spirits products. All three companies are based in Portland, Oregon.

Brew Dr. Kombucha grew 150% in 2017 after achieving 100% growth in 2016. The company currently brews, ferments, and bottles over 500,000 bottles of kombucha every week, all done in its own 60,000 square feet of brewery space.

Daina Trout, Health-Ade Kombucha
Sustainability Panel

Daina Trout is the CEO of Health-Ade Kombucha, which she co-founded in 2012 alongside her husband, Justin Trout, and best friend, Vanessa Dew. Daina received her BS from Georgetown University and a Master’s in Nutrition and Public Health from Tufts University, where she honed in on her philosophy that health has everything to do with one’s happiness, not just the science.

Health-Ade Kombucha came from the shared desire to do something entrepreneurial while bringing REAL food back to the commercial shelf. There lay the opportunity to turn Daina’s recipe for the best tasting, high-quality Kombucha into something one could buy.

Health-Ade got its start brewed in a tiny apartment closet and sold at the local LA Farmers’ Market, and has quickly grown to be a nationally recognized brand that passionately supports the real food movement.

Daina’s enthusiasm and drive to make a difference speaks to the importance of the company’s tagline, “Follow Your Gut.” The story of Health-Ade is an ode to the belief that following your gut is integral on one’s journey to happiness and health. When not giving her heart and soul to Health-Ade, Daina can be found spending time with her other baby, Hendriks, while sipping on some Pomegranate Kombucha.

Vincent Valev, UBC Group
Bring Your Kombucha on Tap

Vincent Valev is the National Sales Manager at UBC Group USA and has worked in the beverage dispensing equipment industry for over 11 years. He has completed draught dispensing schools at Anheuser Busch and Miller Coors and has worked on different projects with major breweries as well as Kombucha and Cold Brew companies. He has used his knowledge to help companies to build custom solutions for their specific draft needs.

Amelia Winslow, Health-Ade Kombucha

As Director of Project Management at Health-Ade Kombucha, Amelia oversees R&D, legislative and policy projects, as well as sustainability and charitable giving. Since she began implementing sustainability programming at Health-Ade just nine months ago, the company has reduced its landfill waste by more than 30% and has plans to become Zero Waste. Before joining Health-Ade, Amelia founded the blog Eating Made Easy and worked as a personal chef and nutritionist. Amelia holds Master’s Degrees in Nutrition and Public Health from Tufts University in Boston.

* denotes KBI Board Member


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2018 Agenda