Since KBI’s inception in 2014, brands have been asking for an opportunity to compete and be judged. Now that the Kombucha Code of Practice has been launched, we are ready to increase Kombucha’s profile across the globe. Kombucha Kup “Awards of Excellence” time is finally here!

There is no better way to celebrate, judge, admire, critique, and ultimately encourage excellence while creating marketing opportunities for our category like the launch of our awards program. Building on the Kombucha Flavor Flower, our first-ever “Kombucha Kup” was held March 28-29, 2022 and was awarded at the end of KombuchaKon22 – Leveling Up.

We have world-class judges – a blend of tasting experts and Kombucha lovers – which means all entrants receive vital feedback to improve their products. Gold, Silver & Bronze have been awarded for each of the categories outlined below.

Kombucha has 5 categories; each of the remaining categories does not have a flavor category at this time so all flavors were entered and judged together. We anticipate these will expand in future years.

Judges associated with brands that may have entered the competition were excluded from the categories entered to avoid conflict of interest. All entries were judged blind.

Location & Dates Update:

This year, we’re thrilled to announce the event will take place at the Reno Sparks Convention Center. The competition is set for May 6th, with the award ceremony following on May 7th during the “Pour for Your Peers” reception. This celebration is in collaboration with the Craft Beverage Expo & Conference | Tasting & Tap Room Expo, promising an unforgettable experience for craft beverage aficionados.

Participating in the KKUP not only offers significant exposure but also connects you with a passionate community, celebrating the art and science of kombucha brewing. The “Pour for Your Peers” reception, aligned with our award ceremony, is an unparalleled opportunity for networking, sharing insights, and enjoying a diverse range of kombucha among other delicious brews.

Don’t miss your chance to showcase your Booch at the “Pour for Your Peers” reception, a perfect opportunity for sharing and tasting among the kombucha community.

Ready to Compete?

If you’re excited to showcase your kombucha and compete for excellence, it’s time to step into the spotlight. To register for the KKUP competition and submit your entry, click the “Add to Cart” button below. Ensure your brew is ready to be judged by world-class experts and to be admired by the kombucha community.

We eagerly anticipate your presence at the Reno-Sparks Convention Center for an event filled with inspiration, education, and celebration of the kombucha community’s creativity and passion. Let’s toast to the best in kombucha brewing!


KBI Member*

  • $129 per entry


  • $299 per entry



  • Original
    • Tea is to kombucha as grapes are to wine!
  • Ginger/Spice (Ginger, Turmeric, Galangal, Cayenne, etc.)
    • Spice of life!
  • Fruited
    • The darker the berry, the sweeter the booch!
  • Floral/Herbs (Lavender, Rose, Elderflower, Mint, Thyme, Oregano, etc.)
    • Flower Power!
  • Hops
    • So “hoppy” together!

Hard Kombucha

  • All Flavors 



  • All Flavors 

*To receive KBI member pricing, must be a KBI member in good standing and pay dues through when awards are given out. Any changes in member status may result in higher fees or a loss of entry status if dues are not paid in timely fashion. KBI reserves all rights to refuse any entries. All awards are selected by consensus of the judges.

Kombucha Kup 2023 Judges

Kombucha Kup 2023 Winners

Kombucha - Original

Kombucha - Fruited

GOLD – ValleSana – Natural

SILVER – All Good Gene’s – Original

BRONZE  – _SHIP – Original

GOLD – Bambucha – Mango Masala

SILVER – J’s Kombucha – Raspberry Lime Ginger

BRONZE – ValleSana – Limon

Kombucha - Ginger/Spice

GOLD – Bambucha – Thai Ginger

SILVER – Cloud Mountain Kombucha – Carrot Turmeric

BRONZE – Rogue Kombucha – June Bug

Kombucha - Floral/Herbs

GOLD – _SHIP – Shiso

SILVER – Han’s Kombucha – Raspberry Rose

BRONZE – Bambucha – Hibiscus Rose

Hard Kombucha

GOLD – Bambucha – Tropical Guava

SILVER – Local Roots – Apple Chai

BRONZE – Bambucha – Blueberry Vanilla


GOLD – Han’s Kombucha – Cheers Queers

SILVER – Shanti Elixirs – Siberian Rose

BRONZE – Wai Meli Jun – Kalamansi, Geranium, Green Mandarin

Kombucha Kup 2022 Winners

Kombucha - Original

Kombucha - Fruited

GOLD – Happy Gut Sanctuary; Amaterasu (Rochester, New York)

SILVER – Lao Kombucha; Crystal (Quebec, Canada)

BRONZE – Kaldi Kombucha; Typica (Sacatepequez, Guatemala)

GOLD – Cloud Mountain Kombucha; Autumn Mary (Urbana, Illinois)

SILVER – Elixir Kombucha; Grapefruit, Hibiscus & Orange Peel (Louisville, Kentucky)

BRONZE – Boochy Call Kombucha; Full Monty (Sharpesburg, Maryland)

Kombucha - Ginger/Spice

GOLD – Cloud Mountain Kombucha; Lemon Balm Ginger (Urbana, Illinois)

SILVER – The Federal Brewing Co.; Imperial Gold (Federalsburg, Maryland)

BRONZE – Swiss Kombucha Company; Carrot, Ginger, Turmeric (Zug, Switzerland)

Kombucha - Floral/Herbs

GOLD – Swiss Kombucha Company (CHE) – Elderflower, Lime, Mint (Zug, Switzerland)

SILVER – Happy Gut Sanctuary; Echinacea (Rochester, New York)

BRONZE – Nokkos Company; Heather & Gooseberry (Helsinki, Finland)

Kombucha - Hops

GOLD – Spring Branch Kombucha; Lemon Hops (Springfield, Missouri)

SILVER – Yūgen Kombucha; Grapefruit Hops (Ooost-Vlaanderen, Belgium)

BRONZE – Ninja Kombucha; Dry Hopped Lemon Ginger (Richmond, Virginia)

Hard Kombucha

GOLD – Arlo Boozy Kombucha; Raspberry (British Colombia, Canada)

SILVER – Arlo Boozy Kombucha; Mango (British Colombia, Canada)

BRONZE – Strainge Beast by Sierra Nevada; Watermelon, Sea Salt, Lime & Mint (Chico, California)


GOLD – Happy Gut Sanctuary; Dragon’s Nectar (Rochester, New York)

SILVER – Revel; Hoppy Valley (Ojai, California)

BRONZE – Revel; Pink Moment (Ojai, California)

Build the Ballot

Judging craft beverages and foodstuffs is a sensual endeavor. All of the senses are involved in the process. We have outlined the qualities that our judges will be evaluating to tease out the winners of the Kombucha Kup “Awards of Excellence.”


  • Still, sparkling
  • Hue
  • Filtered vs Unfiltered
    • Mixture vs solution (how well mixed are the ingredients in the liquid)
    • Culture strands or not

Aroma Aroma

  • Nose 
  • Tangy
  • Sweet
  • Base tea – absent/present – attributes 
  • Specialty ingredients (flavors & additives)
  • Fermentation attributes – esters
  • Off flavors
    • Skunk
    • Acetone
    • Sulphur

Taste Taste

  • Flavor
  • Related to base tea
  • Related to fermentation
  • Balance
  • Mouthfeel – tasting fizz