Bryan Deane Bertsch, Deane’s Kombucha, Hopkins, MN, USA

Q: When did you first discover kombucha?

My wife brought kombucha home from the local Co-Op in 2006. It was love at first taste – especially how it made me feel and the fact that it was a “living” beverage. Then I found out how much she was spending on it. A friend suggested I make my own and so it began.

Q: Why did you start your own kombucha company?

When we launched in 2009 there were virtually zero local craft kombucha brewers in our market. I saw all the shelf space Whole Foods and the Co-Ops were giving it, was convinced it was going to grow exponentially, and was getting incredible feedback from friends who were drinking my home brew. Plus I figured the price point it was selling for was too much and surely I could sell for less than that. At the end of the day, Deane’s was the most expensive bottle on the shelf!

Q: What is your favorite flavor of kombucha? 

Nessalla in Madison, WI makes great kombucha They shared one of their Hop blends that I loved!

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

Virtually every job I’ve had has prepared me to run a small kombucha business. Babysitter, paper boy, dish washer, server, bartender, door-to-door sales, media sales, food equipment sales, mortgage brokering, office manager, warehouse manager. And raising a family of 5.

Q: What is a saying that you live by?

“The further one goes, the less one knows.”