11 dedicated KBI member brands and new affiliate member, Cetotec, gathered at the headquarters of KBI member Fairment in Berlin, Germany. We were treated to a wide variety of delicious ferments including Fairment’s line of fermented veggies, Kombucha and milk kefir. There was plenty of time to network and reconnect with old friends while meeting new ones.

Attendee NameCompanyCountry  
Paul SeelhorstFairmentGermany
Katherine AttiehKTeaGuernsey
Christopher HumberKTeaGuernsey
Naya BravoMeraki FermentsSpain
Patrick DeSpainMeraki FermentsSpain
Patrick SwitzerNycha KombuchaSwitzerland
Renato BrazOh K! KombuchaPortugal
Joana Silva BrazOh K! KombuchaPortugal
Kendra SepulvedaProbio DrinksSpain
Jesus ZamoranoSoul KSpain
Krister HällThe Good GuysFinland
Hanna KatajamäkiThe Good GuysFinland
Yannick ClaermanYugen KombuchaBelgium
Chris De BackerYugen KombuchaBelgium
Sylvia LieseCETOTEC Germany
Hannah CrumKBIUSA
Justine MuddeEuromonitorUK

The program was well received and sparked great conversations. Justine Mudde of Euromonitor provided a comprehensive overview of the EU Kombucha market including where Kombucha falls in the portfolio of beverages as well as where expected growth trends for Kombucha and similar beverages are anticipated. While the EU market is a few years behind the US, there are loads of new brewers who are entering the space. With the trend toward less alcohol consumption and a preference for healthy drinks, there is a great opportunity for Kombucha. The trick is managing price expectations from a market that is used to cheap sodas and energy drinks.

KBI Members Login Here to Access the Presentation.

Photos credits Jan Vu Kombucha Summitt

KBI President, Hannah Crum, provided an overview of the new Standard of Identity that is currently being worked on by the Board. Several technical specifications are being considered and the group provided feedback on what elements they felt were important to include. It’s apparent that more testing and thoughtful consideration is required before finalizing a standard. Many voiced a desire to protect traditional brewing methods.

Fairment cooked up a delicious lunch of tempeh and the booch and conversation flowed easily.

The final presentation was a discussion about Techniques to Control Ethanol in Kombucha. The topic opened the floor to questions about production methods, best practices and how to manage scaling up and distribution. More experienced members offered their feedback and the exchange of information was free-flowing. By the end of the meeting, a new KBI EU Committee Head emerged and we are delighted to announce that Krister Häll of The Good Guys is our new Head.

We then ventured into the city to meet up with other Kombucha brewers at a local brewhouse for beer (it is Oktober Fest after all!) and dinner. Then off to BRLO for a craft beer tour. The following day was the commencement of the Kombucha Summit. The 2-day event generated 250 participants from nearly every country in the EU.

Photos credit Jan Vu from Kombucha Summitt

The event was put on as a collaboration of KBI Affiliate member, Denis Kelleher of Good Culture and Roy Kombucha (Berlin). The speaker roster included several current & former KBI members including Krister Häll of The Good Guys (Finland), Paul Seelhorst of Fairment (Germany), Adam Vanni of Jarr Kombucha (UK), Seb Bureau from Mannanova (Canada) and KBI President, Hannah Crum, who led the room in forming a “giant human SCOBY” enlivening the crowd.

KBI Affiliate member, Petainer, was also providing workshops and demonstrations on using one-way PET kegs.

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KBI is delighted to report a wildly successful first webinar in our “Ask Us Anything” series – Fast Track to Distribution” (May 18, 2016). All of the attendees enjoyed the detailed and Kombucha-specific advice offered by our expert speakers. 

“Thank you so much for the webinar today! It was packed full of great information. The panel was so gracious with their time and experience. They gave very detailed answers to some really good questions. I really appreciated the real-life, real small business growing pain examples – especially mistakes made. I could easily see myself walking down that same path and making those same mistakes – thank you for saving me the expense and the agony!” -Elizabeth, BIP

Chris Montelius of Non-Prophet shared tips and advice from his former life experience as a beer distributor. Many members had written in with several questions and he graciously answered them all in a slide presentation.

Jared and Deanne of Kombucha on Tap covered distribution from their perspective as distributors of kegged kombucha in Southern California. They covered everything from equipment choices to costs involved in self-distribution vs. utilizing an outside distributor’s assistance, as well as keg-specific information regarding kegerators, keg washing, and more.

“Thanks for putting the Distribution webinar together, and thanks for injecting my questions into the conversation so late in the game. I found it tremendously informative, helpful, and timely as DZB begins to plan out the early phases of keg distribution. It’s also great to know that there are some tremendously knowledgeable and generous members of the Kombucha industry willing to shed some light on these topics. From our perspective, it has seemed a little isolating and unfriendly at times, but this webinar has proved contrary to that notion. Thanks again for facilitating this, and good luck with the future ones. I’ll be sure to tune in to the rest of the series.” -Joe, Dean’s Zesty Booch

Shane Dickman of High Country recounted the brand’s journey from tiny start-up in the late 2000s to its current size as a thriving national brand. From the tough early years of self-distribution, which sometimes involved drivers sleeping in the van on runs from Colorado to California, to the common mistakes many brands might make early on, with specific advice on how to avoid losing money on distribution deals, Shane’s experience provided a lot of insight into the lengths that sometimes must be traveled on the road to success.

“Loved the dist. webinar yesterday! Thanks for providing exceptional tools and resources to KBI community.” -Gayle, FedBrew

Did you miss this webinar? You’re in luck! The recorded version (as well as an audio-only version) is available in the member forums! Not a member? Join today!

 

On the heels of this successful first seminar, KBI is pleased to announce the second webinar in our “Ask Us Anything” series:

The Secrets of Successful Flavoring, June 21 from 1-3PM PST.

original

REGISTER HERE

only $20 for KBI members, $200 for non-members

Buy 3 webinars, receive the 4th one free!

Speakers

Darius Subatis of Health-Ade

Born and raised in Boston, Darius came out to California in 2006 to pursue a career in film. After spending some time working in production for NBC Universal he decided it was time for a change. Darius joined the Health-Ade team as employee hire #1 in 2013 and has used his skills from film production to run the brewery for Health-Ade. His passion for efficiency and doing things right has helped grow Health-Ade over 10x what it was just three years ago. If he’s not brewing kombucha for Health-Ade, Darius is enjoying life with his beautiful wife, Amanda, and their dog, Riley, in Santa Monica.

 

Alla Shapiro of NessAlla

Alla joined business partner Vanessa with the common vision of helping the community gain a deeper knowledge of health and well being. Both certified herbalists, we began teaching kombucha brewing classes in Madison, Wisconsin in 2007. We became well known for our kombucha knowledge and word of our expertise spread. Workshops sold out and we soon had a SCOBY farm growing! We decided to work together to create one of the nation’s first small, local kombucha breweries.

Hannah Crum the Kombucha Mamma of Kombucha Kamp

Hannah Crum of Kombucha Kamp

Hannah Crum is the Kombucha Mamma. Originator of the Kombucha Kamp workshop,she partnered with her husband Alex LaGory, aka Alex Kombucha, to create the top informational site for Kombucha in the world KombuchaKamp.com Their mission is to “change the world, one gut at a time.” Hannah is a popular speaker about Kombucha, fermentation and bacteriosapiens at corporate and health conferences, fermentation festivals and events around the world. As an outgrowth of their commercial consulting, industry reporting and marketing efforts, Alex & Hannah co-founded Kombucha Brewers International in 2014 to unite and advocate for the commercial Kombucha bottling industry around the world. Through Kombucha Kamp’s videos, blog posts and online support communities, they have mentored 100,000’s of homebrewers all over the world. Their newly released “Big Book of Kombucha” from Storey Publishing (featuring 260 “Flavor Inspirations”) has been met with critical acclaim and praise. With this impressive wealth of information, it is no surprise that they are the leading Kombucha experts in the world.

The Secrets to Successful Flavoring

Every brewer flavors in a different way- that’s one of the ways brands differentiate their products. Have you always wanted to try out some new ideas, but weren’t sure how to start? Looking for some new flavor inspirations? Had some frustrating setbacks and not sure how to proceed? This webinar is for you!

Webinar Includes:

When to Flavor

– Primary

– Secondary

– Reasons for flavoring in primary vs. secondary


Teas

How to Flavor with Tea

– Flavoring and potency of tea types

– Tea Blends

– Brand distinction with tea alone

– Preparing ingredients

fresh_fruit

How to Flavor with Fruit

– Preparing ingredients

– Whole or Sliced Fruit, Juice, Dried, Concentrate, Freeze Dried, Frozen Fruit

– Advantages and Disadvantages

How to Flavor with Herbs, Flowers and Spices

– How to prepare herbal infusions (dried vs. fresh)

essential oils and medical flowers herbs

How to Flavor with Essential Oils

How to Flavor with Different Types of Sugars

– How each type affects flavor

-White sugar, brown sugar, honey, Stevia, etc.

Unwanted flavors and solutions (ex. water quality)

– Herbal or fruit flavors that might compromise probiotic content

– Nutrition facts skewed by fruit inclusion (having each flavor tested and labeled)

– How to know when you’ve messed up. Can it be fixed?

Join us, and ask the speakers your questions in advance by emailing Morgan!

 

REGISTER HERE

only $20 for KBI members, $200 for non-members

Buy 3 webinars, receive the 4th one free!

Upcoming Webinars:

Control Your Brew- Reducing Alcohol Levels in Under-21 Kombucha

Alcohol Testing Methods- What Works, What Doesn’t, & How to Do It for Less

Under Pressure- Kegs, Cans, & Bottles

 

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As the kombucha industry continues to grow, so too do the needs of the membership. Poised to crest $1.8 billion dollars in gross sales by 2020 according to some projections, our industry has consistently demonstrated rapid growth, stimulated by the stability brought to the marketplace through the formation and actions of Kombucha Brewers International. Since 2014, KBI has established kombucha industry Best Practices, spearheaded a new ethanol testing method that more accurately reflects the complexity of kombucha, developed the KBI Verification program (launching June 2016), created new resources for new brewers just entering the industry with our Brewery in Process membership and resources, lobbied Congress for governmental support, gathered annually at KombuchaKon for education and networking, and launched a new educational webinar series.

We have done all of this great work with the help of volunteers and through the financial support of member dues. This year, we hired our first full-time employee – an important step forward in building the organization. As such, it is now time for us to increase the due structure so that we can continue to offer quality programs and support to kombucha brewers around the globe. The new rates reflect the growing role of the organization and its advocacy, as well as the continued generation of valuable member resources.

The benefits of membership remain the same and include discounted admission for two attendees to the world’s only kombucha conference (KombuchaKon), discounted educational webinars, and access to the member forum which is bursting with resources and valuable information. Learn more about joining KBI and our member types.

As of October 1, 2016, Kombucha Brewers International yearly member dues (except for Brewery in Process memberships) will increase to the following levels:

Tier 1: $395 – 0-25,000 gal annual output

Tier 2: $595 – 25,001-250,000 gal annual output

Tier 3: $795 – 250,001+ gal annual output

Brewery in Process: $995

Affiliate Member (supplier, laboratory): $395

Adjunct Member (jun, kefir, fermented drinks): $395

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At this time, KBI is pleased to offer current members the opportunity to renew dues early at the current rate before the increase (note: payment must be received in full by September 30, 2016 in order to qualify for this offer).

Early renewals will extend membership one year beyond current expiration date; for example, if your current membership expires in February 2017, renewing now will extend it to February 2018.

Please email us to take advantage of this offer now!

Not a member yet, but want to join before the rates increase? Join KBI here!

 

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On Tuesday, March 15, KBI President Hannah Crum, Operations Administrator Morgan Meredith and several KBI member brewers met with representatives from Congress. Since Congress was in session, many sent staff aides and legislative assistants to meet with the group.

After the meeting, all of the members met individually or in small groups with legislative aides to share samples, educate about our industry and discuss regulatory concerns with the goal of uncovering potential solutions. They also discussed ways in which the industry can generate additional kombucha commerce in their states.

The breweries represented include: Aqua ViTea, Capital Kombucha, Barefoot Bucha, Sole Kombucha, Buchi, Health-Ade, and Holy Kombucha.

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As an additional highlight, Mike from Buchi Kombucha played live music in the hall in order to generate more interest in our meeting and bring more people into the room!

The legislative assistants listened intently to our concerns and offered helpful feedback for KBI’s future endeavors. Here are some of the ways members and non-member Kombucha companies can find additional resources:

-Contact each state regarding its own Value Added Producer grants for brewers

-Contact agriculture coalitions and boards in your state

In discussing strategies to create legislation to protect the industry, it was recommend that we:

-Connect with more brewery associations

-Connect with Congress members who sponsored the Cider Act

We are delighted to have taken this next step, and are already planning a more formal gathering for Congress members in September, coinciding with Natural Products Expo East.

Want to be more involved? Contact Morgan to find out how you can assist with government outreach.

We grow together!

IMG_3023KBI President Hannah Crum will be meeting with lawmakers at a round table discussion on Capitol Hill immediately following the AOAC Mid-Year meeting. The Congressional meet and greet will take place March 15th at the Congressional offices on the Hill. 

March 15, 2016
12-1PM
402 Cannon House Office Bldg
Washington, DC 20515

As mentioned at KombuchaKon16, KBI is ramping up our grassroots lobbying efforts in order to connect with legislators who can help our industry navigate the governmental and regulatory landscape. First and foremost, will be to introduce kombucha to Congress! When Hannah was in DC for the TTB meeting in early February, she also stopped by several Congressional offices to share the KBI Fact Sheet. Not surprisingly, several of the receptionist interns hadn’t even heard of kombucha! So education is a primary focus for this first lobbying session.

In addition to bringing samples to share, we will also share Kombucha 101 to give a basic background on our product. Key to communicating the importance of our product will be founders stories because most member companies evolved out of specific health challenges that were overcome by consuming kombucha. We will also discuss the needs of our rapidly growing industry as well as share the regulatory challenges we’ve faced thus far and to discuss potential solutions.

Kombucha Brewers International expects approximately 12-20 Congressional aides at this meeting. Want one of them to be yours? Would you like your voice to be heard? Join Hannah in DC on March 15 & 16th to attend this session and to meet your Congressperson!

To participate, please drop an email to Morgan so we can include you and your Congressperson on the guest list. Also indicate if you are willing to bring samples and if you are available both days or just one. If we are not able to secure a room for the Roundtable (pending notice from our Congressional liaison), we will still be doing in person meetings on the Hill for those 2 days to spread the word about our industry.

 

South Korean President Lee Myung-bak joins members of the U.S. Congress in applauding those members who fought in the Korean war during President Lee's address to a joint meeting of U.S. Congress on Capitol Hill in Washington, October 13, 2011. REUTERS/Hyungwon Kang (UNITED STATES - Tags: POLITICS)