Pete Hinshaw, DrinKraft, Columbia, MO, USA

Q: When did you first discover kombucha?

It’s all her fault. The wife and I were on the road and she had a sour stomach. She said she’d heard kombucha might be the ticket. We stopped and got her one and I had a couple of sips. A couple of years later she took a class on back yard foraging. One night the teacher handed out SCOBYs. We let it to ferment for a week. She didn’t like the kombucha and I did. I’ve been fermenting kombucha ever since.

Q: Why did you start your own kombucha company?

I ask myself the same question from time to time. I was recently retired. I thought Columbia should have a kombucha brewery. Bob’s your uncle.

Q: What is your favorite flavor of kombucha? 

St.Louis is a couple of hours east from here. Chef William Pauley specializes in fermentation and kombucha. He usually has a chaga kombucha on the menu.

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

I did software development and systems work on Unix systems. I spent several years with Sprint and then I worked on the State of Tennessee’s Medicaid system. C programming, shell scripting, oracle database. A lot of the work was like solving puzzles and that was fun.

Q: What is a saying that you live by?

Is this an open book quiz? It’s hard to live up to anything all the time. The most inspiring professor I had, Mack Jones, taught Shakespeare. Mack always announced in the first class that everyone enrolled would get an A. It is easy to find a quote from Shakespeare that fits almost anything life can throw at a person. Here you go: “This above all: to thine own self be true, And it must follow, as the night the day, Thou canst not then be false to any man.”