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.
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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.
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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.
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.