is on its way to coming out of the shadows and into the mainstream. From the increased
offerings in supermarkets to varieties
available on tap in restaurants and bars, as well as becoming an ingredient in
some cool, crafted cocktails — the recognition, if not consumption of the
healthy beverage, is becoming a consumer beverage of choice.
A natural outgrowth of that is people wanting to brew
their own. When we started several years ago, there were minimal options for
home brewing, including supplies, instructions, and
equipment. It was really a DIY operation. As kombucha brewing has evolved,
there are now many kits and accessories on the market to aid novice home brewers.
In addition to the many entrepreneurs selling starter kits (which include a scoby starter and tea bags), products such as a conical brewing system are geared to ensuring greater success for the more experienced home brewer. For those wanting a high-tech approach to their kombucha fermentation, companies such as Panasonic are working on contraptions such as The Ferment. The Ferment, featured at SXSW 2017, is an automated, Wi-Fi enabled brewing system. While built to ferment all matter of foods, the product provides an easy approach to brewing time-and-temp-controlled fermented beverages.
The folks behind the Pico Brew home beer-making system introduced a kombucha-brewing machine which operated in a similar fashion to its cerveza device but allowed fermentation geared toward probiotic beverages. Beyond its Kickstarter efforts for such a product, the company now sells Pico-Paks which allow consumers to make kombucha on a wide variety of the company’s machine.
As kombucha goes further into the global mainstream, with
kombucha taprooms and mega retailers adding more choices to the shelves, we
likely will see an increasing number of devices that aid in coming up with the
perfect home brew. The future is bright,
not to mention fermented.
Been a while since we have been on the daily beat, but here goes with a quick update:
I never remember the difference between horizontal and vertical integration, but Happy Kombucha, based in the U.K. obviously does. This company understands that the market is flooded with kombucha brewers, so they are making its mark as a supplier of all things fermented. This means that Happy will be providing supplies and equipment to home brewers and fermenters, in addition to supplying commercial brewers. From the tools to make fermented vegetables to kefir, if it is related to this healthy brand of eating, they have it.
A spokesperson for Happy Kombucha told Digital Journal they are now offering their wares at sale prices to stimulate interest in this popular trend: “Here at happy Kombucha we love to hold sales where possible, and this sale has definitely been incredibly popular. The fermenters available on our website are all incredibly high quality allowing for people to make their very own perfect fermented foods and are long lasting too. Anyone requiring more information or interested in purchasing fermenting equipment and the lowest possible prices should visit our website today.”
Happy Kombucha also sells the popular UK kombucha brand Love Kombucha. A five-pack of mixed flavors go for 12.25 GBP ($16.14).
I have no intention of ever moving to Buffalo, but it sure is tempting when a developer called The Barrell Factory—a new loft community in the city’s Old First ward–is touting the eateries and bars in the new development and one of the pillars happens to be Snowy Owl Kombucha.
Snowy Owl won “best tasting station” in 2017 Best of WNY competition. (That’s Western New York, FYI). Current flavors include Tart Cherry Coconut and Strawberry Lemonade.
The U.S. is not alone in its inability to develop proper uniform regulations for acceptable alcohol levels in kombucha. The issue is not setting guidelines, but more the inability for effective enforcement and monitoring. One brewer in Australia (who goes to great lengths to keep his alcohol levels low) maintains the government needs to do random checks on kombucha for sale in retail.
Jeff Low, a brewer in New South Wales told ABC News in Australia that Food Standards Australia and New Zealand need to be more proactive in its monitoring. “[They need] testing for alcohol, testing for probiotic, making sure it’s still alive, that it is a living product and it’s not pasteurized.”
Here are a few Tweets worth a second look:
Invoking the heavens:
From a London brewer sampling its wares at Taste of London