Searching for Kombucha in Bristol, England

I took advantage of a free afternoon in the wonderfully hip & eclectic city of Bristol, 100 miles west of London, to search for kombucha. While wandering the city, from the center of town out to Hotwells and back, I called in at 10 pubs and bars and asked if they served ‘booch. I walked along the north bank of the waterway opposite where the SS Great Britain is moored. If you’re ever visiting, it’s a nice way to see to harbor, away from the crowds on the south bank.

20-Percent Success

Of the 10 establishments only two served kombucha.

Quite appropriately, for an ancient port city (where the tidal moorings gave us the expression ‘Ship shape and Bristol fashion‘) my first find was at the Grain Barge — a floating pub voted one of Britain’s 10 best for the views. They serve the Australian import Remedy Kombucha, and a chilled bottle on the rear deck, overlooking the SS Great Britain, was very welcome.

After striking out at most of the other places, a final stop closer to the center of town delivered the ‘booch. BrewDog stocks UK-brewed Lo Bros, happily served up by the barman — Jed from San Diego. He’s working behind the bar while studying at Bristol University. We commiserated about the difficulty of being an American in England on the day Trump was meeting the Queen. There’s lots to apologize for, while nodding politely as the Brexit debate drags on. It’s a challenge as to which is more of an embarrassment.

The Opportunity

The opportunity for any kombucha brand eyeing the Bristol market is to make a call on the eight places that don’t yet carry the drink. These are:

The King Street Brew House; The 1766 Bar at the Bristol Old Vic; The King William Ale House; The Drawbridge; The Lime Kiln; The Mardyke; The Nova Scotia Hotel; and The Pump House.

Many of these are historic pubs, situated down by the docks where the sailors all came in. They probably served Brunel with his pint and, back in the day, only stocked strong ale and porter. Now, most have a good selection of craft beers, gins, wines and more.

How long before they catch on to kombucha?

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2 Responses

  1. Ian says:

    One more location to add to the list is the compact Box-E restaurant located in a shipping container at Wapping Wharf, Bristol. They stock the three flavors of Real Kombucha sold at £3.25 a bottle.

    Bristol Box-E

  2. the_editor says:

    Nice to see that Real Kombucha’s Blog has an overview of their kombucha’s availability in Bristol and the West Country:

    Bristol and kombucha: two words that seem as though they were made for each other. When we first launched Real Kombucha, we felt that Bristol was already the kombucha capital of the UK. Scroll forward a few years and we’re delighted to say that you can find us all over the city they call Brizzle.

    They review nine different high-end restaurants that carry their drink. The first is Box-E which I mentioned in the comment above.

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