Profile: Meraki Ferments, Noia, Spain
The charming Galician fishing village of Noia, nestled in Spain’s far north-west corner, is the home of Meraki Ferments. Here, pilgrims who have made the 500-mile journey along the Santiago de Compostella, take the final step of their journey and pick up a shell from the beach as proof they have completed the pilgrimage.
A Labor of Love
In 2017 Náyade (Naya) Bravo–originally from Venezuela–made the journey to Noia from Miami, where she and her husband had begun brewing kombucha at home. Back then, there were only two kombucha producers in the whole of Spain. There are now more. She brought a SCOBY from her friend at Radiate Kombucha in Miami and started the learning process. They’ve been bottling Meraki Ferments kombucha since February 2019. It’s now selling in over 70 stores in the region as well as in Portugal, Madrid, Barcelona, and Granada. They also sell cases online.
Since a small fraction of the population in Spain has even heard of kombucha (she estimates one in 30 people), she recognizes there is considerable potential for growth.
The brewery is in an old stone house in the town, where they not only ferment ‘booch but also produce sauerkraut, kimchi, and more. Naya holds workshops where she teaches fermentation to those who’d like to start home brewing.
The brand name comes from the Greek word ‘meraki’ meaning a ‘labor of love’ or ‘to do something with passion, with absolute devotion, with undivided attention.’
Naya brews, packs, does accounting, social media, and more. She’s recently hired a salesperson. She plans to keep brewing, keep expanding, and keep the labor of love alive in the western edge of Europe.
Strawberry Feelings has a fresh flavor, based on green tea, strawberries, and mint, reminiscent of apple cider.
Beet Bomb is flavored with lemon, basil, and beet — the early experiments resulted in a few experimental bottles exploding in secondary fermentation, hence the name!
Panela & Lemon has a unique flavor from lemon and panela — a form of unrefined whole cane sugar, popular in Latin America.
All three flavors start with a green tea base.
To hear the story of Meraki Ferments in Naya’s own words, click on the podcast icon below.