Profile: The Good Guys Kombucha, Tampere, Finland
Located near the city of Tampere, a former center of Finnish industry known as “The Manchester of Finland,” The Good Guys Kombucha is a one-stop-shop for kombucha lovers in the land of a thousand lakes.
Krister Häll and his five partners founded this Central Finland brewery in early 2018. The brand name comes from asking, “What would the good guys do?”
They have scaled up from home brewing to increasingly larger facilities. Along the way, they overcame a series of challenges: acquiring the necessary licensing, securing organic certification, financing, sourcing glass bottles, and more.
As they stepped up production from 1,000 to 12,000 liters a month, they moved premises twice and went from hand bottling to maintaining commercial brewing and bottling equipment.
Unsurprisingly, in a country that boasts more saunas per capita than anywhere, their first commercial space was in a repurposed sauna room. That summer, they had to deal with an unexpected heat-wave and exploding bottles in stores and customer homes.
Home Brew Kits
The Good Guys believe that the most authentic kombucha you can drink is the one you brew yourself at home. They sell homebrew kits and run regular workshops, not to undercut their production, but to help create demand for the drink. In their experience, when people who brew kombucha realize what authentic ‘booch tastes like, they seek out the best, rather than merely the cheapest brands. Naturally, this leads them to buy the high quality beverage The Good Guys sell.
True to Their Tea
The founders were tea connoisseurs whose love of infusing Camellia sinensis first led them to kombucha. They champion the taste and health benefits of brewing with a combination of high-quality loose tea (primarily Chinese Sencha and Keemun Black Tea), which give a natural sweetness to their base. They sell Strawberry & Basil; Ginger; Tumeric, Ginger & Carrot; and Sencha Green Original flavors. A new herbal range is under development, starting with a Guayusa-based brew.
Kombucha Brewers International
Kritser is the European lead for Kombucha Brewers International (KBI). He recognizes the benefit from brewers sharing their expertise with each other via industry associations — especially given in the absence of written information on commercial kombucha brewing.
He presented at the 2019 Kombucha Summit in Berlin, where he told the story of building his company.
Krister was kind enough to talk with Booch News by phone. I asked him how he succeeded with ‘booch in a land of committed coffee drinkers. To hear what he told me, click on the podcast icon below.