2019 Berlin Kombucha Summit Presentation Videos

Kombucha brewers from across Europe gathered in Berlin last October for a two-day Kombucha Summit. For those not able to attend, the organizers have done us an excellent service by posting the presentations from the event, in full, on YouTube.

At almost seven hours of content, these eleven videos are an invaluable resource for anyone curious about the inner workings of commercial breweries. This listing allows you to preview the content and select the videos which are most relevant.

The Past, Present, and Future of the European Kombucha Market

Dennis Kelleher, Founder, Good Culture Kombucha

By viewing this video, you will learn about:

  • The history of kombucha in Europe:
    • The early medicinal brands and commercial availability.
  • Current sales data for different UK brands, totaling £2.4 million.
  • Projected future growth in Europe, trends, and opportunities.

Kombucha – Labeling Risks & Legislation with Market Examples

Grzegorz Rachon, Project Manager & Research Scientist, Campden BRI Group

By viewing this video, you will learn:

  • About Campden BRI, a 100-year-old scientific company based in the UK, with research expertise in the craft beer industry.
  • Specific results from a kombucha case study that looked at the labels and scientific analysis of 10 samples purchased in the UK, reporting on labeling compliance issues, physicochemical, and microbiological results.
  • Product name, nutritional claims, health claims, alcohol content, other labeling considerations.
  • Specifications in the new Brazilian Standards of Identity.

Founder Interview

Adam Vanni, JARR Kombucha

By viewing this video, you will learn:

  • The story of Jarr, from founding to present production of 50,000 bottles a month, and purchase by Duvel.
  • How the founders came together in Los Angeles and started home-brewing in London with help from Hannah Crum, until their launch in April 2016 at a time when no-one really knew what ‘booch was.
  • The distinctive aspects of their premium, ‘Jarr-ing,’ more sour, brand inspired by minimalist designs of brands such as natural cosmetics company Aesop.
  • How they address a higher price-point (£5.50) and ensure it is available where the brand will be well-received (e.g., at Harrods).
  • The challenges of hand-bottling 50k bottles each month. (See their production line in action.)
  • Adam’s view that “London is a really saturated market” with “35 brands in the UK.” (Note: We list over 50 UK brands in the Booch News Worldwide Directory. However, the number of breweries per capita in the UK is one to every 1.13 million people vs. one per 660,000 in the USA and one per 120,000 in New Zealand. So it’s not quite that saturated, Adam.)
  • How they secured investment from Duvel.
  • Their interest in kombucha on tap and experiments with hard kombucha.
  • His advice for anyone considering getting into the business.
  • Their use of acidifier liquid vs. a standard anaerobic SCOBY to better control alcohol levels and consistency.
  • His recommendation that people sequence the DNA of their kombucha (as available at the Counter Culture Labs in the San Francisco Bay Area, ed.)
  • His suggestion for the best tanks for those looking to scale up home brewing.
  • How local brands can compete against big-budget international brands.
  • The importance of spreading the word on social media and grass-roots marketing.
  • What happened when he visited GT Dave at home in his kombucha lair high in the hills above Los Angeles.

Symbiosis – How Collaboration Grows Strong Culture

Hannah Crum, President  & Chairman of the Board, Kombucha Brewers International

By viewing this video, you will learn:

  • The mission that drives Hannah: ‘To change the world one gut at a time.’
  • Her kombucha journey from the first sip, to home brewing in 2003.
  • Setting up Kombucha Kamp in 2004 and her passion for the industry.
  • The effects of the 2010 recall that led to chaos, reformulation, and a rise in consumer awareness.
  • The formation of the KBI trade association and cross-category marketing of ‘the kombucha challenge’ via social media.
  • About the first KombuchaKon in 2014.
  • The fulfillment of her original industry growth projections from $250M in 2013 to $1B in 2020. She projects continued double-digit growth for non-US markets.
  • The background to the 2015 US government alcohol concerns and the associations who randomly test for compliance and spread disinformation.
  • The need for ‘symbiosis’—brewers sharing and working together–that benefits the industry overall.
  • About World Kombucha Day, Feb 21, 2020.

Scaling Your Kombucha Production

Sebastian Bureau, Founder, Mannanova Solutions

By viewing this video, you will hear about:

  • Detailed fermentation formulas to scale from hundreds to thousands of liters per week.
  • How to overcome a common challenge: running out of starter liquid when sales outpace production capacity.
  • Why the Mannaova Manna-K acidifier is an exciting alternative to the traditional three-week “Grandma” method of brewing kombucha.
  • $500 IBC ’totes’ as viable large-scale, low-cost fermentation vessels.

Kombucha from a Retail Perspective

Sophie Davis, Fresh Food Buyer, Planet Organic

By viewing this video, you will hear about:

  • The decision process used by a retail store buyer when considering which brands to choose to allocate to their limited shelf-space.
  • The explosion in the number of kombucha brands at Planet Organic stores in London.
  • The three price-points into which all kombucha’s fall.
  • The power of online marketing and social media for brands.

The Importance of Water for Kombucha

Thomas Hartwig, Founder & CEO, LEOGANT

By viewing this video you will learn:

  • What this holistic water purification expert has to say about water from both a scientific and philosophical perspective.
  • That water has many unique properties, as explained in this BBC Bitesize post.
  • Spring water as a living liquid with hidden qualities and a structure that make it beneficial for brewing kombucha (flowing from the “yang” air to the “yin” ground, then rising from the earth).
  • Why filtration systems such as reverse osmosis that remove minerals from tap water are not a good idea.

Building the Good Guys Brewery

Krister Häll, Founder, The Good Guys Kombucha

By viewing this video, you will learn:

  • That the brand name comes from asking, “What would the good guys do?”
  • The challenges they overcame as they scaled up from home brewing to more extensive facilities.
  • Their response to an unexpected heat-wave and exploding bottles in stores and customer homes.
  • Their justification for selling homebrew kits to help create demand for the drink.
  • The specific varieties of loose leaf tea they use to give a natural sweetness to their base.
  • Their preference for ‘traditional’ SCOBY-based brewing rather than the use of concentrated acidifier liquid others at the Summit recommended.

Note: Our podcast interview and Good Guys profile are available on Booch News.

From Gypsy Brewing to Building Our Own Brewery

Stanislaw Zaleski & Wojtek Zielinski, Co-Founders, Brothers & Sisters Kombucha

By viewing this video, you will learn:

  • That this Warsaw brewer started as a home-brewing operation, sold at local farmers’ markets, experimenting with different teas and ferments.
  • That they started ‘gypsy brewing’ in a cider facility, and their first bottled batch was 660 liters.
  • The need to educate restaurants, bars, and consumers in Warsaw.
  • Their goal of self-financed, slow, organic growth.
  • The issues they had to deal with: bottle supplies, production facility concerns, a DIY filling line.
  • Scaling-up to IBC ‘tote’ plastic containers, growing production, and distribution across Poland.
  • Securing investment from a juice company that can expand distribution.
  • That they kept their day-jobs.

The 20 Things Nobody Ever Told Me About Running a Kombucha Brand and Brewery

Charlotte Krijger, Founder, Yaya Kombucha

By viewing this video, you will hear about:

  • A first-hand report of the challenges of launching a kombucha company.
  • Why glass bottles are a finite resource.
  • The limitations posed by a lack of starter liquid as demand increases.
  • Likely funding sources.
  • Tips on flavoring.

Health Benefits of Kombucha

Antje Behrendt, Holistic Pharmacist, and Nutritionist, Healthy Bites

By viewing this video, you will learn:

  • Why Antje started offering kombucha kits in her pharmacy.
  • A review of the health benefits from various scientific (mostly animal-based) studies.
  • The effects of beneficial ingredients in kombucha and the common health challenges they address.
  • About our increased understanding of the human microbiome and the impact it has on overall health, not just digestion.
  • Why gut health is at the root of extended lifespan in three ‘blue zones’ around the world.

The 2020 Summit

Plans are underway for a second Summit in Berlin this September.

Meanwhile, the KBI 7th annual KombuchaKon will take place in Long Beach, California from April 1-3, 2020. Many of the presenters and attendees from Berlin are expected to attend.

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