Profile: Adam Hiner, Boochcraft

There’s a new podcast from Chef’s Best, an organization that identifies and honors high quality and great tasting grocery products in order to support the companies that make them and the people who choose to select them.

It seems to have been recorded BV (Before Virus) since there’s no mention of the current situation. The host interviews Adam Hiner, the co-founder of Boochcraft, the makers of hard (7% ABV) kombucha.

Adam has been brewing regular kombucha for over a decade. He began brewing it for sale at his own restaurant in 2011. His restaurant, Local Habit, was the first restaurant in San Diego to offer kombucha on tap and, he claims, likely one of the first in the country. Adam’s interests include surfing, acroyoga, organic gardening, and cooking.

Tune into the podcast to learn how:

  • He noted the demand for the draft kombucha he served at Local Habit.
  • He started brewing regular and hard kombucha in his garage, conducting experiments for two years.
  • Why they use the highest quality tea from the mountains of China.
  • They brew with liquid concentrate rather than a pellicle SCOBY in F1.
  • They then add brewers yeast and extra sugar in F2 to raise the alcohol hard kombucha levels.
  • The mixture is air-locked in a closed fermentation tank to prevent aerobic bacteria from metabolizing the additional alcohol into acids.
  • The benefits of probiotics and acetic acid in kombucha are both anti-inflammatory and an aid to digestion.
  • These benefits are preserved in their 7% ABV hard kombucha.
  • They add auxiliary ingredients from the “millions of pounds” (sic) of fruit they fresh-press each year to add to the beverage.
  • The caffeine in a serving of Boochcraft is equal to a quarter-cup of black tea.
  • Their consumers span the range: from eighty-year-old Whole Foods shoppers to Millenials who are moving away from alcohol.
  • They’ have more women customers than men.
  • People choose their beverage as part of a healthier lifestyle, including which version of alcohol they choose to consume.
  • They are in 3,000 stores in the Western States: AZ, CA, OR, WA, CO, TX, NV, HI, NM, and ID
  • They have over 70 employees with rock-star brewers and a vibrant sales team who run 1,500 events offering sample product.
  • Lessons learned include the need to slow down on decisions to avoid the need to course-correct for things such as which distributors they use to email platforms.
  • He wished they had taken more time when choosing to expand capacity.

Check out the 23-minute podcast here.

NOTE: We reviewed the Boochcraft blog back in November 2018. The blog has changed a lot since then! They currently have 32,800 followers on Instagram; 12,800 on Facebook; and 472 on Twitter.

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