SYMBIOSIS Magazine – Fall 2020

The Fall 2020 edition SYMBIOSIS magazine is out now. This is the official Journal of Kombucha Brewers International, a trade publication for the kombucha industry. The first edition came out in June.

All editions have an ‘evergreen’ lifespan and live forever on the platform. Anyone can order a printed copy that will be sent directly to them in the mail. It’s the perfect way to get our content out into the world.

This is not just for KBI members. The content is of value for any commercial kombucha brewer worldwide, plus the growing ranks of homebrew enthusiasts curious about scaling up or refining their technique. This edition includes a free 12-page consumer-oriented ‘Taproom Tourism Guide’.

Table of Contents

The 62 pages of the Fall 2020 edition focus on taprooms. Our regular columns, include:

  • KBI President’s Letter: an update from Hannah Crum.
  • Regional KBI Chapter Reports: from Asia, Europe, Latin America, Australia/New Zealand, and Canada
  • Legal Issues: Bryan Armentrout lists six reasons a kombucha seal program will build consumer confidence.
  • Advocacy Corner: Dave Ransom writes on KBIs virtual lobbying strategy..
  • Producer Profile: The story of Stephen Lee, the founder of Kombucha Wonder Drink.
  • Brew Tech: Toby Tull of Bare Bucha on why measuring levels of acetic acid is key to a successful ferment.
  • Kocktail Recipes: Beer-based mixes that refresh.
  • Book Review: Mission in a Bottle, by Seth Goldman and Barry Nalebuff.

Feature Articles

  • The Growth in Craft Beer Taprooms: Bart Watson, Chief Economist at the Brewers Association on lessons from the explosion of taprooms in the beer world.
  • Mobile Taprooms: Creative ways that brands are using vans to bring ‘booch to markets and festivals.
  • Kombucha in Kegs: Two distributors at the forefront brands of selling kombucha in kegs.
  • B Corp Certification: Danny Metcalf of Brew Dr. Kombucha discusses certification that recognizes the social impact of a company, and describes the process involved.
  • Lessons from Craft Beer Reopening: Sam Holloway and Mark Meckler of Crafting a Strategy share tips for kombucha brewers on reopening your business in the time of COVID-19.
  • Fighting Food Waste: Hannah Crum and Marian Flaxman explain how two companies help minimize wasted product.
  • Kombucha and Stress Response: Jeffrey Gassen, Ph.D., reports on lab tests measuring how kombucha reduces stress.
  • The Women of Kombucha: We profile Tanya Maynigo of DC’s Craft Kombucha.

Letter from the Editor

It might seem counterintuitive to profile kombucha on tap during a pandemic when many cafes, bars, and taprooms are closed. However, as you’ll read in this second edition of SYMBIOSIS, there are lessons to be learned from the many ways in which brewers distribute kombucha in kegs.

Brewers Association Chief Economist Bart Watson explains why beer taprooms were an early indicator of growth in that industry and continue to power expansion today. With almost 3,000 taprooms in the USA, they account for over a third of the growth. Consultants Sam Holloway and Mark Meckler of Crafting a Strategy describe the steps craft beer taprooms are taking to re-open safely as COVID-19 restrictions are lifted.

The core of this edition is what we’re calling a ‘Taproom Tourism Guide.’ We’ll be distributing this to consumers as a free directory, and it will be updated each Fall in a special edition. It was apparent when I interviewed brewers around the world how varied taprooms are – from the beaches to Mexico to the urban centers of Berlin, Barcelona, and Bellingham. Each tells a story of serving the needs of the local community. We hope that consumers will use the Tourism Guide to help plan their next trip so they can enjoy meeting brewers and sampling kombucha on draft as part of their vacation.

I had fascinating conversations with the creative brewers who take kombucha on the road. Whether it’s a converted horse trailer or a custom Mercedes Sprinter van, they all report the unique advantage of bringing their ‘booch to the markets and festivals in a vehicle that draws the crowds.

Kombucha in kegs offers many people starting a commercial brewery a low-overhead entry point. Without the need to sterilize, label, and cap bottles, kegs provide a great jumping-off point. There’s no better way to offer samples and educate the public. Two well-established keg distributors in California highlight the environmental benefits of refillable kegs over single-use bottles. There’s growth in the demand for kombucha on draft in cafes and bars, as well as among some high-consumption households who have the space for a kegerator in the kitchen. 

Hannah and Marian Flaxman report on a powerful way that some companies are becoming more sustainable by working with organizations that fight food waste.  Danny Metcalf, Director of Business Operations at Brew Dr. Kombucha in Portland, OR, details how they teamed with Imperfect Foods to sell mislabeled and short-dated product instead of tipping it down the drain. Danny has another piece that explains why they became a B Corp certified organization to reinforce their commitment to the environment.

There’s much more in this edition, from a scientific analysis of the ways kombucha can minimize stress to our regular columnists who provide updates on KBI’s lobbying, the importance certifying your kombucha, and two new producer profiles.

As always, SYMBIOSIS is an evergreen publication available for download or as a hard copy via the print-on-demand MagCloud platform.

Order your copy today

KBI members have access to an electronic version as a benefit of membership. Digital and Print copies are available on-demand from the MagCloud platform. It’s printed in the US, UK, and mainland Europe and shipped with local postage rates

SYMBIOSIS Magazine - Fall 2020

KBI PUBLIC Magazines: SYMBIOSIS Magazine – Fall 2020

SYMBIOSIS Magazine is the official Journal of Kombucha Brewers International. Enjoy brewing tips and techniques, equipment reviews, industry stats and information to improve your business. Plus well researched scientific articles on the health benefits, brewery member profiles, Kombucha Kocktail…

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