Starting out: Twilight Kombucha, Morrisville, Pennsylvania

This is the fourth in the series of Booch News posts telling the stories behind new commercial kombucha brands. The inspiration for ‘Starting Out’ was NPR’s ‘How I Built This‘. Every kombucha company launched their brand in a unique way, and their story has lessons for us all.

Craft beer background

Shawn McGovern discovered kombucha when he needed a hangover cure after one too many beers. He drank a bottle of GTs Gingerade and was instantly hooked. He is a self-confessed craft beer lover who transferred his expertise in home brewing that beverage to kombucha. He’s been making kombucha at home for eight years and is on the point of launching Twilight Kombucha commercially.

Reiki energy

Shawn is a Reiki practitioner who also teaches yoga and meditation. He infuses each batch of his ‘booch with positive Reiki energy, which “brings the highest vibration into play.”

His vision for the business is to open a full-blown wellness center where kombucha on tap would be offered alongside classes and healing sessions. Meanwhile, he’s keeping his day job as a graphics designer.

He’s happy to have secured a 500-sq-ft commercial space in Morrisville, PA, and once the permits are in place, he’ll start selling his kombucha in early 2023.

Taprooms

Shawn plans to distribute in kegs and cans. Since he is familiar with the craft beer market, he wants to convince local taprooms to add kombucha to their lineup. While not naive about the challenge, since this is not something beer brewers typically embrace, he notes, “a lot of the beer brewers are missing the mark by not having kombucha on tap. Sometimes people might not want a beer, but still want to hang out with the crowd.” He often hears that they “don’t want to waste a tap for kombucha” but explains that they are missing a growing part of the market, and that offering kombucha will attract a broader spectrum of customers.

Mentor

Shawn acknowledges his debt to Laura at High Point Kombucha in Allentown, PA. Laura has been producing kombucha commercially in the Lehigh Valley for four years. She stepped up when he was looking for help. She agreed to mentor Shawn, answer his questions, and even gave him a tour her brewery. She had also started out in a 500-sq-ft facility. Her business has boomed and this year her brewery tripled in size. By sharing her expertise Laura is helping “make the pie bigger” for kombucha lovers in the NJ/PA area.

Podcast

Listen to the podcast to hear Shawn tell the story of his new venture.

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