A group of craft kombucha brewers are banding together to fight industrialized kombucha. These small, UK-based companies say a number of big players are entering the kombucha space but taking mass production shortcuts, like pasteurizing and adding sweeteners. Many of the bigger brands, they say, are “kombucha in name only” making lab-engineered fermented tea without the fermentation.
“They don’t have time to ferment, some of them just use an instant mix, which totally goes against the grain of what kombucha is,” says Gary Leigh, founder of Go Kombucha and who that is leading what they’re calling the Real Kombucha Revolution. “Some make the kombucha, pasteurise it, kill off all the natural bacteria and add their own in.”
This consortium of craft brewers says mass-produced kombucha is edging out smaller, authentic brands. Craft brewers are struggling to compete when bigger companies are selling cheaper “kombucha” with a longer shelf life. Many consumers don’t realize what they are buying. Leigh stresses they’re not anti big kombucha brands, they just want brewers to be transparent about their production methods – they need to note on their labels if they’re pasteurized and/or they use sweeteners.
Read more (The Grocer)