The term “brewery” most often conjures images of beer. San Diegans pride themselves on the range of local and independently produced beers which cater to every taste and occasion. Certainly, Coronado’s very own Coronado Brewing Company is illustrative of the widespread thirst for the cold malty foamy beverage.
But Kombucha – a popular newcomer to the commercial brewing marketplace – may very well give beer competition for its taps.
Kombucha is an effervescent fruity beverage produced by fermenting sweet tea with a culture of yeast and bacteria. The name has been credited to the Japanese word kon bucha which translates to “kelp tea” and has been touted widely for its health benefits as a probiotic product.
Local brewer Cortland Anderson recently launched his brand of kombucha, OM Brewing Co., and purposefully selected Coronado as one of the first small-batch distribution sites.
“Because I’m local, I wanted to stay local,” says Anderson. “Coronado is a health-conscious community and a great test market for distribution. I’m just starting, so I want to make sure I can keep up with demand and grow the business thoughtfully.”
Anderson describes his rationale for the business as an evolution to his holistic health and wellness journey. “Even though it’s becoming more popular now, kombucha has been around for a long time. The origins date back thousands of years, and I remember my aunt making it when I was a kid. I was reintroduced to kombucha in 2011 when I attended the Pacific College of Oriental Medicine. As I got more into the yoga community, I began drinking more kombucha and brewing my own. After a while, friends and family encouraged me to sell it.”
Cortland’s advice from friends turned out to be aligned with the national trend of consumer demand for kombucha. According to 2018 consumer research on www.neilson.com:
One beverage that’s really emerged in the organic space this year is kombucha. Known only to a niche audience a few years ago, today this probiotic and organic functional beverage is winning the hearts of consumers across America. Organic kombucha has seen more than $412 million in sales this year, a figure that’s up an impressive 42% compared to a year ago.
An explanation for the product’s growing popularity is the promise of health benefits associated with kombucha. Although not proven or disproven to be beneficial to health, kombucha’s ingredients and process are widely regarded as favorable to sodas and juices flavored with high fructose corn syrup and other artificial sweeteners.
Anderson wholeheartedly believes in the health benefits of kombucha and insists that drinking one to two servings daily is good for the body. “There are so many health benefits to drinking kombucha,” explains Cortland. “It promotes gut health and digestion with its probiotics and regulates glucose levels. It can help boost the immune system and even aid in weight loss. I think of kombucha as a regulator for the human body.”
OM Brewing Company currently offers four flavors: ginger mint, grapefruit, pomegranate blueberry, and strawberry lemon. Sixteen-ounce bottles are priced at $4 per bottle and are available at Island Yoga Coronado. OM Brewing Company also offers home delivery and recycling subscription service. For full details, visit www.ombrewingcompany.com.