Bucha Brewers is bringing the delicious flavors of kombucha right into your home with their kombucha brewing kits. Bucha Brewers journey started in the greater Denver area when founder Kristie Burritt became inspired by the Colorado-style kombucha on a trip with her husband. She decided to put the magic of kombucha in the hands of customers by with brewing kits that teach people how to make nutritional and delicious kombucha. Customers have the opportunity to create their own custom kombucha brew kits using Bucha Brewers signature “Rocky Mountain Style” SCOBY grown in Colorado. We sat down with Kristie to discuss the benefits of kombucha, the brewing process, and how using a subscription-based model can help a business.
How did you start your business?
My husband’s family was visiting us in Colorado years ago, and they wanted to try kombucha. We had a “kombucha tasting”; my husband and I were the only ones who liked it, and I was inspired.
I wanted the benefits of kombucha without the expensive store-bought price, so I looked into making it. As I pieced together equipment and instructions, I realized there was a business opportunity in simplifying the process for others.
What are the health benefits of kombucha?
Kombucha offers a wide array of probiotics, antioxidants, organic acids, and nutrients. Amongst the many benefits studied are improved digestion and gut health, improved immune health, liver health & detoxification support, treatment and prevention of type 2 diabetes, and reduced inflammation.
How do you define the “Rocky Mountain Style” of your brewing process?
I started Bucha Brewers in the Denver area. Kombucha is unique in the fact that each brew (and kombucha SCOBY) is made possible by part of your previous brew and previous SCOBY(s). As a result, all of our SCOBYs and kombucha brews have descended from our original SCOBYs grown in the Rocky Mountains.
I love the Rocky Mountains and the beautiful nature, health and fitness lovers, and positive energy they are surrounded by. I wanted this energy to be a part of Bucha Brewers, and I find that it fits very well with the mission of kombucha home-brewers.
If you could recommend 1-2 products for new customers looking to make their own Kombucha, what would they be?
For new kombucha brewers looking to stick to the basics, I would recommend our Kombucha Starter Kit. It walks you through brewing your first batch of kombucha, and comes with all equipment and ingredients needed for unflavored kombucha.
For new brewers looking to flavor their brews with fresh fruits, vegetables, and herbs, I would recommend ordering our second fermentation subscription box with a discounted add-on including the Starter Kit and flip-top bottles. This includes the starter kit with everything needed to make plain kombucha as well as the bottles necessary for flavoring and carbonating kombucha. The subscription box also offers a new kombucha recipe and premium organic ingredients measured to flavor your 1-gallon brews each month. It really simplifies the brewing process and is a great way to learn about the second fermentation flavoring process and options.
What are 4 tips you would recommend to new customers using your products at home?
- Be patient: I know tempting it can be to check your brew each day but disturbing your fermenting kombucha can cause forming SCOBY particles to sink to the bottom. Leave your brew to ferment for at least a full 7-14 days (colder weather=longer fermentation).
- Keep your brew in a dark space with airflow, such as a pantry or closet with the door cracked open. Both natural and artificial light is harmful to your SCOBY and can hinder proper fermentation. Your brew might be pretty enough to work as a centerpiece, but you should tuck it away for best results!
- Get creative: If you decide to flavor your kombucha, the options are endless! Fruit and juice are the usual picks and create great flavor, but don’t forget to look at herbs, vegetables, extracts, different sweetener options, and even more! Our recipe subscription is a great way to learn some of the different options, and we also have recipes and flavoring articles on our website.
- You call the shots: When you home-brew kombucha, you can control how it is made. The longer you ferment your kombucha, the lower the sugar content will be in the final product. More organic acids will be created in place of the sugar, making your kombucha more tart over time.
Take some time to get familiar with your fermentation preferences. Start with a 7-day fermentation for sweet kombucha or 14 days for a tart kombucha. If your kombucha ends up too tart for your liking, try using it as a “vinegar” in salad dressing!
How does using a subscription-based model change impact your business?
The idea for our first subscription product actually came from a customer, who stated that she wished we offered a subscription for sugar and tea for her future kombucha brews. We did not take her feedback lightly and added this option to our website. This works very well for our customers and for us on the business end, especially given the semi-weekly nature of home-brewing kombucha.
On the customer side, we are able to offer subscription ingredients and recipes that conveniently arrive at a customer’s door once a month. This ensures customers will have what they need to brew for that month and helps them to maintain a regular brewing schedule without worrying about hunting down recipes and ingredients.
On the business side, we can forecast some of our revenue and product demand each month based on our subscriber counts. This helps us to better plan for the month ahead.
Do you plan to expand your business in 2021? If so, what can customers expect?
Yes—we introduced our kombucha heat mats earlier in the year, and have plans to add new products to our line during 2021. We also hope to introduce video tutorials and resources for our customers this year, and we are always adding new recipes and articles to our website!
Tell us 4 things to know before building your own website
- There are incredible tutorials & resources available online: I watched many videos and read many articles in the process of building my website. It might be helpful to watch an “introduction to WordPress” type of video to familiarize yourself with different plugins and other ways you can simplify the process prior to getting started
- The coding knowledge you need is very limited: With all of the plug-ins and resources available these days, you can really build a website without any coding knowledge. To further customize your site, you can look up the coding knowledge you need to achieve specific tasks
- Think about the type of website you want before selecting and working on a particular theme: For example, many themes are not very compatible with an eCommerce website. Make sure your theme properly suits your purpose before putting in the work to build your website!
- Build your site with your web content in mind: In order to build out your site, you will need some content (i.e. images, articles, etc.) prepared. Think about how you would like that content organized as you build your site. I would suggest having some content prepared so you can make sure you understand how different features and sections of your site will look as you build it.
Do you have a website maintenance routine or process for updating your website?
We update our website with new articles, recipes, and products regularly. We also update back-end items such as plug-ins on a regular basis to ensure we are offering the best customer experience possible. Aside from this, we update our website seasonally to ensure its content is always relevant to our customers.
What role does your website play in your business model?
The Bucha Brewers website is essential to making our eCommerce store possible. It also gives us a place to share recipes, kombucha brewing knowledge, and information about our business with our customers. I would consider the Bucha Brewers website the “heart” of the business.
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