Kombucha has gained in popularity over the years for its fresh zing and health benefits—like being packed with probiotics that are said to be good for your gut. While fermented, kombucha has less than .05 percent alcohol content, which classifies the product as a soft drink in Missouri. That classification meant that the Ollises couldn’t bottle their Kombucha by hand due to bottling regulations, so they landed on 5-gallon kegs—the same set-up you’d have at a college reunion. “I think the quality of our product lasts [in a keg]—it keeps the shelf life longer and flavors bolder,” Jessica says.
Another benefit for Chris was to be able to experiment starting small and then scaling up. Jessica and Chris, along with Chris’s brother, Matt, are working in 30-gallon batches. Eventually, they will have the equipment and the capacity to produce up to 300-gallon batches.
As “the chicken guy” in barbecue competitions, Chris, who serves as head brewer, wasn’t a novice when it came to experimenting with flavor. “I was a pretty plain-Jane beer person,” Chris says. “I tried a few exotic things but didn’t find them drinkable—the thing I enjoy most about kombucha is that it is drinkable. Raw kombucha is just an open platform.”
Spring Branch will eventually have six flavors on rotation: blueberry thyme, raspberry basil, lemon hops, coffee, lavender and elderberry ginger. Whether you’re wanting to fill up a 64-ounce glass growler or a 32-ounce stainless steel howler or just sip on a glass, Spring Branch Kombucha will be available at many places around 417-land this spring.