5 Great Kombucha Brewers in O.C.

Kombucha brewers offer tangy and tasty probiotic-rich drinks.
Photograph by Emily J. Davis

Fermentation Farm
Costa Mesa
The shop specializes in all things fermented. Choose from flavors such as guava and raspberry. $15 for a 64-ounce fill. fermfarm.com

About the Owner: “I am a Doctor of Chiropractic and have had a practice in Orange County for the past 20 years with my husband, Dr. Derek Mason,” says owner Yasmine Mason. “Our practice is called LifeSpring Chiropractic, and it is located just a few suites down from Fermentation Farm.”
Year Established: 2014
Inspiration: “I began fermenting vegetables, kombucha and yogurt at my home in 2008. Once my friends found out that I was making gut-friendly, fermented foods and drinks, they all wanted some! Fermentation Farm grew out of necessity. I began making more and more fermented products and soon my kitchen was overrun! I had to move the production to a commercial space to get my home kitchen back.”
Definition of Kombucha: “It’s sweet and tart and fizzy like a soda. The difference is kombucha is a fermented gut-friendly beverage full of probiotics and sodas are just water, high fructose corn syrup, and artificial flavor and color.”
Signature Flavors: “Some of our most popular flavors are Black Currant, Passion Fruit, Raspberry, Turmeric Ginger Tangerine, and Orange Creamsicle. We have 15 different flavors. All of them are made with organic fruit or organic fruit juice, organic black and green tea, and organic sugar (most of the sugar is fermented out in the 21-day fermentation process), and of course the SCOBY, the mother culture that contains all the gut-friendly yeasts and beneficial bacteria that turns sugar and tea into kombucha.”

Navigating the Pandemic: “It has been a challenge conducting a food business during the pandemic. With new rules and regulations popping up every few weeks for months and months, it has been trying. Luckily, because we create the healthiest, organic fermented products, we have been busy helping and educating our community about keeping their immune systems strong.”

Health Tip: “Keep your gut in great shape by consuming fermented foods and beverages everyday.”

Looking Ahead: “We just remodeled Fermentation Farm and reopened Dec. 1 with a soup and chili bar. We are looking forward to a fantastic 2021!”


Rich Elixirs
Tustin and Costa Mesa
The brewery has two storefronts with a variety of flavors on tap such as blood orange and ginger lime mint. $12 for a 32-ounce bottle. richelixirs.com

About the Owner: “I grew up in O.C. and love to travel, design, and enjoy the sunshine!” says co-owner Brooke Rich.
Year Established: 2018
Inspiration: “Rich Elixirs began as a hobby and passion project. My husband and I brewed kombucha in our garage for several years. As I went through some health issues, we realized how much probiotics helped my body and wellness overall, and this urged us to want to share our kombucha with others to enjoy. We began on a small scale of bringing our kombucha to friends and family gatherings. After seeing a good response and connecting more with others, I knew we should start this as a business!”
Definition of Kombucha: “Kombucha is a bubbly fermented tea that has probiotics and is super healthy for your gut!”
Signature Flavors: “Our grapefruit and hops and blackberry lavender were some of our first flavors and overall some of the most popular!”

Navigating the Pandemic: “It has definitely been a challenge trying to navigate the business during the pandemic. I had to really switch gears with how we ran our business, and had to figure out the best way to serve our customers during this trying time. It was not easy, but I am glad that we were still able to bring a healthy product to people’s doorsteps, or make pickup available!”

Health Tip: “Finding immune boosting products and staying in a consistent routine with it! I have found taking vitamins every night and drinking bone broth multiple times a week (or a booch a day) has kept me in a good, consistent habit, and helps my body overall.”

Looking Ahead: “Right now, opening our second location in Tustin has been a big step in our business! We are getting into hard kombucha now, so I’m very excited to start doing that!”


Daily Kombucha
Santa Ana
The fermented tea from this 4th Street Market counter comes in unique flavors such as calamansi. $12 for a 32-ounce bottle. dailykombucha.com

About the Owner: “I graduated from UC Irvine and majored in computer science,” says owner Amber Hsu. “I got very sick after my second son was born and I started paying attention to what I ate and wanted to get well by eating nutritious food and exercising. In addition to utilizing regular gym hours, I took kundalini yoga classes. I read many books written by healthy lifestyle authors and loved keto diets. Before keto, I was very into juicing and wild edibles, and eventually I discovered a familiar taste, kombucha! It was a beverage that my mom used to make at home when I was in elementary school. I studied how to make it and the fun of flavoring got me hooked. I experimented with many different combinations with fresh seasonal fruits, vegetables, and herbs, and shared them with family and friends.”
Year Established: 2017
Inspiration: “At first I made kombucha at home, bottled them, and shared them with family and friends. Everyone loved it; they wanted weekly deliveries and suggested that I start a kombucha business. And I thought, ‘Yes, I want to do it!’ So, I began the application with the California Department of Health.”
Kombucha in Their Words: “It’s not only a very healthy drink, but a delicious one too! It’s particularly good for your gut because of the probiotics. Kombucha is a fermented beverage so the smell may trick you to dislike it, but the taste is refreshing with a kick. You will fall in love with this beverage after trying it, and the health benefits of it are going to make you love it even more. You will gradually experience a change in your body and enjoy the extra energy boost. Kombucha is a functional drink and great for anyone who is on a dietary program and exercise regularly.”
Signature Flavors: Turmeric ginger lemon, passion fruit, blueberry lavender, calamansi, and mango pineapple

Navigating the Pandemic: “This has been a very scary time. Business has been tough and like everyone else, we didn’t know what to expect. We’ve focused on not only our 4th Street Market storefront, but also our booth at the Irvine Great Park farmers market, which transformed into a modified drive-thru market during the pandemic. We’ve been blessed with many friendly new faces at all of our locations, and we’ve enjoyed building relationships. Some of our newest customers have become our most regular ones.”

Health Tips: “Healthy and mindful eating is very important with regular exercise; I particularly recommend yoga. Eating whole foods and foods in their natural form is best. Eliminate processed sugar, eat more vegetables and fruit, bone broth, and don’t forget to meditate. Remember, you are what you eat and what you absorb.”

Looking Ahead: “We are planning on a soft reopening after the current stay-at-home order when we are allowed to eat outdoors again.”


Fermensch
Huntington Beach
Try culinary-inspired, year-round flavors: Bloom (lavender-blueberry), dry-hopped pear, and hibiscus ginger. $14 to $15 for a 32-ounce bottle. fermensch.com

About the Owners: I’m a Huntington Beach native, a former cook, and a rock and roll music fanatic,” says owner Chad Huniu. “I’ve always loved creating things, and for the last eight years, I have been positively obsessed with food, fermentation, and how these things affect our health and well-being. My business partner, Norman Huniu, is also my father. He is the hardest working man on the planet. He can always make something out of nothing and is one of the most positive people I know. I’m convinced he lives on a plane of existence where there are four more hours in the day.”
Year Established: 2016
Inspiration: “We started Fermensch Kombucha to make a kombucha that everyone can enjoy. Kombucha is this amazing thing. Fizzy, fruity, full of life. Entirely natural, fermented from an heirloom culture. It gives you energy and refreshment. It can give a boost to your immune system. It can even quell stomach aches and other digestive issues. However, we noticed some people would give the “stank face” when we offered them a glass of kombucha. While we may love strong, sour flavors, we realized that many people do not. We decided that we would make our own booch—a booch that tasted just as good as it is for your well-being. That’s why we craft each batch of Fermensch Kombucha to be balanced and delicious first, while still being packed full of probiotics, antioxidants, and detoxifying organic acids.
Kombucha in Their Words: “At its core, kombucha is a fermented, probiotic tea. However, the tea thing sometimes throws people off because it tastes nothing like normal tea. It’s more helpful to think of kombucha as a healthy soda alternative. It’s fizzy and refreshing, but low in sugar and full of goodness. It’s got some punchy tartness to it and is usually flavored with fruits, spices, or other botanicals that add to its tastiness or benefits.”
Signature Flavors: “
Our fan favorite is Bloom—a delightful blend of ripe, juicy blueberries with lavender and chamomile. It’s our mildest, most delicate booch, so it really appeals to both kombucha newbies and advanced scholars. Best of all, it’s made with 100% organic ingredients like all of our products. We also do really fun, seasonal flavors throughout the year. One I’m particularly proud of was our Halloween special, Witch’s Brew. It was basically a tiki-inspired mocktail with pineapple, vanilla, and nutmeg combined with detoxifying, activated charcoal, which turned the entire kombucha a spooky black.”
Navigating the Pandemic: “
Well, let’s be honest. It’s been an emotional rollercoaster of stress and anxiety. Truly a crazy year. We’re ready for 2021. *Insert crying laughing face emoji.* At the beginning of the pandemic, we immediately pivoted and added home deliveries and curbside pickup to our business. That’s been a really great way to continue providing to our customers and we have plans to add more to it! We’ve also added new farmers markets and expanded our bottle distribution throughout Orange County and L.A. We have our amazing customers to thank for all of this! They supported us from the very start of the quarantine and haven’t let up. I’d also like to give a shout out to the Paycheck Protection Program and the City of Huntington Beach. Both sincerely helped us stay afloat and employ our entire crew throughout the pandemic. We are really grateful to have done that without pay cuts or major reductions in hours.”
Health Tips: “
Don’t go on a crazy diet. Don’t put your body through those kinds of extremes. Incorporating a simple healthy habit into your life—however small it may be—is a real and effective step in the right direction. Something as easy as using turmeric and ginger in your home-cooked meals or choosing a kombucha over a sugary soda may reap benefits down the line.”
Looking Ahead: “The good thing about the pandemic is it has given us a chance to experiment and think about where we want to go! We are working on some really cool adaptogenic and CBD-enhanced products that we are super jazzed about. We are also working on getting our great tasting booch onto grocery store shelves and into more people’s hands.”


Blessed Booch
Laguna Beach
This “farm-to-bottle” brewery began in a home kitchen. Try the signature Green Goddess flavor. $12 to $16 for a 32-ounce bottle. blessedbooch.com

Read more about Blessed Booch at orangecoast.com/ocdining/meet-laguna-beachs-blessed-booch-farm-bottle-philosophy/

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