Monthly Archives: April 2014
Time flies! I'm a new employee, but not really "new." I can say that I'm the newest employee here at Kombucha Brooklyn, and have happily been drinking kombucha daily, cranking away in the production and shipping world that is our Home Brew department for 6 months.
In addition to working in the production team, I've taken over the Kombucha Brooklyn Instagram account, so I also get to apply my love of documenting and taking photos. I'm a novice "photographer" and have been documenting life around me since the very beginnings of my other passion, traveling. Having the 2nd lens to capture my surroundings while traveling has been immensely rewarding, and has allowed me to hold on to what now seem like dream-like adventures. Photography has also helped me in staying in the present. Along with other DIY and hands-on activities that include yoga, brewing, and painting, photography (especially street photography) requires you to be present, focused, and open.
Coming back to the present -- writing this post and allowing my initial shock of being at Kombucha Brooklyn for 6 months sink in -- I'd like to take this moment to stop and appreciate the beauty in small things, such as this:
...and a short video of a dance: Green Tea
As I pack up for the weekend, I'm looking forward to the chance to pair photography and brewing, in hopes of staying in the weekend just that much longer. I hope you've enjoyed this first little post -- I've certainly enjoyed taking *this very moment* to introduce myself.
Starting your Project
Springtime is upon us, friends. The air lightens with warmth, scented with sweet dry smells; the wee beginnings of tree buds push out from their branches soon to unfurl. Today must be a great day for creativity, for DIY.
People have the innate ability to create and cultivate, but most, including myself, have difficulty envisioning what they can do as it can take a great deal of energy to properly focus. So if you are stuck in the mud and uninspired, start your creative juices with anything that will help you let go of what is in your mind now, in order to fill it with other thoughts. That’s right- yoga, stretching, yodeling, a cold shower, a run around the block at top speed. Forget everything! Let the world be fresh to your senses once again as it unfurls its springtime blossoms, and go create something great. Go do it yourself, or with a friend.
Here is some inspiration from my recent findings and doings, which I am happy to share with you in hopes of motivating you! When I think of DIY, I associate the phrase with being unfamiliar or novice at whatever I am about to begin. Never be daunted to try something new, or ashamed to fail at something old. These are very normal occurrences and to expect any different is unreal. In failing you have the opportunity to hone and improve your skills.
As you may know, I love to cook! Here are some photos of my DIY cooking adventures.
While this all looks great, the Gnudi needed some more time in the fridge to form their proper dumpling skin, the banana bread took way longer than expected because I did not check my oven temperature, and the rhubarb tart, as pretty as it was, became a bit difficult to separate from the pie tin as it was so delicate. All things I'm learning, and hope to remember to check next time. Thank god food is forgiving, and things are still delicious if you don't mess them up too much. As for other projects, the give can be much less.
KBBK's DIY 'Buch Bar and Brew Shop Sign
Another of my recent projects was to create a sign for KBBK's office Kombucha Bar. Sanded, stained, painted and hung all in 12 hours. Pfewf! Letters came out OK, but not as great as I was hoping. It's been a while since I've done something like this and I definitely learned a bit about brushstrokes, and painting under a time crunch.
DIY Craft Beer, KBBK takes the day to brew Saison
Last month team KBBK visited our brew-buddies John and Doug who run Bitter and Esters, a store for all your beer brewing ingredients and equipment, a DIY brew on premise space for public use, and generally a must-visit for any beer brewing enthusiast. Really, go. We spent a day brewing and eating Thai food, later an afternoon bottling our crisp, stone-fruit-like, smokey, and wonderfully full-bodied Saison called Tis the Saison.
My god was it good. This DIY was 100% Successful! We now have 2 kegs and 2 cases of bottles of our Saison - enough to quench our fine beer thirst through summer 2014.
DIY Blueberry Mead, KBBK Head Brewer Chris Strait
Chris is a man of his projects and experiments. He is not phased by botched batches, but studies their nature to learn better ways to brew. Here is his Blueberry Mead, a house brew made with Trembley Apiary Honey and our freeze-dried Blueberries. Lip-smackingly good.
DIY Keg Branding, Billy Stewart, Jon Lane and Will Donnelly
Before winter had moved on (not that it has yet really) we had to brand our kegs as we are joining a big NYC keg distributor. Stencils were a real knuckle-buster, but I'm real excited as to how they came out. Check our On Tap Map for more info on where to see these fly kegs.
DIY Strawberry Mead soon to come, Will Donnelly
Last but not least, whats next! I've got some work to do, but recently picked up this beautiful 14.5 Gallon, green hand-blown carboy, which I'll be 2nd Fermenting some Strawberry Mead in:
So that's it for now, got to get back to emails, phones, and the rest of my day-to-day job. But seriously, get crafty! If you are already brewing kombucha and are looking for the next step, I know we mentioned it in our last newsletter, but seriously jun kombucha is a great DIY project. It brews quicker and is extremely tasty - our Jun Kits will produce 5 gallons of gunpowder green tea, New York State wildflower honey kombucha. A DIY project that is hands down delicious. There is so much fun stuff to be a part of, or at least try. Send us a photo, we love to see people getting into what they like!
Our keg program has always been a favorite of mine. The idea of a refillable, reusable option in a world so dominated by single use is good. Yin and Yang. Balance. Its what makes the world an ok place to live.
Kombucha on tap is no longer a specialty thing. In New York City it is becoming a more normal option and 9 times out of 10 it is KBBK on the lines. Starting the year our tap list had 29 accounts, and in February we joined forces with Phoenix/Beehive. They are one of the nations largest beer distributors and the exclusive right holders to brands like Guinness, Heineken and Brooklyn beer – to add Kombucha Brooklyn to that list was an honor. It’s also been a pacesetter. New accounts are opening weekly. Most recently we went on tap at Google offices in downtown Manhattan. Our single line of ‘buch is feeding the 3000 hard working Googlers while they create the next Gmail. Cool right? New accounts you will have access to so far are Rosamunde, Dassara, and The Sampler Bushwick.
Where next? Well, you tell us. We are trying to open new accounts in our most kombucha krazed areas like Williamsburg and Greenpoint. We are also trying to open new accounts in more ‘buch nubey territory like Manhattan, Queens, and Upstate New York. If you have a place you think perfect, send us a line. If we actually get that line, we will hook you up with a custom growler that you can use to refill over and over again. Even more cool right?!
Be on the lookout for these badass new tap pulls. They were handmade right here in Brooklyn. The wood was 200 year old wood from a Tribeca loft that was spun in to unique shapes by local artist Guy Nelson. The leather KBBK diamonds were hand cut and painted by local leather smith Freddie Matara. Combined these beauties will be paving the way for the best kombucha we have to offer. If you see one, shout it out on Twitter or Facebook. We would be happy to thank you with a free pint at one of our markets or at our Lab.
Cheers to kombucha on tap!