Happenings

Musings on KBBK-related trips and events

  • 'Buch on Tap July 2014

     

    After a long drought, Jasmine is back! There was a short lapse in El Jefe, but it is available again. collaboration with Gotham GreensWatermelon is being reinvented - so we will keep you posted when the next batch is available on 8/6. Get excited.

     

    The next several batches of 'buch are set to be BOSS.

     

    In other news, we have new tin signs! They are absolutely gorgeous, and we are thrilled to be offering them to our accounts. Keep your eyes out for them!

    The Non-alcoholic Craft Option The Non-alcoholic Craft Option

    Current Flavors:

     

    • Jasmine - She's back! Smooth, light, and floral,this batch has minimal acidity. This is the 'buch everyone asks for by name.
    • Straight Up - Our signature blend of black, green and white teas
    • Kevin Bacon - Orange and Rose comprise this seasonal blend. Light, balanced, and very refreshing.
    • Watermelon - Fruit forward and delicious. Always a favorite.
    • El Jefe - Papaya puree dashed with Lime, over a bounty of acids formed during fermentation. The result is a complex explosion of tropical flavors.

    Tap Handles

  • Why it's time to get crafty; DIY Inspiration for your Spring projects

     

    Starting your Project

    Garlic Scape Gnudi and Steak with chef Will Myself just before an evening dinner for 15 people, proud of a week's worth of planning and 3 days prep cooking.

    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.

    Blueberry Mead Chris Strait's Blueberry Mead

     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:

    e83c6f90c4f911e3b7d90002c9db1072_8 Antique Carboy, I cannot wait to brew!

    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!

  • On Buchina: KBBK's 4,000 lbs of Good Karma

    Written by Jon Lane, Demogod

     

    So, amidst all the talk about the finer points of home brewing, and minuscule details of fine tea that I can’t even fully wrap my brain or my palate around, I’m gonna break from the course, a bit. Now seems like an ideal time to introduce you to present-day KBBK’s most unsung hero, and probable loudest brand ambassador:

    Buchina Meet Kombucha Brooklyn's mythical delivery van, Buchina

     

    Meet the Buchmobile.Well… actually, that’s her occupation.  Those of us who know her best know her as Buchina (or, Boo-CHEE-na, if you’re into the whole phonetic thing).

    I first came to Kombucha Brooklyn as a part-time delivery driver,so my days were almost entirely spent piloting the Buchmobile around the city (we weren’t on a first name basis, yet), slinging kegs and bottles to all our direct accounts…  and learning very quickly that driving a fluorescent beacon of Brooklyn ‘buch was a slightly different experience than I’d expected.

     

    While it was immediately apparent to me that there could be no possible better vessel for a company called "Kombucha Brooklyn" than a van that looks like the offspring of Brooklyn graffiti culture and the Scooby-Gang's Mystery Machine, It takes a little time to get used to being stared at constantly….  I’m a fairly laid back guy, almost to a fault, but found myself having to stifle the “what the hell are you looking at?” reflex more than a few times…   for about three seconds, before I’d realize (with a reasonable helping of sheepish embarrassment) that they were quite obviously eyeballing the van, rather than the driver….    I’ve undoubtedly had my picture taken over a hundred times, at the wheel, in the last year and a half, and have had 5-10 folks come up and pantomime ‘tagging’ the hood, at a stoplight -- starting with one in my first hour of driving her, on my first day.  He scored extra points for using his ‘breath freshener’ spray, for added authenticity.  Chuckle….

    Jon.Lane.Profile

    But I’m at risk of straying from the point here.  In the last few years, since having been rescued from the inhumane drudgery of life as a white cargo van, this little thing has schlepped an almost unfathomable amount of Kombucha, and hauled a pretty ridiculous list of other random cargo…  all of which I’ll spare you.

     

    She’s got all the little ticks and idiosyncrasies you’d expect from a 25 year-old Chevy Astro.  I’ll spare you most of them too.  For a brief example, throughout the entirety of my employment here, the place where her radio should be has been occupied only by a little stuffed Pound Puppy in a Santa hat.  I’ve never asked why.  Sometimes you just roll with these things.  She’s got a pretty mean overbite, as the result of being sandwiched between a poorly-driven minivan and a predictably unappreciative NYPD van.  One door doesn’t open from the inside, one doesn’t unlock from the outside…  you get the idea.   And sometimes things go rather dramatically awry...

     

    KBBK's Delivery van, Buchina

     

    But, semi-miraculous as it is that she keeps on charging forward, with scant complaints, the awesome thing about this little van is the reactions it gets from people, every day, everywhere.  Whether I’m in a sketchy Brooklyn neighborhood, or in the prime-rent section of the upper west side, people of every hue, every crowd, every age and every income level break out into smiles, grab cameras, walk up to the window and start conversations, or just throw a thumbs up, or shout approval from across an intersection.

     

    Hell, I met the Buchmobile’s first dedicated driver, AJ, in the middle of Times Square, after he spotted the van and skated up to the window to introduce himself (he kept pace with me for a few blocks, then went back to being noticeably faster than the traffic).  He incidentally now drives a fluorescent green delivery machine around town, for our friends at Runa.  Coincidence? ;)

     

    At least one person has given us an artistic rendering of the van…  somewhere we’ve got a picture of a freshly married couple posing together, standing on her back bumper.  I've even snuck her into a rock video.  The only real downside is having to constantly explain to people that I have less artistic ability than the average tree squirrel, and am not personally responsible for the paint job (they always ask).  But it’s worth it.

    KBBK's Delivery van, Buchina It's particularly worth it, in that it changes the way *I* act, when I drive.  You can’t stare at smiling faces and jubilantly bewildered kids, all day, and not have it improve your outlook on life.  Sure, it’s lovely when people spot the KBBK logo on the hood, and throw up their fists and cheer (yeah.  that happens too), as you trundle towards them, but it’s a lot more fulfilling when you find yourself smiling and waving back, rather than being annoyed by traffic, honking horns, deadlines, tickets, and all the other things that weigh on you, when you do this for a living.  You find yourself waving pedestrians and other cars ahead, rather than racing them through an intersection, or bullying your way through a crosswalk (you also find that it usually works out better that way, anyway).  And nine times out of ten they’re visibly appreciative.  Then they look at the van, and smile even more brightly.  It’s like driving 4,000 lbs of weaponized good karma around the city.

     

    It’s maybe the only sad aspect of the fact that KBBK has very definitely begun to outgrow the Buchmobile, in its past/present role.  We’ve handed the reins of our keg delivery program to our new friends at Phoenix / Bee Hive, which is a really exciting move for the company, and our customers…  and possibly my back.  So Buchina is down to one weekly patrol of the city, to make sure our bottle program is running smoothly, and the occasional trip to set up a new account, or do whatever else is necessary to bring a smile to the face of someone who probably has no idea what kombucha even is.  I’d expect she’s looking forward to Spring Smorgasburg as much as a van can possibly look forward to a thing.

     

     

    So there you have it.  If you see her on the street, give her a pat on the hood, or a low-five on the gas cap lid (yes.  it’s always open), or just throw the thumbs up…  or better yet, just smile.  It’s kinda what she does to people.  ;)

    Her name’s Buchina.  Every Chevy Astro may have been made in Baltimore, but she was very definitely Born in Brooklyn.

     

    -3

     

    Brooklyn rock band and avid KBBK drinkers The End Men called in Buchina (and, more dubiously, her driver) for a cameo in the video for "Work," their ode to the struggle of surviving in the city.  She was more than happy to oblige.

  • Kombucha Brooklyn Community

    By Kim M.

     

    In my short time at KBBK I have been impressed with the strong sense of community there is here.  I am interested in nurturing those relationships and furthering the reach of our community to include an even wider array of wonderfully talented people and amazing companies to become part of the Kombucha Brooklyn family.  We have added Rolling Press, a fabulous Brooklyn-based, eco-friendly printer, who printed our beautiful book party invites and valued customer cards.  Not to mention the lovely people at Book Court who hosted our book launch and made it an evening to remember.

    Kombucha! Launch event at Book Court Kombucha! Launch event at Book Court

    The after party was amazing and wouldn't have been possible without the generosity of our good friends at 61 Local, thank you!!!

     

    KBBK After-party at 61 Local After-party at 61 Local

    We are also very excited about the start of our monthly in-house yoga sessions, taught by the fabulous Ms. Jessa Messina, founder of Yoga for the Average Jo.

     

    Yoga at KBBK Yoga at KBBK

    And last but not least we are thankful for the strong ties we have right here at home in the Pfizer building where we host our monthly happy hour (1st Tuesday monthly, come one come all!).

     

    Happy Hour at KBBK Happy Hour at KBBK
  • Kombucha! The Amazing Probiotic Tea That Cleanses, Heals, Energizes and Detoxifies

     

    Kombucha! Kombucha! will be released on November 5

     

    Our book has arrived and it is gorgeous! The colors, the drawings, the little section-header designs, the tiny Penguin-Avery icon on the spine, the foreword by Brendan Brazier…we are ecstatic. We will be shipping the pre-orders on Tuesday so the wait is almost over! And we’ll be partying like it’s our book party…oh wait, IT IS OUR BOOK PARTY! Nov. 9 – Book Court in Cobble Hill, Brooklyn. Come taste some kombucha kocktails and get your copy signed!

     

    Now let’s crack open a copy and see what’s inside. First, you’ll find a warm welcome into the healthy, energetic and inspired lifestyle of kombucha. In the intro, we share our personal stories with ‘buch and the story of our company and we give you a little map about what to expect in upcoming chapters.

     

    In Chapter 1, we answer all of the subquestions to the million dollar question:  “What Exactly Is Kombucha?” Questions like what’s in it, how much should I drink and where did it come from are answered in this section.

     

    Then, we get brewing! The next 4 chapters take an in-depth look at ingredients and materials and we go through the entire brewing and bottling process step-by-step. We even cover a wide variety of tried-and-true flavor combos that we think are spectacular!

     

    After we’ve brewed our ‘buch, what do we do with it? Well, you know you can drink kombucha, but did you know you can eat it too? Did you know you can detox while you toxify by mixing it up in your favorite kocktails? And lastly, learn all about how to use kombucha is beauty treatments so you glow on the outside like you do on the inside. The last three chapters of our book cover the multifarious nature of our favorite detox beverage. The Daily News recently photographed and wrote up some of our 'buch recipes here.

     

    Kombucha! Book Release Party November 9 @ Book Court in Brooklyn Come out and hang with the KBBK crew, meet the authors, and share a toast!

    After all of that, we send you off as ‘buch brigadiers to spread the word about kombucha and Kombucha Brooklyn. Be prepared to feel empowered. Be prepared to feel the love. Be prepared to LIVE, SIP, THRIVE!

     

    Table of Contents:

     

    Foreward by Brendan Brazier

    Introduction: Kombucha Your New Hot Roommate

    I.            What Exactly Is Kombucha?

    II.           The Kombuchman’s Grimoire: Essential Hardware And Tools

    III.         ‘Buch Kamp I: Brewing and Fermentation

    IV.         ‘Buch Kamp II: Bottling and Secondary Fermentation

    V.           ‘Buch Kamp II: A Higher Level of Taste and Knowledge

    VI.          Dining On Kombucha and SCOBYs

    VII.         Kombucha Kocktails

    VIII.        Kosmetics and Kombeauty

     

    Reserve your copy at AmazonBarnes & NobleBooks-A-Million, IndieBound, or iTunes!

     

    Kombucha-ly yours,

    Jessica Childs

  • 'Buching and Bending - KBBK at Wanderlust, VT


    Kombucha BrooklynTo me, one of the beautiful aspects of kombucha as a living and volatile being can be found in a basic biological inspection. Kombucha is the product of micro-organisms, a culture that produces the beverage seen bottled in grocery stores and natural markets, that results from the action of bacteria and yeasts. The acronym that’s been created for this type of biological phenomena is SCOBY - symbiotic colony of bacteria and yeast. Yeast and bacteria are involved in a symbiotic relationship, or long-term interaction, with each other, in which both benefit and thrive.

     

    Last week, driving towards Vermont’s Wanderlust Festival, as my kombucha cohort and I traversed winding mountain roads, appreciating shades of green we were sure were long absent from Brooklyn, something struck me about our journey and the days to follow. Something wholly fractal was happening. We, having been sent to distribute hundreds of gallons of fresh kombucha, were a minor part of the sustenance that thousands of festival-goers would receive during the 4-day fest. Others also brought their wares for trade and exchange - whether they be crystals, music, jewelry, tapestries, pizza, or knowledge.

     

    I would say generally that all festivals are gatherings which are hubs for the transformation and trade of energies, en masse. There are of course strong and lasting connections made in observance of the most basic of human necessities, such as food, drink, and social interaction - these create the lasting bonds that are the basis of a healthy organism. In having fortified this base of relative bounty and satiety, people flocked to yoga courses all across Stratton Mountain to contort their bodies, often painfully, for 90 minutes at a time, multiple times a day.

     

    It goes without saying that there’s some sort of irony afoot. The baseline at the festival was very easily set, the basic necessities of existence met. So, after the second day of the festival (and the dynamics of joy, gluttony and pain were successfully assimilated), I was left wondering - what’s the big picture? Is it enough for us to simply rekindle a too-long archaic sense of community and rejoice in calculated comforts and blessings of humanity? Is Wanderlust a reaction to a possibly more retracted existence, the Grand Daily Drudgery? Or is the hallmark of the festival, yoga, indicative of some other, less easily-defined facet of human desire and evolution?

     

    Brain Massage Didjeridoo artist Tyler Sussman of Didge Project heals a festival goer with a brain massage

    I came to somewhat of a conclusion after hours of serene meditation, body-straining poses and nigh-impossible stretches. In focusing our minds and bodies strictly on physical sensation, the clearing of the mind and the sharp awareness of our bodies, we achieve a clarity very difficult to achieve under normal circumstances. It became clear that yoga is not a practice whose sole purpose is in bodily health, toned appearance, or peer validation.

     

    The truest form of yogic effect is in the experiences that come when the mind-chatter of terrestrial existence is silent, when we are able to parlay the undistracted mind. As practitioners of yoga and as members of the human race, I realized we have a duty to explore and relay the discoveries of the subconscious mind; whether it be a profound realization of the absolute necessity of love, the ever-present flow and balance of subtle universal energies, or the observation and dissolution of boundaries. And, of course, this knowledge issues into appropriate action.

     

    We, like the culture of our beloved beverage, had acted out an exchange of energy and sustenance, for the wellness of the whole. Kombucha played a small but integral role, and like the other energies, set a standard of operation from which yoga-fied minds could catapult into the subtler, more imperceptible realms to attain clarity, enlightenment, or whatever was sought.

     

    As we packed up our booth at Wanderlust Vermont, finishing the last sips of Green River Ambrosia’s Liquid Sunshine, the sky darkened and it began to rain. Enlightened and now cleansed by the warm summer rain, our mission complete, I pondered the changes our collective experience would affect.

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