Lavinia Lidstone of Kootenay Kombucha has grown her company into a Kootenay household name, while staying joyfully true to her roots and vision. This small batch brewery is located in the Slocan Valley and is built on a passion for health and whole foods. Using all organic ingredients and focusing on recyclable and reusable packaging, this brewery strives to tread lightly on the earth. This unique and delicious kombucha is available on tap, allowing bulk purchasing into refillable growlers or your own container. Kootenay Kombucha recently added a line of bottled kombucha, in smaller recyclable/reusable glass bottles. Try all the Kootenay Kombucha flavours in their rotating seasonal tap system and in their new glass bottles!
Read on to learn more about this great True Local Supplier.
Who is the brewer of Kootenay Kombucha?
What do you make?
We make kombucha, a healthy probiotic elixir that is low in sugar and naturally fermented using organic teas, sugar and herbs. The fermentation process creates beneficial acids that help clean the digestive system. Kootenay Kombucha packs a flavour punch that is different than most other kombuchas. If you’ve tried kombucha before and didn’t like it, please give Kootenay Kombucha a try.
How would you describe your company?
Our brewery is built from a passion for health and whole foods. We celebrate the abundance and way of life in the Kootenays by brewing unique elixirs that reflect our region. Kootenay Kombucha’s mission is to encourage education about herbal and holistic medicines, our local food systems, digestive health, and to reduce packaging waste. Most of the blends are brewed with an adaptogenic herb. Brewing ingredients are sourced locally and the company is developing relationships with local farms and wildcrafters for some of our fresh fruits and herbs.
Your company is very unique in terms of offering Kombucha on tap. What made you want to offer your Kombucha in this format?
Reducing packaging waste is very important to us. Additionally, providing our Kombucha on tap helps maintain the premium quality from our small batch brewery and helps to keep the price affordable. When you reuse your growler bottle, you’re saving the earth’s precious resources and yourself some money too…it’s a win-win!
In 2018, you also introduced your first line of bottled Kombucha. Congratulations! What motivated you to add a bottled offering to your product line?
We had received feedback that the growlers were too large for some people’s preferences and that they would appreciate a smaller size in a convenient format. Using recyclable glass bottles was important to us and we hope people will reuse their bottles. You are welcome to refill your bottles on tap just like you would your growlers! Just remember to write down the tare weight of your bottle and let the cashier know that your bottle is reused. Adding a bottled line also allows us to make our local kombucha more accessible. More locations in more local communities can carry our bottles even if they cannot accommodate an on-tap system.
What is your vision for Kootenay Kombucha?
My vision for Kootenay Kombucha is to supply grocery stores, restaurants, bars and events with delicious local kombucha, as an alternative to sugary sodas or alcohol that provides a more refreshing boost. I want to grow the brewery to supply the whole Kootenay region, but keep it small enough to maintain local artisan quality. Maintaining a standard of using the highest quality organic herbs, teas, sugars and fermentation equipment, is very important to me. Kootenay Kombucha has supported local initiatives like Farm Food Fork, Blue Night and the West Kootenay Permaculture Co-op and I look forward to continuing to support local initiatives promoting local food and farms.
Why is local food important to you?
Local food not only cuts down on fossil fuel waste but is also fresher and caters to the tastes of local people. Kootenay Kombucha supports many other local businesses and entrepreneurs, adding to the fabric of our local economy.
If you could deliver a message directly to Co-op members/customers, what would it be?
Firstly, thank you so much to everyone who has been a supporter of Kootenay Kombucha! I would love for Co-op customers to read the book Adaptogens: Herbs for Strength, Stamina and Stress Relief. Also, to educate themselves on digestive health by speaking with digestive health professionals, reading and experimenting with their own bodies. Digestive health is important for the functioning of all the systems in our bodies. Drinking Kombucha regularly is one way to help clean the intestinal tract, adding in probiotics to help the body more efficiently break down nutrients in food. I hope you keep enjoying Kootenay Kombucha! Thank you for your support and I am very glad if our Kombucha can contribute to your health and well-being.