Five years ago, Byron Hradoway was explaining to a lot of people what kombucha is and what benefits the drink offers. “But by now, most people have seen the word or are kind of familiar with it,” says the director and head brewer of Boocha.
Hradoway was travelling in Germany when he got the idea to start Boocha, a craft kombucha brewery. He noticed a push for non-alcoholic drinks and saw many cafes offered a selection of craft drinks. Hradoway started the business with partners Jennifer Darling and Brian Maclean.
“Before making kombucha, I’ve been really into homebrewing wine and beer, so kombucha was kind of this evolution of it,” says Hradoway. “I went from brewing it just for myself to giving it away to friends, and then literally four weeks later, someone jokingly said that we should sell on the market, so me and Jen put together a brand one day and we hit the ground running.”
Kombucha is a fermented drink made with tea, sugar, bacteria and yeast. Boocha put its own spin on the drink by adding flavours like peach, cherry and Snozzberry, a blueberry lemonade flavour. All Boocha beverages are brewed in Edmonton at Boocha’s Bottleshop in the Whyte Avenue area.
“Peach is by far the best seller and is the only flavour that hasn’t really changed since day one,” says Hradoway. “My favorite is the Snozzberry. It’s got a fun name because a while ago, we were mixing flavors and we weren’t really paying attention. We put stuff together that wasn’t supposed to. We panicked, but then we tried it and it was too good not to keep.”
Boocha’s latest release is Snorri Soda, an all natural line of soda named after Hradoway’s cat. The soda comes in three flavours: Navel Orange, Ginger Ale and Zoom-Zoom, which is Yerba Maté tea flavoured.
Shop Boocha online at boocha.ca or find it at the 124th Street Farmer’s Market on Thursdays and Saturdays.
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