Byron Hradoway has long been an avid homebrewer of beer, mead and wine, but his interest in non-alcoholic brewing only came about eight years ago, when a friend introduced him to kombucha.
But it was only after a trip to Europe that he decided to try bringing the non-alcoholic brew to the masses.
“We saw how breweries were so localized in Europe. You’d have a brewery and everyone in the neighbourhood would just show up to it,” he says. “So we wanted to take that concept and being able to make something like kombucha, which is a fairly simple process, and just do something different.”
Along with partners Jennifer Darling and Brian Maclean, Hradoway launched Boocha, Edmonton’s first craft kombucha brewery in 2017.
The trio didn’t know it yet, but they were onto something big. Over the past few years, as the sober-curious movement has taken off, Boocha has found its way into venues across the city, and into the hands of many thirsty Edmontonians.
“A lot of people are looking for something that isn’t just a pop or a soda when they’re out,” says Hradoway. “They want something a little special or different, and that’s kind of where we hit the mark.”
Today, Boocha’s brewery sits just off of Whyte Avenue. It offers visitors a great place to pick up a pack to go, or to sit and sample refreshing flavours like peach, lavender and the Charlie and the Chocolate Factory-inspired snozzberry (a blueberry lemonade).
“We’re not normal kombucha. We want to make something that’s more approachable and accessible to the normal person,” he says.
“We understand that fermented stuff for isn’t for everyone, but at the very least it’s worth stopping by and trying it. We think it’s worth giving a shot.”
Shop Boocha online at boocha.ca
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