Kombucha in Portland is a way of life. In fact, Portland consumes 78 times more kombucha than anywhere else in the United States! Not to mention, we have a kombucha starter kit company, a kombucha hot sauce, and a kombucha speakeasy (more on that later!) in our midst. You can blame it on our health-consciousness, our forward-thinking community, or our love for creativity and brewing of all kinds. Whatever it is, we’re proud of the kombucha culture that has evolved in Portland over the last decade or so.
To help you navigate the ‘bucha scene in Portland, we compiled a list of the best locally made kombucha in Portland, from small family-owned brewers to large-scale operations you’ll find on shelves and taps all over the country. The next time you’re craving a gut-friendly bubbly, track down one of these locally made concoctions!
Photo Courtesy of Camellia Grove
This relatively new brewer is keeping things extra simple. Camellia Grove only bottles four flavors, which are a homage to the founders’ favorite teas: Oolong, Green, Black and Rooibos. Plus, they use just three basic ingredients to create each batch: organic tea, sugar and live cultures — that’s it! You won’t find added sugars, flavor extracts or juices in Camellia Grove’s beautifully designed bottles. Plus, their kombucha does not go through a secondary fermentation process, which means it’s non-alcoholic and low in sugar.
Dave McGee spent over a decade experimenting with kombucha and began teaching DIY kombucha classes at a local homebrew supply shop in North Portland in 2010. And in early 2014, he teamed up with his daughter to open Oregonic Tonic. Ever since, the two have been producing some exceptional flavors. They like their kombucha “pure, raw, and with a healthy zing, just like it is when you make it at home.” But now you don’t have to! A few flavors include hibiscus blood orange, white peach, lemon honey cayenne, ginger and green tea, and they also make CBD kombucha!
Photo Courtesy of Jordan Hughes via Brew Dr.
Brew Dr. is one of the most well-known brands on this list — and for good reason. It all started in 2006, when Matt Thomas started Townshend’s Tea Company. Soon after, the team began making kombucha in the kitchen of their first teahouse using the same great teas they served. The end result was so popular that they decided to bottle it. Today, Brew Dr. creates a variety of kombuchas, all blended in organic herbs, fruits, juices and other botanicals. They create 12 varieties of kombucha, like lemon ginger, watermelon and wildberry ginger, in addition to seasonal and special-edition flavors, and CBD-infused options. Brew Dr. is also making waves in the sustainability world with their no-waste model!
Eva’s Herbucha was one of the first kombucha brewers in the city. This premium raw kombucha is named after founder Eva Sippl, a licensed natural health practitioner, a polarity therapist and reiki master. Drawing from the natural healing properties found in green teas, black teas and hand-selected herbs, Herbucha has an alluring floral taste and crisp finish. Some of the more popular Eva’s Herbucha flavors include Detox and Goddess Blend, but all are made with high-quality herbs and teas, and organic fair trade sugar. Eva’s Herbucha is a proud member of 1% for the Planet, and they donate 1% of their annual sales to help protect the environment.
Photo Courtesy of Andrew Fedchenko via SOMA
The SOMA story begins when yoga teacher Jean-Pierre Parent began sharing his homebrewed kombucha with students after class, who soon asked how they could buy it. In his words, “SOMA definitely started itself.” Today, SOMA is available in hundreds of locations throughout the Pacific Northwest and Southern California. Plus, SOMA operates two taprooms, one in Belmont and one in St. Johns — and one has even been described as a kombucha speakeasy! SOMA creates a few basic flavors, including cherry chai, lemon ginger and oak cask, plus a number of varieties of kombucha, like CBD kombucha, coffee-bucha and more. SOMA has 12 certified organic flavors including two with CBD, as well as 3 Wellness Waters — naturally sparkling wild spring water with various levels of CBD (15, 25, and 35mg), adaptogenic mushrooms, probiotics, and that are flavored with citrus essential oils (all organic, of course). SOMA is the healthiest kombucha on the market with billions more probiotics that any other local or national brand, natural carbonation, and natural sweetness from fermentation, not sugar.
Like many kombucha stories, the story of Wonder Drink all started with a love of tea. Founder Stephen Lee co-founded tea giants Stash Tea and Tazo Tea, and later discovered the art of kombucha on a trip to Russia. In 1999, Wonder Drink was born. Today, it is available in natural food stores, grocery stores, pubs, spas, colleges and cafes all over the country. Wonder Drink focuses on three main flavors in their prebiotic line: apple mint, ginger peach and tropical mango, all of which are more approachable for kombucha newbies. This kombucha giant may be distributed all over the world, but its story started right here in Portland.
After many years of experimenting and taste testing, Happy Mountain Kombucha was created. Their kombuchas offer a perfect balance between sweet and sour, providing a light and bubbly experience approachable for the first-time drinker and the advanced kombucha drinker alike. Their simple, gorgeously designed bottles hold a variety of flavors, including peach blossom, lavender white, ginger root, dragon fruit, honeydew melon and hopped huckleberry. Every batch of Happy Mountain Kombucha is brewed with hand-blended tea using a combination of white peony tea, herbs, flowers, spices and extracts.
Lion Heart began with a mission to bring low-sugar kombucha to the table. In 2008, Jared and Amanda Englund started teaching brewing classes out of their home in Southeast Portland and opened Lion Heart just two years later. Ever since, die-hard fans have loved Lion Heart for their low-sugar commitment; each bottle has less than 4 grams of sugar, after all! The end result is a much milder flavor, making it sippable and approachable for all levels of kombucha drinkers. Flavors include Raspberry Harvest, Bliss, Wild Blueberry, Hero’s Blend, Jazzberry and Ginger Fix.
Did we miss your favorite Portland-made kombucha? Tell us about it in the comments below!