Expanding Options in the Marketplace with Kombucha

Full Sail Brewing is getting into the Kombucha market. The Oregon-based brewery recently debuted a line of Kombuchas under the KYLA brand.

“The Kombucha category as a whole has grown considerably over the past few years, so we know the fan base is there,” said Full Sail CEO Cory Comstock. “We can’t wait to introduce them to our fermented and fizzy, light and refreshing alcoholic kombucha beverage.”

This ties in to another branding under the Full Sail family as the brewery also releases beers under the Session label. As the brewery expands its portfolio, they become more appetizing to on- and off-premise buyers alike.

“We want to be able to create something for everyone, and Session and KYLA have helped us do just that,” he said.

Comstock said the Full Sail brewers wanted to create a “healthy-ish” libation, and for years the idea of developing an alcoholic Kombucha was fermenting.

“I dream of SCOBYs,” says Kevin McCabe, PhD, Full Sail Director of Quality Assurance. “With KYLA, we have been able to keep live cultures in a shelf-stable environment by developing a unique fermentation and brewing process.”

The process was not without hiccups. As brewers and scientists, the KYLA Hard Kombucha team knew that live Kombucha SCOBYs held devastating potential to spoil the brewery’s beloved beer, so they initially set up shop in a black tent outside where they could safely tinker with bacteria and common “beer spoilers” without disrupting the main brewery’s operations.

“If tent walls could talk, what a story they would tell – from the early weeks of research, experimentation, successes, setbacks, and recipe development, to scaling up and into the main brewery in record time, to KYLA’s successful manifestation as a safe, shelf-stable, hard kombucha that stays true to the ancient beverage’s roots,” Comstock said.

In just nine months, KYLA’s yeast expert, microbiologist, and Kombucha homebrewers defined Kombucha, isolated bacteria for live cultures, worked on flavor profiles, scaled up production, and hit their to-market date.

“While each had his own science background, everyone on the team worked together cohesively to share ideas and problem solve, with many mornings spent discussing solutions that popped into their heads in the middle of the night,” Comstock said.

At 4.5 percent ABV, Comstock said KYLA is an approachable beverage for craft beer novices and enthusiasts, too.

It’s available in two flavors – Ginger Tangerine and Hibiscus Lime – and sold in six-packs in store and on premise in sixth-barrel kegs.

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