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Touring Oregon’s Kombucha Creativity

At Humm, we love kombucha (obvi!). And as much as we enjoy drinking our own concoctions here in Bend, we’re just as excited to try all of the other brands out there. Some of the most creative work in beverages is happening today in the kombucha industry, with brewers producing varieties ranging from light, champagne-like sippers to thick, flavorful homebrews and everything between.

We try out every kombucha we can find. It’s inspiring to see what other brewers are doing to stretch the limits of the beverage through brewing techniques, ingredients and, of course, flavors. With the vast spectrum of kombuchas on the market, there’s a flavor for every palate.

While all kombucha begins with fermenting tea with a culture of bacteria and yeast, where a brewer goes from there with their product is only limited by the imagination. 

Kombucha Breweries - Humm Kombucha

Humm Kombucha Brewery, Photo credit: The Bend Bulletin

Here in Oregon we have some of the most creative brewers in the biz. That’s how you end up with wild flavors such as Love from Townshend’s Brew Dr. Kombucha, with its subtle hints of lavender, chamomile, damiana and rose. Soma’s Cilantro Lime and Eva’s Herbucha’s Rose City Blend (passionflower, oatstraw and skullcap) are indicative of the creativity exhibited by brewers in Oregon.

The greatest hub for commercially-brewed kombucha in Oregon is, naturally, Portland, with more breweries opening every year. Lion Heart specializes in ‘dry,’ low sugar varieties and boast such flavors as Lavender Bliss, Hero’s Blend and Ginger Fixx. You can find them in New Seasons stores around Portland and in Whole Foods throughout the region.

Kombucha Breweries Brew Dr - Humm Kombucha

Brew Dr. 8 tap kegerator, photo credit: Brew Dr.

Townshend’s Tea Company, producer of Brew Dr. Kombucha, has seven teahouses, four in Portland and one each in Eugene, Bend and Bozeman. They’re one of the regions’ more established kombucha brewers, having produced the beverage entirely in-house since 2008. You can find Brew Dr. Kombucha and delicious flavors such as Love, Clear Mind and Citrus Hops at any of their storefronts and at markets across the US and Canada.

Kombucha Breweries Soma Speakeasy - Humm Kombucha

Soma Speakeasy in Portland, OR. Photo credit: Symple Foods

SOMA Kombucha Speakeasy gives you an underground kombucha experience in the St. Johns neighborhood of Portland. The self-serve bar offers a variety of SOMA flavors on tap, as well as juns and kefirs. Additionally, they serve raw and vegan dishes for dinner, but you’ll need a reservation for the small space. Also, no shoes! You can find SOMA varieties such as Coffee-booch and Cherry Chai at retailers throughout the region.

Gorge Kitchen Kombucha Brewery - Humm Kombucha

Makers of craft brewed kombucha and dairy-free ice cream, Gorge Kitchen. Photo credit: Hoodriver News

Heading east from Portland to bucolic Hood River will take you to Gorge Kitchen, where they “Believe in foods that heal bodies and don’t harm the planet.” They boast 10 rotating taps of kombucha produced on-site, as well as organic coconut milk ice cream, made from scratch. Or try the best of both worlds with a kombucha float! They’re also happy to show you around the facility to see how they produce their wares.

Here in Bend we have Caboost Kombucha, with cool flavors including Hibiscus Sangria and Coo Coo Cachoo, not to mention the baddest delivery van in town. And there’s several tasty varieties from Bucha Buena you can find all over town – not to mention their line of hard kombucha (kombooza?) you can find at The Capitol, Whitewater Taphouse and Primal Cuts.

More kombucha brewers are emerging every year throughout the region, and we can’t wait to try them out!