What is Kombucha?
Kombucha is a fermented tea. Put simply, it’s a made up of tea, water, sugar and a SCOBY (symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast). These ingredients are blended together and placed in a warm environment to ferment for a period of time. The end product is a refreshing, lightly sparkling and tasty soft drink. Naturally low in sugar, and nutrient dense, kombucha contains acetic acid and antioxidant polyphenols. Kombucha's roots are in China, where it was known as the 'Elixir of Life'. It has made its way across continents to become a renowned wellness soft drink as well as an alternative to alcohol, or a mixer for cocktails.
Who are we?
My name is Steph Goodey and with my partner James we have built Laid Bear Kombucha. In 2019 we started a kombucha microbrewery in Leek, Staffordshire. We wanted to stay true to small batch brews, keeping the process authentic and the taste amazing.
Our story so far...
In 2020 after brewing commercially for just 3 months we proudly won 2 Great Taste Awards. Although 2020 was a tough year for us (and everyone!) this was a real highlight. As a small start up it gave us the confidence that our kombucha was really as good as we felt it was! We began gaining stockists around the North West, such as King Street Kitchen, Just Between Friends, Wild & Wild and Gallaghers Deli, with more places getting in touch with us from Cornwall, London and Birmingham wanting to stock our Kombucha. We really wanted to continue to gain traction with our bottle sales, but we were also pulled towards the the idea to start producing our Kombucha in kegs to serve on tap in bars, restaurants and also as part of refill stores.
Kombucha on tap...
After a small rebrand and a successful trademark application (phewf!) we took the plunge and purchased a kegerator, and used our sister business which is a plant-based pop up kitchen in Altrincham to start offering a refill service whereby customers could bring their own bottles or buy one of ours to keep then bring back and refill.
Starting this new concept during a pandemic was scary but we could not believe the positivity from our customers and the loyalty they showed coming back week after week to refill in such an eco-friendly way. Being able to keep the refill station open at the prestigious Altrincham Market was incredible.
We also began exclusively supplying our Kombucha to a sourdough pizza kitchen called Base & Booch located in Didsbury, South Manchester. These outlets really saved us as the pandemic caused so many of our stockists to close during the lockdowns meaning that our bottle sales dropped dramatically.
Onwards and upwards...
Towards the end of 2020, we had to really revaluate where we were with both our businesses. We took a huge leap and decided to sell our house in Congleton and move into Manchester so we could focus on pushing the businesses in this exciting and expanding city. We handed in our notice at our brewery in Staffordshire and spent the back end of 2020 brewing as much Kombucha as we could to last us through the move...hoping it would be enough to continue selling what we could during lockdown before we found a new home for the brewery.
In January 2021 we moved our brewing equipment into a (very kind) friends' railway arch under Piccadilly station near Mayfield Depot in the city centre whilst we were still trying to secure a new home for our brewery.
We are so happy to say that we have managed to find a perfect space!
Help us grow our brewery?
We are looking for support to help us set up and also so we can upgrade some of our current equipment so that we can be ready to hit the ground running and fulfil our existing stockists needs as well as our superhero refill customers. Especially as hospitality is beginning to open up again, we also want to secure new stockists in Manchester, the North West and beyond as well as supply more local refill customers!
We really see the potential with our Kombucha on tap.
It's WAY more sustainable & economical, more eco-friendly and also gives a stockist freedom to sell our booch on tap not only for refills but also as a non-alcoholic alternative or as a mixer for cocktails.
A sneak preview of our new brewery layout...
How will we use the funds raised?
The money we raise through this platform will help us to:
Build a fermentation room for our microbrewery.
Purchase more comprehensive brewing equipment so that we can still brew small batch, but on larger scale.
Increase our stockist portfolio with bottles, and have a delivery infrastructure to be able to deliver further afield to many of the businesses who have already reached out to us wanting to stock our Booch.
Nurture our idea with the kombucha on tap, working on installing kegerators in bars and restaurants, refill stores, serviced offices/shared working spaces, and even in peoples homes.
Thank you so much for taking the time to read about our project!
Steph & James x
When will the brewery be open?
We are aiming to be open from 1st June TBC. Please be patient with us! The unit we are renting has been delayed, but we hope to be in at the end of May,
How long will vouchers/discounts be valid for?
They will be valid until 1st June 2022.
Can I spend vouchers online or at the refill station located at the brewery?
Both! Vouchers can be spent online OR issued as a tab for the refill station. Vouchers cannot be split between online purchases and in the brewery. We will reach out to you when our campaign finishes to find out if you prefer an online voucher or a tab in our brewery.
What days will the brewery open for refills?
We will release opening times after our campaign is finished.
How do I receive my physical rewards?
Merchandise can either be collected from our brewery or posted to your preferred UK address. Just let us know what works for you.
How do I create my bespoke flavour?
We will be in contact with you once the campaign is finished and can provide some options based on our experience, and walk you through good combinations. This will happen before the tour, so we can make sure we can access ingredients for your creations! When you visit the brewery we can then show you the process and make sure you have your bespoke blend to take home.
Do you have a website?
You mentioned a sister business, can we check it out?
Where is the brewery?
We will be making our booch at:
Unit 3, Hoyle Street, Manchester, M12 6HG
We are behind Mayfield Depot, a short walk from Manchester Piccadilly station.