Dan Cavagnaro, founder of Bay Street Bottling, has been brewing kombucha at his home in South Beach for the past six months. After realizing how great it tastes and how it helps to alleviate symptoms of his Crohn's disease, he wants to make it available for everyone to try.
Kombucha is an age-old drink made from black and green tea leaves and sugar, fermented with probiotic bacteria and yeast cultures. Cavagnaro criticizes the bigger brands' pastuerization process, saying they're not doing it right. "You lose the meticulous attention of a home brewer," he says. Cavagnaro uses a shorter fermentation process, thereby preserving more of the health benefits of the drink.
His company plans to start making 200 eleven-ounce bottles of "St. George Kombucha" per month, priced at $5 each, as well as giving out samples to health food stores across the city. The long-term goal is to open a health food store with a kombucha bar in St. George.