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Bend brewing big on the kombucha map

Published On: Apr 17 2014 09:52:01 PM CDT
Updated On: Apr 18 2014 01:49:14 AM CDT

NewsChannel 21's Katie Higgins talked to a local brewery that's taking their product national.

BEND, Ore. -

What was once known as Kombucha Mama is no more. That's because it is now known as Humm Kombucha.

"We wanted something that really captured the essence of the company," Michelle Mitchell, co-owner of Humm Kombucha, said Thursday.

The women who started the company five years ago have decided to take their kombucha brewing talents, national. The move has been 18 months in the making. The most noticable change is the brand name.

"People hum when their happy -- it's something everyone knows about, it's a comfort word," said Jamie Danek, the other co-owner of Humm Kombucha.

Kombucha has been around for thousands of years, dating back to ancient China.

"And the thing about it is, less than 1 percent of people even know what Kombucha is," Danek said.

National recognition for the health drink has been on the rise since the start of Kombucha Mama.

"We've been sold out of kombucha basically since we started selling it," Mitchell said.

The owners say they have been getting calls asking for their tea for years. It was time they decided to grow, or not.

"The family has just been growing bigger and bigger and bigger organically," Mitchell said. "It's just how it happened."

"We just wanted everyone to have it," Danek said.

The drink is loaded with micro-organisms that some say help with digestion. It's also packed with vitamins like Vitamin B.

"It balances your system," Mitchell said. "It's a natural detoxifier, and it's super-refreshing and bubbly."

Humm Kombucha is the first kombucha brewpub in the nation. They opened their doors last September. Danek said another pub, not associated with Humm, opened in Denver and was the second in the nation.  

The women started in Mitchell's kitchen after becoming friends on the tennis court. They delivered kombucha door to door at first.

They started small, and in five years filled with hard work, they say their Bend product will be seen in stores all over the Northwest.

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