L.A. Brewery was founded in 2017 by Louise Avery. After years of experimenting with fermentation and flavours she set up her own kombucha microbrewery just up the road at Bentwaters.
What inspired you to start L.A Brewery?
I honestly just fell in love with kombucha…. The first taste was exciting for me because I love sour, sweet and tart flavours…kombucha has quite similar tasting notes to natural wine. I could see great potential for a variety of drinks using kombucha as a base. We started our own brewery because we couldn’t find anyone to help us make it. Five years later, our microbrewery in Suffolk is our proudest achievement.
Have there been many challenges along the way?
Too many to count. Machine failures, glass shortages, fermentation issues, Covid…. I could go on. Each time we have a challenge though – it serves its purpose in that we create contingency and more robust processes within the business so ultimately we end up as a stronger business.
Your kombucha is being sold all over Suffolk now. When did it really begin to take off?
We have always had wonderful support in Suffolk, starting from the very beginning when we attended the Aldeburgh Festival. I think our stockists are growing now as we now finally have a bit more production capacity. We have had a bumpy ride in the last few years (like everyone else), so it’s pleasing to know that our stockists are growing again as hospitality and shops reopen.
What are some of the health benefits of drinking kombucha?
The most scientifically proven studies around kombucha are actually around the polyphenols (antioxidants) from the tea which are enhanced in the fermentation process. The organic acids and live cultures of bacteria and yeast are also believed to enhance diversity within the gut contributing to better overall digestive and immune health.
The biggest benefit I find is that it takes away the desire to drink alcohol – it really is a wonderful replacement around 6 or 7pm!
Can you tell us a bit about the process of making kombucha?
Kombucha is made by making a large brew of tea, adding sugar and allowing to cool. We then add the scoby culture (symbiotic colony of bacteria and yeast), which slowly consumes the sugar and converts it into organic acids. The resulting drink is a mildly sweet, tart and complex (quite addictive) drink which we then infuse with fruits, flowers and botanicals before bottling. We use the same process as a home brewer would but on a larger scale.
And for the future of L.A Brewery?
We have many dreams including opening a visitor tap room at the brewery, increasing our production to five million bottles a year, more limited-edition drinks and getting more stockists so L.A Brewery is more widely available.
To find out more visit labrewery.co.uk