Premium kombucha and spirit drinks launches

07 June, 2019 by Andy Young

The team behind the premium Bucha of Byron brand, have taken the next step in the brand story, one they were always planning to make, with the launch of Dirty Bucha, mixing kombucha and spirits.

The launch sees three flavours, Botanical Gin with Lemon Myrtle kombucha, Premium Vodka with Tropical kombucha and Spiced Rum with Ginger kombucha, with more to follow.

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It’s a full circle moment for co-brand founders, Paul Tansley, Cam Macfarlane and James Mackinnon, who have all worked in the alcohol industry for most of their careers, and Macfarlane told TheShout, this move was always on the cards.

“Given the backgrounds of all three of us being around the alcohol industry it was always likely. What really interested us was visiting the US and seeing kombucha on tap and logically that just had us thinking about an alcoholic version.

“We always thought we’d secure a really strong non-alcoholic kombucha brand out of Byron Bay and then when the timing was right we’d launch an alcoholic version.”

The path to this point has seen the team putting together a number of cocktail events at different venues around the country. This has helped them experiment with flavours and ideas and ultimately come up with the three launch SKUs.

“We’ve worked with lots of different bar teams around the country and that has given us a really good indication on what to go with,” Macfarlane said. “But the beauty of kombucha is, you speak to a lot of different bartenders about it, and it’s really versatile and it can work with a lot of different products.”

In terms of the three launch products Macfarlane said that the team wanted to put together some classic flavours that just work well together.

“When we talk to people about mixing kombucha with alcohol and the look on their face is ‘of course you are, why didn’t I think of that?’ So we want to make that entry point a really easy get for people, but kombucha can work in both very simple and also complicated cocktails, so as we get people in we expect that range to increase.”

The team has also now taken over the old Stone & Wood brewery in Byron Bay and are converting it in The Bucha Shed. The venue will contain an alcoholic kombucha bar, and will also give the team scope to be able to experiment with more kombucha flavours and more spirits as they look to keep evolving and developing the brand.

Macfarlane also revealed to TheShout that as the brand has worked with a number of venues to have the alcoholic drinks available on tap and in bottles, the requests to make the product available for off-premise has also increased.

“We’ve had a really good reaction from everyone we’ve spoken to and the thing we’ve really noticed is people asking us, ‘when will it be in four-packs’, ‘when can we get it in off-premise’.

“So we actually produced our first four-packs this week. We just need those to be ready and we’ll be getting those out there. We expect to expand pretty rapidly over the coming months, but spring is when we’re really going to do a strong rollout.

“Our team are getting out there now with this and speaking to different independent retailers and lots have already said as soon as it’s ready we want it.”

For further information on stocking Dirty Bucha, contact Cam Macfarlane at cam@thebuchaofbyron.com.au.