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Start a Kombucha Microbrewery

Views: 8     Author: Site Editor     Publish Time: 2022-07-20      Origin: Site

First thing is to decide will you be Kombucha TEA or Kombucha BEER.

  • The equipment is about the same, but the paperwork and fees are very different.

  • Beer and any product with 0.5% or higher ABV is controlled by the TTB

  • Juices and Kombucha Tea ,etc is controlled by the FDA and usually your local Agriculture Department

  • The zoning is also different, as is the distribution. Will talk more on the differences later.

Either way, the hardest part in the beginning is deciding how many bottles you will be selling?.

Bottles translate into cases, cases into barrels, barrels into fermenters. and everything into dollars

You may also want to consider other ferments besides Kombucha.

Often with the same equipment - such as making Ginger Beer , Probiotic Soda, or Cold Brew Coffee and Nitro Coffee which only takes 2 days to produce (and sell for as much as Kombucha Tea) . You would be capitalizing on your equipment usage. You may also want to consider co-packing for other local brewers thus allowing you to benefit from larger more productive and automated equipment that cuts your production time and costs as well as making some extra cash.

Each Kombucha Fermenter probably can do 36 batches per year. (average 10 day ferment) The number of different kombucha’s you offer can be decided later, but the total volume projected is the key.

note: each Kombucha Fermenter, during its “off-time” can be used to ferment Ginger Beer, Probiotic Soda, Cold-Brew Coffee, or Nitro-Coffee. Each non-used Kombucha Fermenter can do 180 batches per year. Next what is the size of your fermenter.?

Kombucha Micro Brewery

  • A Nano brewery is defined as brew house less than 3 BBL (barrels)

  • For cost factors, size and other concerns our projections are for a 6 BBL semi-automated Brewery.

  • The following information is intended as a guide as to brew-house size and gross sales potential.

  • note that these values are only an illustration. all percentages will vary greatly upon a great many more variables.

  • Rough estimate of raw material will be your cheapest cost.

  • Equipment costs 3-6 BBL semi-automated brew-house about $15,000 and up.

  • Supplies and distribution cost will be the greatest and reoccurring based on your business plan.

  • What size Brew-house do you need?

    Kombucha Each BBL (31 gallon) fermenter doing 36 ferments per year ( 36 BBL) may average 10,000 - servings (12 oz ) of kombucha annually.

    Probiotic Soda Each BBL (31 gallon) fermenter doing 180 ferments per year (180 BBL) may average 59,000 - servings of Probiotic Soda or Cold Brew Coffee annually.

Distribution is the second key.

Where will you be selling your Kombucha? Farmers market, vendor carts, roadside stands, events, fair, stores, restaurants, pubs, brewhouse. taproom. Will your product (s) be in bottles, cans, kegs, barrels, or growlers. There are different costs associated with each.

  • Wholesaling, to stores the least profitable.

Store cold shelf space takes 30%

Distribution: 20-35%+.

Many countrys allow small brewers to self-distribute which can more than double your profitability. However distributors are often a needed connection to gain access to stores shelves and product placement. Plus they do pick up and deliver.

  • Kegging to pubs, restaurants ~ 50% profit

  • Farmers Market, Street Vendors ~ 60%

  • Personal kegging to events ~ 75 % profit

  • Taproom, your own pub is the greatest return ~ 90%

Most do a combination and are always looking for more opportunities.


The more you sell, the more equipment you need. The more production, the more labor.

Initially most start-ups do everything by hand and do not count their hours - or pay themselves for their effort. This is a a bad practice. Even full automation a brew-house is labor intensive and a profitable business needs good labor.

We are here to help. There is no charge for consultation. Any questions, please feel free to contact me.

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