Kombucha (pronounced Kom-BOO-chuh) is a fermented tea beverage with roots in ancient China and Russia. It has been brewed and enjoyed by humans for thousands of years, and coveted for its unique flavor and purported digestive health benefits. Kombucha is made by fermenting sweet tea with a symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast, called a SCOBY. The resulting brew is slightly caffeinated, bubbly, and full of probiotics, enzymes, and flavor!
Simply put, the yeast turns the sugar into alcohol and CO2, and the probiotic bacteria turn the alcohol into organic acids and enzymes that are said to have a myriad of health effects, including aiding digestion, easing hangovers, increasing energy, clarity and more. Of course, these claims are anecdotal in nature, and not proven in clinical human trials by the FDA, so your experience will have to guide you to your own conclusions.
Simply, yes. Even non-alcoholic Kombucha has traces of alcohol in it, though amounts below the current legal limit, 0.5% alcohol by volume (ABV). While these non-alcoholic products are typically made with lighter recipes, or produced using processes that remove alcohol after fermentation, authentic Kombucha recipes commonly ferment to 1.5%-2% ABV. While these, including our "Zesty Booch" line, are legally alcoholic beverages, we regard them as generally non-intoxicating for normal, healthy adults. Small children, the elderly, and those with weakened immune systems or sensitivities to alcohol may have different results, so use your own best judgement. If you're concerned about consuming small amounts of alcohol, or if you are under the age of 21, we have a number of lighter flavors that are legally non-alcoholic (below 0.5% ABV).
If you're looking to catch a buzz drinking Kombucha, we do have blends that boast as high as 6% ABV on the menu. Some of those maintain the true "Kombucha" flavor, while some are a blend of beer and Kombucha and taste more like beer. In either case, the resulting brews are delicious, raw, and a very fun way to catch a buzz!
Dean Wakerlin first found an interest in drinking Kombucha through the local Bozeman yoga community. A friend and fellow yoga student gave Dean his first SCOBY (symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast), which he gratefully took to begin attempting to brew Kombucha. After a couple of failed batches, Dean realized it wasn't as simple as it seemed and retired from his brief Kombucha brewing career to carry on with his life. It wasn't long before a different friend moved out of town and gave him her SCOBY (named Ché) as she left. He didn't have much of a choice but to give it another try, and with a little bit of luck, research, and determination, Dean and Ché began to produce a series of successful brews.
As his interest and ability grew, Dean began expanding his palate, experimenting with infusing exotic combinations of fruit, herbs, and spices into the finished Kombucha. His unique and bold flavor combinations made his brews perfectly zesty and nearly irresistible to all that tried it. The Booch began to amass a cult following of Booch fans who would do whatever it took to get their hands on a bottle. It was during that time that "Dean's Zesty Booch" was born.
Before long, Dean knew there was more to this movement than his casual kitchen Kombuchery could support, so he and his crack team of friends, brewers, designers, musicians, and ninjas set off to make Dean's Zesty Booch legit. Nearly eight years later, Dean and his team have turned a once failed hobby into Montana's first dedicated Kombucha brewery and bar, whose mission is to bring joy and digestive health to all that consume the Zesty Booch.
Dean's Zesty Booch started as one flagship tea recipe, infused with fruits, herbs, and spices. As the business has grown, and fermentation conditions have changed, our line of products has expanded to serve a variety of palates. We now offer three categories of Kombucha, "Light Booch," "Zesty Booch," and "Buzz Booch," each offering a different flavor profile, purpose, place, and alcohol content for the growing diversity of Kombucha drinkers. Booch lovers can come into the brewery and tasting room to explore the full compliment of eight flavors on tap, or find a selection of DZB's flavors on dozens of taps around Bozeman and the surrounding area.
Our sights are set on exploring the fringe of what Kombucha can be, and what it can offer to humanity. By now, you've surely noticed that the shelves are fully stocked with non-alcoholic Kombucha brands and flavors. While we intend to continue to offer our drier, Zestier approach to this light Kombucha category, our sights are squarely set on expanding the menu beyond NA, in an effort to push your palate and your enjoyment of the diversity of Kombucha to new heights and reaches. You can expect us to continue the tradition of exploration that Dean began in his home kitchen a decade ago.
Dean is (literally) the face of the brand, and the mastermind behind the original recipes that the Zesty name was built upon. His indomitable work ethic and passion for excellence are largely responsible for the quality of the product and the environment at DZB. In nearly a decade of home brewing Kombucha, he developed hundreds of flavors, many of which have made their way on to our menu in one season or another. Dean is an avid adventurer who constantly finds himself called to embrace his home in the woods and on the trails of the world. In addition to completing the Appalachian trail in 2017, and the majority of the Pacific Crest Trail in 2018, Dean will soon find himself on the Annapurna Circuit in Nepal for a 130 mile trek through the Himalayas. If you can ever locate him, you may find him planting a tree, doing yoga, ? If so, you’re bound to discover that he’s a very special person for a myriad of reasons.
Joe moved to Bozeman in 2008 to attend Montana State University. After changing his major, joining a band, and failing a few music classes his freshman year, he came to his senses and graduated with a degree in Business in 2012. After meeting Dean and subsequently tasting the best Kombucha he had ever tried, Joe proceeded to spend nights and weekends designing the DZB brand, developing the business plan, and creating content as a culmination of his business education and creative passions. He currently oversees the marketing and sales aspects of the company, and helps to craft the ongoing strategy of the company with the rest of the management team.
Griff was looking for a SCOBY to begin brewing his own Kombucha when he found Dean's Zesty Booch. He started hanging around to lend a hand, and some casual opinions on quality control practices. With a degree in Microbiology from Colorado State University, an interest in all things fermentation, and the by far most scientific background on the team, Griff quickly became indispensable around the brewery. As head brewer, he spends most of his time in the back, cultivating our sacred product, studying the art and science of wild yeast fermentations, and spearheading new flavor development.
Henri is an avid reader and a fountain of knowledge. With a degree in economics from Montana State University, he has spent the majority of his career studying the mechanics of investing and business practices. He is a strong advocate for LEAN manufacturing, and a driving force for organization and efficiency. Like the boss he is, Henri handles administration, finances, floor tape application, labeling, and the occasional shift on the canning line. Yes, it’s true. He is our secret weapon.