WATCH: Big Dog Kombucha On Merritt Island Features Largest Growing Beverage Category in the US

By  //  February 6, 2022

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Big Dog Kombucha introduced newest fully Florida made and sourced product line

ABOVE VIDEO: Space Coast Daily’s Ron Lighthall visits Big Dog Kombucha on Merritt Island to catch up with owner Gerhard Claassen and talk about the benefits and wonders of adding Kombucha to your daily diet. And introduce their newest fully Florida-made and sourced product line.

BREVARD COUNTY • MERRITT ISLAND, FLORIDA – Fresh off their grand opening in December, Big Dog Kombucha is becoming a local hit amongst their patrons by receiving numerous 5-star reviews.

Located at 239 E. Merritt Island Causeway on Merritt Island, Big Dog Kombucha is new to the area after their grand opening on Dec. 19 and Space Coast Daily got a first-hand exclusive into the process of Kombucha.

Big Dog Kombucha co-owner Gerhard Classen recently detailed the benefits and wonders of adding Kombucha to your daily diet – and introduced his newest fully Florida-made and sourced product line.

“For Kombucha, you can get all the ingredients locally except for one ingredient that’s been difficult, and that’s tea,” said Claassen.

“I started looking for tea suppliers in Florida as close to Brevard as I could and found a company called Yopan brothers and discovered it’s not actually tea, but it’s actually called Yopan Holley.

“Yerba Matta is a tea, but Yopan Holley is the only caffeine-bearing plant in North America. You can’t make Kombucha without caffeine, so I decided to give it a try because all local, all fresh is the goal, and this company is right out of New Smyrna.

“Tannin, is the ingredient in tea that gives it that bitter taste and stains everything, and that’s the ingredient this Yopan Holley doesn’t have and it ferments slower than regular tea and through lots of trial and error, it‘s turned out great!

“It came out as one of the smoothest Kombucha’s you’ve ever tasted. It’s unique, like something you’ve never tried before, but very pleasant.

“How great is it to make Kombucha that is 100% made in Florida? I thought the Yopan would taste really good with strawberries and since we have strawberries here in Florida year-round it’s a perfect fruit to pair with our newest Kombucha product 100% made in Florida.

“Each ingredient is handpicked, the tea comes from Volusia County, the water comes from under our feet here in Merritt Island and the sugar for the initial fermentation comes from Okeechobee, and our fruits are strawberries from Plant City and honey from Orange County – and there you have it a 100% sourced and made Kombucha in Central Florida,” said Claassen.

ABOVE VIDEO: Space Coast Daily’s Ron Lighthall visits Big Dog Kombucha on Merritt Island to catch up with owner Gerhard Claassen and talk about the benefits and wonders of adding Kombucha to your daily diet. And introduce their newest fully Florida-made and sourced product line.

Kombucha is an ancient probiotic beverage made from a combination of fermented black and green tea and fresh fruit puree’.

During the first fermentation process, a symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast is brewed with sweet tea. The microbial populations in the SCOBY (symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast) rest atop the sweet tea for about a week while the bacteria eats the sugar in the sweet tea.

ABOVE VIDEO: Big Dog Kombucha On Merritt Island Celebrates Grand Opening on Sunday. Space Coast Daily reports from Big Dog Kombucha.

“Kombucha is the largest growing beverage category in the United States and has grown by 17% per year over the past few years,” said Big Dog Kombucha proprietor Juli Claassen.

“The B Vitamins, probiotics, and organic acids, all naturally occurring, make for a lock–and–loaded functional beverage. And ours happens to taste amazing while many others do not.”

Kombucha is an ancient probiotic beverage made from a combination of fermented black and green tea and fresh fruit puree’. “Kombucha is the largest growing beverage category in the United States and has grown by 17% per year over the past few years,” said Big Dog Kombucha proprietor Juli Claassen, pictured above left.

To find out more about Claassen’s story, CLICK HERE, and below Claassen provides the benefits and attributes of Kombucha:

WHAT IS KOMBUCHA?

Kombucha is a fermented tea beverage. It is made by adding a symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast (SCOBY) to a solution of tea and sugar. During the course of the fermentation process, the cultures metabolize the sugar and tea components to render a naturally carbonated beverage, with a slightly sweet-tart flavor, full of healthy components like B vitamins, organic acids, antioxidants, and trace amounts of alcohol.

WATCH: Meet the very cool and dedicated owners Gerhard and Juli Claassen and try their all-natural Kombucha at their Grand Opening of Big Dog Kombucha this Sunday, December 19.

Kombucha originated in Northeast China (historically referred to as Manchuria) around 220 B.C. and was initially prized for its healing properties. Its name is reportedly derived from Dr. Kombu, a Korean physician who brought the fermented tea to Japan as a curative for Emperor Inkyo.

Eventually, the tea was brought to Europe as a result of trade route expansions in the early 20th century, most notably appearing in Russia (as “Kambucha”) and Germany (as “Kombuchaschwamm”).

IT IS A LIFESTYLE

But, Kombucha is much more than just a fermented tea product. It is a lifestyle, or at least, a life choice that many people note as life-changing on some level. Most people start drinking Kombucha because it makes them feel good and many experience an improvement in health; unfortunately, formal research is scarce

The internet abounds with anecdotal reports of people who have reported having improved health attributed to Kombucha consumption but people lie so I cannot say what is and what is not true. I can however relate my own story.

I had tried Kombucha before but it tasted like vinegar and wanted nothing to do with it. A while after my first experience, I bought some hard kombucha instead of beer to take to a party and actually enjoyed it more than beer.

In fact, they’ve now introduced a brand new botanical beer that has turned into a whole new beverage category *We need to expand on this I’m just not sure how – research.

KEEP IT REAL

Being real is what we do. We do not put anything in our Kombucha that you cannot find essentially in the same form in nature. You just can’t improve on God… This means we try to get our ingredients in as natural and unadulterated as possible.

KEEP IT LOCAL

The best way to achieve #1 above is to buy ingredients as locally as you can. We are also proud Floridians with an unapologetic bias towards this beautiful corner of the world we call home.

AMAZING TASTE

Our Kombucha gets it’s amazing taste and striking color straight out of bountiful nature. Fresh fruit and raw honey was what we used when we first started this brewing journey in our kitchen and we have not found any reason to deviate from this path.

UNPASTEURISED HONEY

The pollen that makes our raw, unpasteurized honey is gathered by the worker bees of a local beekeeper from the wildflowers of the Space Coast. It is the same wildflowers that prompted Juan Ponce De Leon, who’s first landfall in 1513 was not far from where our brewery is today, to call it “La Florida

FRESH FRUIT ONLY

We get our fruit from local suppliers and buy local and organic whenever it is possible to do so. The only exception to our strict “fresh fruit only” rule, is for the orange juice in our Liquid Sunshine flavor. Oranges do not keep well and the only way to have a supply of orange juice without preservatives is to use frozen concentrated orange juice. HOWEVER, we stay local and real – This process was developed in Florida in 1948 and nothing but orange juice is used to make it.

CLICK HERE FOR MORE INFORMATION

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