Quali-tea

Austin's first kombucha in a can pops into local grocery stores

Austin's first kombucha in a can pops into local grocery stores

Greenbelt Kombucha
Greenbelt is Austin's first kombucha in a can. Photo courtesy of Greenbelt Kombucha

As more scientific studies come out warning of the health risks of drinking soda, fizzy alternatives have become big business, taking over market share once dominated by Coke and Pepsi. Those beverage giants now have even more to fret about now that a group of Austin entrepreneurs have launched the first local kombucha in a can.

Greenbelt Kombucha is a collaboration with Adam Blumenshein, Tim Klatt, Nathan Klatt, and Rick Boucard of Barrel Creek Provisions and Texas Saké Company and Gavin Booth, one half of popular bloggers Couple in the Kitchen. Launched in late March in over 130 H-E-B stores, the brand hopes to make a big splash by selling artisanal drinks.

Retailing for $2 a pop, Greenbelt comes in four flavors: peach blossom white tea, blood orange yerba mate, Strawberry Fields rooibos tea, and hibiscus berry black tea. The brews have lower lactic acid compared to many commercially available kombuchas, resulting in a less vinegary taste that showcases the natural flavors of the ingredients.

“We start with super premium tea bases that are unique for each flavor, and we elevate the experience by steeping high-quality freeze dried fruit,” explains Booth. “By following this method, we’re able to craft a kombucha that’s unlike anything on the grocery store shelves.”

Taste isn’t the only benefit. Greenbelt contains probiotics, which fans say aid with everything from mood to gut health to even allergies. The company also avoids adding fruit juices and added sugars in the fermentation process, bringing each flavor’s calorie count to only 40 per can.

The brand is equally as cognizant of the environment as it is of the body. The team powers the operation with 100-percent wind energy, and the packaging was selected as much for recyclability as affordability.

Booth says there is one other major benefit — portability. The company’s products can be taken anywhere that allows beverages, including its beloved Austin namesake.

"You can’t bring glass on greenbelts,” he notes, “but you can bring Greenbelt Kombucha.”