Based in: Madison, WI
Year Founded: 2008
Distribution: WI, IN, ND, SD, IA, MI, MN
NessAlla are one of the industry’s veterans, having been selling their kombucha for nearly a decade! If you’re wondering what their name means, it’s a clever amalgamation of the first names of the two owners: Vanessa Tortolano and the Russian-born Alla Shapiro! They flavor with local, seasonal ingredients like red clover, elderberries, and mulberries, and as their base, use the fair-trade, loose-leaf Rishi tea, which is located just an hour away from NessAlla’s brewery in Madison. How’s that for local?
A perfect example of what you can achieve with kombucha by adding masterfully crafted flavoring, Juniper Rose is nuanced and layered, frothy and floral; the lingering note of juniper berries mixed with coriander is incredibly pleasant and has this lovely softness to it. A mild citrusy undertone comes through as well. This is Ness Alla’s seventh permanent flavor, and it has a great story. Juniper Rose was born 3 years ago, when founders Alla and Vanessa were experimenting with Rishi Tea’s discontinued Wild Rose flavor. Around this time, they also got an interesting offer from the head distiller at Death’s Door Spirits in Middletown, WI. He wanted to donate to NessAlla his spent Juniper botanicals—which are juniper berries, coriander and fennel—instead of composting them, since the botanicals were still loaded with flavor. So Alla and Vanessa decided to combine the botanicals with the Wild Rose tea, and Juniper Rose was eventually born!
This Raspberry flavor really wowed us. It has this beautiful note that hangs at the end that reminded us of blackberry, picked fresh from the wild. You can taste the blend of green and black teas, which give the booch a nice bite and balance of tart and sweet. Berry good!