Aqua Vitea Kombucha
Based in: Middlebury, VT
Distribution: CT, DE, ME, RI, DC, NY, NJ, NH, VT, MA, MD, VA, PA
One of the oldest commercial kombucha producers in the country, Aqua ViTea (pronounced vai-tee) also has the distinction of being the first brand in the nation to commercially keg kombucha. Although they started bottling in 2009 (they currently offer eight flavors in bottles), their on-tap option remains a staple of the business.
The story of the business begins over ten years ago—not in Vermont, where it’s currently based, but in Oregon. That’s where future Aqua ViTea founder Jeff Weaber and his wife, Katrina Martin, were living at the time, and that’s where they discovered booch. Jeff was working at a beer brewery, and Katrina was training in Naturopathy. They were immediately drawn to the drink, and after moving to Vermont a few years later, Jeff decided to start brewing his own. It wasn’t long before he was selling Aqua ViTea out of the back of his pick-up truck at the Middlebury Farmers Market.
Flash forward ten years, and the company now occupies an enormous 62,000-square-foot facility in Middlebury, and has become an East Coast kombucha giant. Despite the scale, the booch still feels down-home. We love the colorful labels, which were illustrated and designed by their own Head Brewer and Art Director, Mike Kin. The flavors, like this Cranberry, are well-rounded, crisp and stand square in the middle of the tart-and-sweet spectrum. The fizz is on point, and most of the produce they use for flavoring are grown locally in Vermont!