Curly Wolf Kombucha


Based in: Tucson, AZ
Founded: 2015
Distribution: Tucson, AZ


“I started brewing out of necessity,” recalls Timothy Johnson, Curly Woolf’s founder. “The whole Lindsay Lohan DUI fiasco and the recall left me without a supply.” It’s funny to think that Hollywood celebrity hijinx played a role in the story of kombucha. Tim, who is originally from Tucson, took his home-brews with him when he moved for a few years to LA, where he perfected his kombucha. “I began thinking of the idea of going commercial when I was working at a Whole Foods and a neighborhood Juice Bar,” shares Timothy. “The amount of kombucha I saw go out the door was insane!”

All photos property of Kombucha Hunter. Please request permission for use.

All photos property of Kombucha Hunter. Please request permission for use.

Despite inauspicious beginnings (his first batch was “terrible,” says Timothy),  he continued to brew. A year into his L.A. life, he became confident enough with his kombucha to hand some out at the juice shop, and got excellent feedback. “My goal was to make something that packed a punch in flavor and fizziness but wasn't too over the top,” he recalls. When he returned to Tucson at the start of 2015, he was ready to go commercial.“I felt extremely comfortable opening up shop in Tucson,” Timothy says, “my home and family are here, I know the community.” This is something we consistently encounter with kombucha brewers: It’s always a good idea to launch your operation in the place you feel most connected to.

Indeed, Plain Jane tastes like a desert brew to us: Full-bodied, with a nice depth and tartness, subtle apple notes and smokyness. It’s fermented in oak barrels and blends green and black teas. We love the clean, graphic look of the label, too, and the name, which the founders discovered on a blog while brainstorming. Curly Wolf is old American frontier-era slang for “a tough, objectionable character.”