Bootstrap Kombucha


Based in: San Diego, CA
Founded: 2016
Distribution: San Diego, CA


How tasty—and gorgeous!—do these look? On the right is a big ol’ growler of Pineapple Orange Lime, and on the left is a gorgeous Beet Orange Ginger—both poured fresh from the tap of San Diego-based Bootstrap Kombucha. And we're so excited to have them part of our exciting new Kombucha Experiences that we are offering in our shop!

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These are our kind of brews: crisp, balanced perfectly between tart and sweet, a bit more on the dry side, with beautiful carbonation and nuanced flavors. The beet flavor—or “BOG,” as the brewers like to call it—has a soft beet note that doesn’t overpower the orange and ginger. Each flavor element compliments the others really well, with the ginger lingering at the finish. Pineapple Orange Lime reminded us a bit of a dryer, less sweet Orangina. So yummy.

Love and kombucha are two words that often go together. We see it all the time: Family members and loved ones uniting to create kombucha, and infusing it with that same loving energy they give each other. Partners and Bootstrap founders Susan McMillion and James Farnworth are a perfect example of this kombucha love.

You can find them at their brewery/tap room in the Middletown district, where they brew together and always have four flavors on tap. Susan creates the flavors, and James—who is a former medical device regulatory engineer—handles the business affairs. The two of them began their brewing journey two years ago, in oak barrels at home. To get their storefront up and running, they had to endure a lengthy regulatory and licensing process with San Diego county, which—as Susan pointed out—“didn’t know how to classify kombucha.”  

Indeed, Bootstrap is one of a tiny group of local kombucha brewers in SD. But the scene is growing, and Bootstrap is growing with it. And their name implies just that—perseverance, growth, picking yourself up by your bootstraps and just doing it. “Start at the beginning and be resourceful,” explains Susan. “It’s something that my dad would say. To rely on yourself and find your power and use it.”

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

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