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Living cultures & fresh juice make my homebrewed water kefir soda bubbly & delicious. Read more

Boulder, CO Food
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This project was successfully funded on September 27, 2013.

Living cultures & fresh juice make my homebrewed water kefir soda bubbly & delicious.

Boulder, CO Food
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About this project

Hello! Help me go pro with my homebrewed fermented soda

my at-home operation
my at-home operation

Right now I make delicious probiotic soda at home. I have a bustling amateur operation and many fans among friends, neighbors, work colleagues and yoga people. 

 I'm asking for kickstarter help to transform into a real business--to meet the minimum requirements for a commercial operation (soda kegs, measurement instruments, shared production space, cold storage, and small fridges for farmers' market operations). The $3000 I'm asking for would truly be a kickstart--it would get me up and running locally. Anything we make over that will help us expand all the faster.

Live Water Kefir Cultures (aka "grains")
Live Water Kefir Cultures (aka "grains")
cultures fermenting
cultures fermenting
strained liquid with fruit juice added--ready for bottling
strained liquid with fruit juice added--ready for bottling

Fermented drinks are awesome and right for today's world

Traveling, hanging out with foreigners, and studying anthropology, you get exposed to lots of different concoctions and elixirs.  In the last few years I have become obsessed with fermented drinks! There are so many amazing ones that come from all over the world that people drink for the health benefits and for the taste. Kvass, from Russia and Eastern Europe, tepache from Mexico, dairy kefir and yogurt, which originated in Greece and the Middle East, and lots of others.  

Kvass street vendors are a common sight in Poland and other parts of Eastern Europe
Kvass street vendors are a common sight in Poland and other parts of Eastern Europe
and Tepache is beloved in Mexico
and Tepache is beloved in Mexico

And, of course, there's Kombucha.

a year ago there were just a couple of kombuchas on the shelf at Whole Foods, but now look!
a year ago there were just a couple of kombuchas on the shelf at Whole Foods, but now look!

In the US, we've been learning that a lot of the food and drink habits we grew up with are actually doing us harm. People are taking a lot more interest in how they eat, including understanding the need for healthy bacteria in the stomach and eating more raw and fermented foods. Living Soda is raw, probiotic, gluten free, and fairly low cal (about 80 per pint). 

Good as all that is,  it's still kind of sad to say goodbye to the happy-go-lucky vibe of old school soda.  

Everything to do with food has gotten so earnest and serious. I didn't want to be healthy in a boring way. Feeling great should make you more fun, not a party pooper. So, I partnered with my friend, San Francisco artist Jim Winters (jimwinters.com), who designed the Living Soda logo with the fun, retro spirit of American soft drinks --reinvented for a world where people care what they eat.

Jim and me
Jim and me

Water Kefir today, more fermented drinks coming soon

Of all the fermented concoctions out there, I'm starting with water kefir because it's such a crowd pleaser.  Even people that don't like kombucha are enthusiastic fans of water kefir.  

okay, not everybody . . . but give her a couple years
okay, not everybody . . . but give her a couple years

Mostly, people are happy and surprised that something so healthy tastes so good. 

Here's a great source for facts about water kefir: http://www.yemoos.com/mainwaterkefir.html

I'm really excited to get this project up and running. The mission of Living Soda is to put the good fairy probiotics into everyone's stomach by way of the most delicious soft drinks ever. 

As the great Dorothy Parker once said, "you might as well live."  

Cheers everyone!

Black Cherry Living Soda
Black Cherry Living Soda

Risks and challenges

The biggest challenge of making fermented drinks is consistency. Even when you stick to the same recipe and try to ensure the same conditions of production each time, there can be variables because you're working with living cultures that don't always behave in the same way. Especially when outside temperatures and humidity levels vary. The worst that happens is that a particular batch has a bad taste or a bottle explodes, but those are the risks I am seeking to mitigate by getting the right measuring instruments and using a professional kitchen instead of my home one.

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Rewards

  • You selected
    Pledge $5 or more

    8 backers

    Pair of eco coasters with Living Soda logo and --if you're local--a free pint draught soda when I set up at a Boulder-area farmers market.

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $5 or more

    3 backers

    Limited edition Living Soda stickers plus a free pint if you're local.

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $25 or more

    3 backers

    LImited edition trucker hat with Living Soda logo. Plus free pint if you're local.

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $30 or more

    9 backers

    Limited edition Living Soda T-Shirt, 100% cotton, made in USA (specify men's or women's, S, M and L). Plus stickers and a pint if you're local.

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $35 or more

    9 backers

    Limited edition Living Soda baseball shirt, made in US, 100% cotton, (specify Men's or Women's and S, M or L), plus a sticker and a free pint if you're local.

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $45 or more

    9 backers

    Compete at-home water kefir making kit: includes starter culture, Living Soda beaker, swing top bottle and full instructions. Just add organic sugar crystals, fresh ginger and fruit juice.

    Estimated delivery:
    Only ships to: United States
  • You selected
    Pledge $100 or more

    4 backers

    Limited edition stickers, hat and T-shirt, plus a VIP invitation to a launch party featuring local gourmet food and drink, live music, and hopefully some super famous celebrities of some kind.

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $100 or more

    4 backers

    Special collector's print of Living Soda logo signed by artist Jim Winters.

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $500 or more

    0 backers

    Limited edition stickers, hat, T-shirt, launch party invite, plus a catered Living Soda party (1 hour radius from Boulder only) we'll bring custom made kegs of Living Soda to your event and serve it up. You pick the flavor.

    Estimated delivery:
    Only ships to: United States

Funding period

- (45 days)