We’ve always been interested in natural products, holistic living and finding new ways to wellness. So, in 2015, we decided to try brewing this thing called “kombucha” in our kitchen at home.
We loved the way it tasted, and more importantly, the way it made us feel. We started sharing these homemade batches of kombucha with family and friends. And, after a lot of research, a whole bunch of recipes and tons of positive feedback, Bootleg Bucha was born!
We began brewing and selling our kombucha in a 400-square-foot shared kitchen in the former Horsefeathers Building in Buffalo, NY. As trailblazers in the industry, we were a bit ahead of our time and regulators didn’t know exactly how to handle the kombucha brewing process. We were asked to pasteurize, filter to one micron and even obtain a New York State Farm Winery License. But we stuck to our process—and our commitment to remain raw—and in September of 2016, we agreed on guidelines to produce this beneficial beverage in New York State. As the state’s largest kombucha brewery, we are proud to say we helped make kombucha production and distribution legal in New York.
Today, Bootleg Bucha is at home in the former Sterling Engine manufacturing facility at 1250 Niagara Street in Buffalo, NY. We are proud to be part of the revitalization of Niagara Street as it transforms from industrial and manufacturing to mixed use. Our 11,000-square-foot facility is state of the art, designed specifically for our brewing process, and allows us to continue to expand and create new wellness drinks like You’re Fired Apple Cider Vinegar Tonic.
You can find Bootleg Bucha products at our Niagara Street Taproom, at many local restaurants and at more than 125 retail locations across the northeast (and growing). We hope you’ll stop by sometime and say hello. We’d love to personally welcome you into the #BootlegBuchaFam.
Jeff Empric and Heather Lucas