Bucha Blog


Starting an Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV) regimen. What’s in it for you?

It’s that time of year again—the weather gets cold, we’re coming into contact with tons of people, and everyone’s searching for the best ways to keep feeling their best. Health and wellness have always been our thing (even before we started the Bootleg Bucha company), so the benefits of an ACV regimen have always been on our radar.

The practice of drinking apple cider vinegar has been around for generations. It’s one of those ancient remedies that never seems to go out of style—and for good reason. Fans of homeopathic and holistic healing have long believed that ACV regimens can help improve digestion, support immune health, aid in weight loss and so much more. Unpasteurized or raw apple cider vinegar will always contain “The Mother,” a colony of beneficial bacteria. In addition to being the stuff that turns the apple cider into vinegar, it supplies the probiotics. So “The Mother” is a must-have in the apple cider vinegar you choose.

Of course, our You’re Fired Apple Cider Vinegar Tonic is made with organic apple cider vinegar with “The Mother,” and we’ve also infused our product with lots of other ingredients that have immune-boosting and general wellness properties including turmeric, ginger, honey, horseradish, jalapeño, oranges, onions, and garlic. (We figured we’d load up on all of the best stuff in just one product!)

Interested in giving an ACV regimen a try? We recommend starting out by taking one tablespoon of You’re Fired ACV tonic a day. You can do a shot of it, add it to water, or even use it as a salad dressing. It’s a great way to begin your ACV regimen—and get your winter season off to a good start!

P.S. We’re doing a free shipping deal just in time for the holidays. You can check it out here.


Keeping it Raw, Why We Don’t Pasteurize Our Kombucha

The definition of kombucha is as follows:

kom·bu·cha– Kombucha is a traditionally fermented beverage that is most commonly consumed raw, meaning unpasteurized, to protect the probiotics and nutrients in a living form from being damaged.

While the process of making kombucha dates back well over 2,000+ years, it’s recent popularity has created many producers of different levels of authenticity. We’ve always been open and transparent of our process as you can see in our media coverage & social media. True kombucha is made with a simple essential process:

  1. Brew tea (we prefer organic however many teas can be used and that is one major reason for different flavor profiles).
  2. Add sugar to feed fermentation (we use organic, raw, fair trade sugar for example).
  3. Once the tea is below 95 degrees, add starter tea + SCOBY (Symbiotic Colony of Bacteria & Yeast).
  4. Ferment in an open container with fabric to allow airflow.
  5. Transfer to sealed vessel & add herbs & fruits.
  6. Chill between 33 – 40 degrees until consumed.

This process takes approximately one to three weeks (varies due to many factors) from start to finish. It is critical for the presence of probiotics (good bacteria), antioxidants, vitamins and amino acids. The end result is a raw, (ours happens to also be low sugar), probiotic, carbonated healthy beverage.

Why is this important?

This process results in raw kombucha, and therefore biologically active. The fermentation process continues as long as bacteria and yeast have sugars to feed on.  Yeast are temperature sensitive, and cold temperatures keep them less active.

We pride ourselves in sticking to the original orgins and maintaining a healthy, raw, product as we grow. Keeping kombucha cold, It is an important means to ensure the quality remains consistent and compliant. If you see kombucha in a non refrigerated environment, that is a strong indicator that it is not raw and true to the definition of kombucha. Kombucha that is not raw does not follow the natural process and therefore has been altered to mimic the taste and health benefits of kombucha. It’s important to note that the process is not the same, the cost is not the same, the benefits are not the same and most importantly the profits are not the same. Raw kombucha requires time, equipment, expertise and is an artisanal craft beverage. It’s much easier (and cheaper) make something taste like kombucha with probiotics added at the end than to slowly ferment and monitor a traditional raw batch of bucha, let alone the distribution costs to keep the product cold from second fermentation to end user.

All kombucha is not equal.

We wish it was as easy as reading the label, but unfortunately it is not. A few signs to look for are on the ingredients. Label regulations require ingredients to be listed in descending order with the first being most predominate and the last being the smallest component.

  • If you see “100% Raw Live Kombucha” as the first ingredient- you are in luck! It’s hard to argue with that.
  • If you see “Live Probiotic Drink” then it’s not “Raw Kombucha”.
  • If you see a “Live Probiotic Culture” as the last ingredient, this indicates they are added after production. Using the word “live” is under scrutiny in this use as well. Unless it is raw & live during the whole process. While we pride ourselves on using the old world process and sourcing the best ingredients available, each brewer has their own environment that they work out of.
  • Look for the Bootleg Bucha label, you’ll know you are always getting live, raw kombucha.

Thanks for keeping it real, we’re doing our best to keep kombucha the same. Find 100% Raw, Live, Kombucha near you.

PS. Order online and we ship across USA.


Gift Giving Guide- Bootleg Style

Gift giving with these special items from Bootleg Bucha. Order online or at 1250 Niagara Street. Please note that our retail store will be closed on 12/24 & 12/25 so we can spend time with our family.

  1. Kombucha Share ($89+tax)
    This is the best way to drink healthy cost effectively and often. Prepay for 14 kombucha fills and save over $22 off our retail price. Fill daily, weekly or whenever you want as many as you want.
  2. Gift Cards (any denomination)
    Order a gift card in any denomination, we’ll even calculate a specific purchase for you in advance (12 Pack Jack is $36.43 after tax). E-Gift cards can be purchased here. Gift giving made easy.
  3. You’re Fired Cider ($10.50+tax)
    You’re Fired Cider is our natural remedy, mostly known for its ability to prevent and short-cut cold and flu symptoms. This immune boosting remedy can also stimulate digestion. Our 8 ounce bottles make for a great stocking stuffer and can be left at room temperature until opened.
  4. 12 Pack Jack ($33.00+tax)
    Mix and match your favorite flavors of our 12 ounce bottles to make your very own 12 Pack Jack. Give as a gift or simply bring to the party to share with friends and family. It great for digesting fruit cake, chip dip, ginger bread men and more. Only available at 1250 Niagara or by gift certificate.
  5. Alpine Made Goat Milk Soap ($8.50+tax)
    When Alpine Made & Bootleg Bucha collaborate, you’ll get the same great soap in your favorite kombucha flavor. They use the same great teas and ingredients in the soap to create the most luxurious soap. Try hibiscus lime, blueberry lavender or ginger.
  6. New Era Bootleg Baseball Cap ($15+tax)
    These are the same hats the pro’s wear. Support your favorite kombucha. Our staff wears these hats, now you can too.
  7. Bootleg Bucha T-Shirt ($18+tax)
    We’ve got kids, youth, adult and ladies t’s in stock. Limited sizes in stock.

Interested in kombucha cocktails, try these recipes with your family & friends. Be safe, have fun and a happy holiday from all of us at Bootleg Bucha!



An Interview With Tom Brady

This is our first attempt at doing live interviews with people that we feel can spread the good word about living a healthy lifestyle. I think you may recognize our first interviewee, Tom Brady.

Todd: Thanks for taking the time out of your busy day to talk about yourself and healthy lifestyles.
Tom: Of course, I’m happy to be here, I love the city of Buffalo, the fluctuations of weather and such.

Todd: You are known for being very healthy, can you tell me about how you started to focus on healthy eating & drinking?
Tom: I’ve always been very active, I enjoy doing many physical things and I’d like to make sure my body and mind are working together. To the point that I’ve made it my career as a certified personal trainer.

Todd: And what do you consume on a daily basis?
Tom: I like a variety, I typically eat nutrition dense, medium protein foods. I try to stay away from artificial food products and stick to eating real food. I take a hands on approach as I prepare much of what I consume, including kombucha, which is part of the reason I applied to work here.

Todd: Other than the obvious, how to do keep so fit? Weightlifting? Treadmill? Yoga?
Tom: So, what I do is called movnat, which is a teaching system for natural movement skills. In laymen terms, teaching basic skills of locomotion, movement through complex environments, and manipulations of objects, ie lifting, throwing, catching, running. Sometimes my workout will have weightlifting, a traditional barbell or dumbell- or it could be a non traditional object like a sandbag or a few kegs of Bootleg Bucha.

Todd: You’ve got a job that many people dream about, can you tell me more about what keeps you focused?
Tom: Just that we are making a product here that gives people a healthy alternative, much better than a soda, and that reaches many people from a diverse background. Thousands of bottles are consumed daily and I think that is real cool, I’m proud to be a part of that.

Todd: People keep asking, do you have a prediction for the game on Sunday?
Tom: Honestly no, the way the Bills have been playing, we don’t know if the Bills will pull something out and have an upset or the crowd will go home early. It’s hard to tell.

Todd: Tell us about Bootleg Bucha, you’ve been with us since September.
Tom: Because of my interest in making kombucha and homebrewing, I thought it’d be interesting to learn the ins and outs of production for the mass population. I’m really happy with my choice, it’s a small tight knit group of coworkers who all work hard to get the job done, but we still get to have a good time and have fun. I get to try all of the new flavors first and having access is a nice perk.

Tom Brady Kombucha

Tom enjoys tasting each batch of kombucha before second fermentation.


Movnat is a teaching system for natural movement skills, such as carrying kegs of kombucha.

Last but not least, GO BILLS!


Expanded Capacity, New Hours, Brewing Class & Lower Prices!!!

Our expansion is almost complete and…

  1. We are expanding our capacity
    We thought our initial footprint at 1250 Niagara Street would hold us over for 3-5 years. In fact, we completed construction on August 26, 2016 and by April 2017 we were already looking to expand. We expect to complete our expansion in the next 30 days and our capacity will dramatically increase. This means more Bootleg Bucha for all!
  2. We are adjusting our tasting room hours
    Due to our new facility layout, our crew will not be able to work in production AND keep an eye on our retail counter. With that said, we are shrinking our hours slightly. Our updated hours are:
    Mon & Tues 9-6 (from 9-7)
    Weds – Friday 9-7 (same)
    Saturday 10-4 (from 9-5)
    Sun 11-3 (same)
    This will give us the opportunity to still staff our busiest hours and focus on what we do best. As you know, we are constantly tweaking our hours and pay close attention to our customers bucha patterns.
  3. Our next kombucha brewing class will be on November 6.
    Each class sells out quickly. Learn to brew with this 90 minute class led by Jeff Empric, our head brewer. Cost is $30 +tax and each attendee will take home everything they need to start their first batch of kombucha. Click to register.
  4. You’ll save $$ on kombucha!!!
    You’ve seen our prices drop in many of our retail locations and now they are dropping at 1250 Niagara. With our expansion and increased buying power, it’s now the time to make Bootleg Bucha more accessible. Our new pricing will take effect on October 16th – it’s our way of saying thank you. Your support & loyalty has helped us launch Bootleg Bucha, now it’s time to return the favor. Do you want to know our new prices? You’ll have to stop in and see…
  5. You’re Fired Cider coming soon.
    Our latest batch is almost ready to cure what ails you. We chopped, diced, ground and juiced well over 700lbs of fresh produce to provide the best batch of You’re Fired Cider. We start with apple cider vinegar and we add fresh ginger root, turmeric root, garlic, jalapeno, orange and onion. Let that marinate for six weeks, finish with fresh, local, honey for a smooth finish and bam! The result in an immune boosting cold & flu remedy that will get you back on your feet in no time.

Bootleg Supports Hurricane Relief

UPDATE!!! Together, we raised $1982.29 to support the people of Houston from sales on 9/2 & 9/3!


100% of sales from our retail location at 1250 Niagara Street on Saturday, September 2 & Sunday, September 3, 2017 will be donated to help the people of Houston recover from Hurricane Harvey. Our hours are 9am – 5pm on Saturday & 11am – 3pm on Sunday.

In addition, our upstairs neighbor, Love In Motion Yoga is having a donation based vinyasa yoga class on Sunday morning to raise funds as well. You can sign up here.

 Heather, Jeff & Todd


On Tap at Erie County Fair

Get Bootleg Bucha on tap at Erie County Fair from Prima Oliva

Get Bootleg Bucha on tap at Erie County Fair from Prima Oliva

We’re happy to announce that you can get fresh, local, kombucha at Prima Oliva’s stand at the Erie County Fair. We’ve got four flavors on tap located in the Erie County Fair Cooks, Kitchen & Shoppe area. Prima Oliva brought our kegerator to the fair to help build awareness for their new cafe, Prima Cafe, opening soon in the Village of Hamburg.

Their stand is located inside the Kitchen & Shoppe area. The white building has a General Store, Security Office & Lost Children Area and is located between Kiddieland, Lower Grandstand and BW’s BBQ. In addition to kombucha, their stand also has fresh kale, oils, vinegars and more. Stop in and grab a healthy meal while at the fair.

Shop local, shop healthy.

Home of Prima Oliva @ Erie County Fair



Kombucha Cocktails Are Here!

West side mule, our version of a Moscow Mule.

West side mule, our version of a Moscow Mule.

Looking for new cocktail ideas, try a kombucha cocktail and you’ll find yourself doing a real ‘cheers to health’. Kombucha adds a unique twist to familiar favorites without all of the post beverage side effects. You can make these at home or request them at a local watering hole. Some of our favorites are below:

  1. Pina Colada- This is our newest flavor release that is cocktail ready. Just add ice and the rum of your choice and you are immediately transported to a beach.
  2. West Side Mule- It’s our take on the moscow mule and is best served in a copper cup. Ice, muddled lime, Bootleg Bucha Ginger kombucha and vodka. And no, they don’t drink Moscow mules in Moscow or any part of Russia.
  3. Ginberry- Ice, Bootleg Bucha blueberry lavender kombucha, splash of lemon and gin.
  4. Shandy/Blend- Mix 50% of your favorite Bootleg Bucha kombucha flavor and 50% beer. It’s a refreshing summer favorite!
  5. Hibiscus Lime Margarita- Salt rim of glass, add a quarter scoop of ice, six ounces of Bootleg Bucha Hibiscus Lime, two shots of tequila, slice of lime and stir.
  6. Pomegranate Mimosa- Bootleg Bucha Pomegranate kombucha & champagne.
  7. Bucha Spritzer- 2 parts pinot grigio, 1 part Bootleg Bucha (experiment with flavors), add a squeeze of lemon & few ice cubes.

This is just a few of our favorite kombucha cocktails, experiment with your own recipes and let us know.


Downward Goat Round 2. Goat Yoga Down On The Alpine Made Farm


Goat Yoga

Goats, Yoga & Bucha

Who is ready to zen out with some goats?!

No, seriously… Baamaste!

The dream team–Love in Motion, Bootleg Bucha and Alpine Made–are bringing yoga with goats to Western New York this summer. We’re taking our mats outside for once-a-month classes surrounded by the cutest, cuddliest, snuggliest baby goats (aka kids).
Come tour the farm, stock up on soaps, drink some the bucha and OM out with the kids (baby goats, duh – but your kids can come too).

Sunday, July 23
12:00 -1:00 pm (almost full)
3:00 -4:00 pm 

Class runs an hour but show up early to reserve a spot and explore. There will be time to shop and play after class as well! Pre-registration is required as space is limited.
$20.00 per person, per class!

Registration is open for class on 7/23 at loveinmotion.yoga/events

Address: 5445 East Creek Rd South Wales, NY 14139

*** PLEASE try and carpool to these events — save some parking space and be a lil more mama nature friendly***

We will schedule rain dates closer to the date of the class in the case that we are rained out. If you cannot attend the rain dates, we can refund you. Otherwise, do the high volume and interests of this class and the limited space, registration is non-refundable. Class dates/time are non-exchangable and non-transferrable.

Guest post written by Kath, proprietor of Love In Motion Yoga and kombucha addict.


Clam Jam w/ Resurgence Brewing 6/10/17

Clams. Bucha. Beer.

Kick off the summer season with a Clam Jam blowout bash on Saturday, June 10. The party will feature our collaboration kombucha cocktail, “Cuke Duke”, kombucha slushies, live music, clams in the Resurgence biergarten, food trucks, commemorative glassware and more.

We’re roping off the parking lot, pitching tents and serving up summer in a glass.

  • Clams. Bucha. Beer.
  • Hosted by Bootleg Bucha & Resurgence Brewing
    1250 Niagara Street, Buffalo, NY  14213
    11am – 10pm
    OG Wood Fired Pizza 12-2pm
    Raw & Steamed Clams start at 1pm
    Frank’s Gourmet Dogs 4-8pm
  • Featuring:
    Cuke Duke, Kombucha Cocktails, Lime Berliner Weisse release, Food Trucks, Kombucha Slushies, Music by Chris Maloney, Clams, Clams and more Clams.
  • No cost to attend, food & beverage will be available for purchase. A commemorative glass will be available for purchase for $8 (filled) and you’ll save $0.50 for each additional drink.

Cuke Duke Signature Cocktail
It’s one part Resurgence Brewing Company Cucumber Saison, one part Bootleg Bucha Hibiscus Lime. Cold, crisp, refreshing and only available on June 10. Follow our event on facebook for more details.


Clam Jam with Bootleg Bucha & Resurgence Brewing

Clam Jam with Bootleg Bucha & Resurgence Brewing