If you follow our Instagram at all you know that both Molly and I are pretty obsessed with Skinny Piggy Kombucha, a buch product local to The Queen City. We drink it on the regular (like every single day) and can’t promote it enough. Warning: people may ask you if you are drinking beer in public at 2PM on a Monday. Speaking from experience.
Anyway, we were pretty excited to sit down with Skinny Piggy Kombucha owner Katrina a few weeks ago to learn more about this tasty bev. Read on for our Q+A with Katrina.
How did you get into kombucha?
My husband and I actually started with home brewing beer in college. My husband wasn’t old enough to purchase beer yet, but he could purchase all the ingredients for beer so he decided to make his own. He made it and started selling it to his friends. Through this process, he fell in love with fermentation.
In 2013, finishing grad school, we saw kombucha on Sean Johnson’s Olympic Instagram. We decided to try it. It was kind of interesting and different and seemed to hit the spot for when we were craving a beer but didn’t want an actual beer, or when we wanted a soda but wanted something healthier.
We had a kegerator in the living room and slowly we started brewing kombucha and started replacing the beer kegs with kombucha kegs.
What is kombucha?
Kombucha is basically fermented tea with a probiotic culture added to it (SCOBY). It is created when sweetened tea ferments with a Symbiotic Colony of Bacteria and Yeast (or, SCOBY).
What is a SCOBY?
THE SCOBY (also called the Mother) is a symbolic culture of bacteria and yeast (it’s the pancake that floats on top). The yeast eats the sugar that you put into tea and that turns into alcohol. Then the bacteria eat the alcohol and turns it into acids that help us with digestion.
Where do you get your tea?
Our tea supplier out of Lexington, KY. The company only purchases and sells products that are created through fair trade, meaning that all of the workers have their basic trade with all the tea vendors that they work with and they make sure that have their basic needs met.
What are the benefits of drinking kombucha?
Kombucha is huge for our gut brain health. 70% of the immune system is in your gut. Kombucha has a lot of probiotics, healthy gut bacteria associated with all kinds of benefits for our gut and our overall health. It’s obviously especially good for digestive health. And, it’s making a smarter choice over a beer or soda.
How has the kombucha scene changed since you started almost five years ago?
GT Kombucha is still a biggie. It was the first commercial company in the ’90s and has 70% of the market share to date. When we started there were a ton of voices from the east coast and the west coast but no one doing this in the midwest. That’s changed and we’re glad to be a part of that.
How are you different from other kombucha products?
We only do one fermentation. A lot of companies will do a second fermentation, and/or add juice to the product, but that adds more sugar. We treat our process like the beer brewing process. We don't have a ton of sugar in our product.
Where did the name Skinny Piggy come from?
It pays tribute to Cincinnati, it’s an oxymoron, and it makes people chuckle
Where can people find Skinny Piggy?
Skinny Piggy is sold in 7 states now. Locally, you can find it at a lot of places like Rooted Juicery, Deeper Roots, Whole Bowl in Clifton, Deans Mediterranean in Newport, Lydias on Ludlow, Panino, Urban Artifact, Jungle Gyms, and more. We sold 60,000 bottles last year. We’re planning to double production in the next year.
What’s your favorite part of what you do?
Knowing that we make something that goes out into the world and people that we don’t’ even know drink it. It’s in those moments, you realize you’re touching someone’s life.
How many flavors do you have?
We have four constant flavors and we try and do a rotating seasonal every few months.
Where can people learn more about kombucha in Cincinnati?
We hold community classes on kombucha every quarter with UC Communiversity. Our last one was at Churchill Tea shop in Rookwood. You can look up UC Communiversity to find the schedule.