FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) - A local company is trying to put Fort Wayne on the map for tea. But not just any tea, kombucha.
Crossroads Kombucha is the largest and first kombucha manufacturer in the area. Crossroads has been making their craft beverage in The Summit City for a few years. Given the popularity and success they've seen, they're hoping to expand their distribution to include states throughout the Midwest over the next 6-18 months. They also have aspirations to distribute nationally in the future.
Kombucha has become popular in the Midwest over the past several years. It originally gained traction in California and on the west coast a few decades ago. While most of the attention has been recent, kombucha itself has been around for over one thousand years in parts of Asia.
Kombucha is fermented sweet tea. During that process, sugar is consumed by yeast. Alcohol produced from that reaction is then consumed by probiotics. Fruits are then steeped and infused with the tea to provide a variety of flavors. The entire process takes a little more than 2 weeks from start to finish.
Crossroads Kombucha uses locally-grown fruits and teas in their products, something they say sets them apart from their competition.
Flagship flavors include strawberry basil, raspberry rosehips, pineapple coconut, and blackberry mint. They also make seasonal kombucha flavors, depending on fruit availability, including lavendar grape, apple spice, and apricot ginger.
Crossroads Kombucha is also in the process of applying for an alcohol license so they can produce a kombucha beer in the future. They are also considering bottling their base tea (prior to the fermentation process) since there are few local tea producers in the area.
You can find Crossroads Kombucha in select co-ops, health food stores, and local coffee shops. Most flavors retail for $4 per bottle. Their distribution extends beyond Fort Wayne to places like Wabash, Ossian, and soon, Angola. Click here to see a map and list of locations.