Now Making: Bootleg Bucha

Posted at 1:40 PM, Jan 30, 2018
and last updated 2018-01-30 13:40:59-05

It's brewed and bottled to perfection.

"We started to sample Kombucha in our house with one gallon vessels," said Jeff Empric, one of the founders and owners of Bootleg Bucha.

The business grew to a full warehouse. Jeff, Heather Lucas and Todd Salansky had a goal of bringing Kombucha to Buffalo.

Kombucha is an ancient low-sugar and carb beverage that's good for you. It's  made by fermenting tea.

"It's a way to take a product that's full of organic material and fermenting it down to where it's loaded with beneficial bacteria and probiotics," Jeff said.

It's a drink, that's good for your gut. The process of making Kombucha takes three weeks. The tea is bagged up, brewed and fermented with a bacteria culture called the "scoby" that sits on top--as the living home for the bacteria and yeast.

"Over a three-week fermentation process, those bacteria and yeasts are active and living and eating the sugars and eating the organic material to produce a drink that's good for you," he said.

Bootleg Bucha has taken off in Western New York. The company has expanded its headquarters on Niagara Street to include a new state-of-the-art bottling facility.

The Bootleg Bucha is sold in 135 stores in New York and Northern PA including Tops, Wegmans, and Whole Foods.

"There's a movement in this community to eat and drink healthier as well as enjoy everything Buffalo has to offer," Jeff said.