Kombucha, the deliciously tart, fruity, fermented tea that packs loads of antioxidants and probiotics, can seem daunting to newcomers. Two Wake Forest students have completely changed the game by creating their own small-batch kombucha brewing company, UpDog Kombucha, entirely on campus.
Senior Olivia Wolff and junior Lauren Miller joined forces after brewing their own kombucha in an effort to save money and out of genuine interest in the process. The results were promising and delicious, so at the start of 2016 the two decided to begin bottling and selling to Wake Forest students.
UpDog Kombucha draws its name from the two founders’ love of yoga and dogs. Currently UpDog produces three new and exciting flavors for each batch, drawing inspiration from popular cocktails, other companies, and personal inventions such as chai and earl grey, made from simple syrups. Fan favorites include pomegranate lemon, peach basil, and mango ginger.
Olivia and Lauren have created the “first kombucha microbrewery in the Piedmont Triad area,” that plans to incorporate local produce into their flavors, encouraging environmental sustainability and supporting the local economy. Currently, customers who return their glass bottles each week receive a fifty cent discount on new kombucha bottles.
Although UpDog has already achieved immense success on the confines of campus, the company has plans for expansion. Olivia will be moving back to Winston-Salem this summer after graduation and Lauren will spend her senior year at Wake pursuing UpDog as a full-time business venture.
The two hope to soon have kombucha on tap in kegs so that customers can buy a reusable large growler to refill weekly. Olivia and Lauren hope to first expand more into the Winston-Salem community in yoga studios, farmers’ markets, and other local businesses, and then expand to more cities.
Orders can be placed for each batch through Instagram direct message, Facebook message, or through email (firstname.lastname@example.org), and can be paid for upon pickup with cash or Venmo. Keep an eye out though, they sell out fast.