Brendan Williams - April 2021
Kombucha is one of the great enigmas of the alcohol-free drinks boom. The trend towards consuming less alcohol, living a healthy life, and seeking out great tastes are all global. Yet, whilst alcohol free beer and spirits are in serious growth, Kombucha is really taking it’s time to carve out a place in our lives. But not for much longer.
If you don’t know much about Kombucha, it’s essentially sweet tea that’s been fermented with a symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast (the SCOBY). Think of it as a fancy cup of tea….that thankfully tastes nothing like tea! In fact, Kombucha can be sour, sweet, acidy, complex and have all the fermented notes that signal it as a proper adult drink. So if you’re sick of soft drinks and bored of the booze, Kombucha is a great way to experience a whole lot of taste any time of day.
Inspired in La La Land, brewed in London
Which brings us to Jarr Kombucha. Jarr was created by four friends based in London’s Hackney Wick who were inspired by the Californian craze for Kombucha a few years ago. And, as the name suggests, it’s brewed to be punchy. Packaged in 240ml brown bottles that elicit feelings of an apothecary, Jarr sends an early signal you’re in for something that means business.
The ginger variant has a big mouthfeel. It’s balance of sweet and sour lulls you into a false sense of security before the ginger literally kicks in toward the back of mouth. This is not for kids! It’s a brilliant taste from a brand you should expect to hear much more from in future because this has been crafted to please!
The passion fruit version initially seems less punchy than ginger but delivers equally on the taste complexity that plays the sourness off against the fruitier sweetness. The team have managed to pack in the full roller coaster of ups and downs in the taste that you expect from a well-crafted kombucha. It leaves you wondering how they have managed to fit all that taste into one small bottle?!
What’s to like about Jarr?
Firstly, they have a partnership with Duvel Moortgart which will no doubt help the team build a strong and effective premium brand marketing operation. Online distribution is growing across all the major alcohol-free sites like Dry Drinker and Amazon and also in health and wellness sites like Planet Organic.
In just a few years Jarr has won several Taste awards – enough to justify its place in store in some of London’s most premium bricks and mortar outlets, including Harrod’s… a big achievement for a new brand, and a surely a sign of great things to come. It has a great taste; availability is growing; it’s backed by a seasoned partner; its passionate founders are still the face of the business and it’s got a credible, simple proposition. In short, in just five years it is already looking like a serious player in premium drinks.
Marketers and drinks industry leaders: take note of Jarr. We’re going to be hearing a lot more from them over the next few years. And they’ll definitely be persuading a lot more of us that kombucha deserves its place in our lives and on the table.