The best part about our ALTR Army? It’s comprised of some truly badass, unique individuals. This week, we’re introducing you to Bryan, the man behind our killer kombucha.
Bryan is just the type of guy you’d expect to brew kombucha - he’s a true free spirit, teaches Taoist meditation, enjoys Hot Yoga and always has a smile on his face. He’s the kind of guy that looks like he’s absolutely lived off of the grid at some point and hugs trees in his free time. So kombucha seems to be right up his alley.
But what you might not expect about Bryan is his deep, super badass passion for what he does. He’s passionate as hell about what he makes, and has been working for more than a decade to perfect his product. And we have to say - we drink enough of his kombucha to know it’s the best in the business.
As you can probably tell, we dig Bryan. A lot.
We met Bryan when we were in the search of the right kombucha for the ALTR Bar. While we had a great time taste testing our way through the local kombucha scene, it was a done deal once we tasted Bryan’s kombucha from his company, Deane’s Kombucha.
We’re excited to fully introduce you to the man behind our kombucha, one of our OG ALTR Army badasses.
Bryan grew up our backyard of Bloomington. He spent a few years in Madison going to college, but made his way back to Minnesota afterwards. Since college, he’s held almost every job in the book - restaurant work for over 20 years, sales in the food testing industry, mortgages, office manager for a distribution company. He’s a true life learner and says that each job taught me life skills in running a business, which he’s super grateful for.
But his greatest achievement? Raising his three kiddos. "Deane’s has been a family affair over the years, with my children Zoe, Aaron, and my wife Davianne helping in the kitchen and Forest helping peddle kombucha at the Farmer’s Markets."
In fact, it was Bryan's wife who first introduced him to kombucha. "My wife brought home kombucha back in the early 2000s when we were experimenting with a vegan and even a raw food diet. I fell in love with it right away. I loved the taste, I loved how it made me feel and I loved the idea that it was a living beverage.
I began home brewing kombucha back in 2006. After about a year I got pretty good at it. As I shared it with others they encouraged me to create a brand because they thought it was better than any store bought kombucha they have had. That was an inspiration.”
And that’s how Deane’s Kombucha was born. “At the time I was looking for a name for our business, I was studying numerology. In numerology, your last name is tied to your heritage, your first name is tied to your ego and your middle name is tied to your soul’s purpose,” he says. “I felt spreading love, consciousness and healing is my soul’s purpose, and Deane’s Kombucha began."
Today, more than a decade after Bryan began brewing, he still uses the same authentic methods to brew a traditional and incredible tasting kombucha. "Deane’s is the only brand that I know of that brews in aak barrels, using organic whole fruit and herbs for flavoring. The oak barrels and whole fruit create a flavor that, to me, is second to none.”
Why should people dig kombucha as much as you do? Kombucha is a delicious ‘pick me up’ that is interesting, complex, and makes you feel great! It’s loaded with probiotics, enzymes and acids that work in a holistic way for your overall health. It’s just a great way to reward yourself, and not feel guilty about it.
What are the benefits of kombucha? Kombucha is great for athletes in that it is loaded with acids and enzymes that help rebuild tissues and helps the body recover more quickly post-workout. The antioxidants in kombucha help the body reduce inflammation and disease.
This is the big one - what’s your personal favorite flavor of kombucha that you brew? Boy, that depends on my mood. Ginger Cherry is the one I reach to most, but I also love the Lemon Lime on a hot summer day, Pear Sage on the cool autumn afternoon and Ginger Honey Turmeric in the winter time. But my ultimate favorite is the Concord Grape, which is only available for about three weeks in the mid-fall. The tartness of the kombucha and the candy-like sweetness of the Concord Grapes is divine
What do you love most about ALTR and the ALTR crew? I am so excited to be part of the ALTR experience. There is so much passion, love, and high energy at this place. It rubs off on everyone who steps through the doors. I have the upmost respect for the level of commitment the ALTR staff shows to sharing what they love and helping others be the best they can be.