Kombucha: ‘One day I tasted one batch and I knew straight away this was the one’
Holo was set up by twin brothers Pádraig and Adrian Hyde who started off brewing beer
We have been glugging kombucha, kefir, vinegar and pickle brines for their health properties for years now. Some of the commercial examples are very sweet, but drier version can make for fascinating non-alcoholic drinks.
Holo was set up by twin brothers Padraig and Adrian Hyde. They started off brewing beer in 2013, but the organic kombucha has taken over. “In the course of fermenting beer, we were fermenting all sorts of other things, from potatoes to beetroots,” Adrian says. “I came across kombucha one day and found it really interesting. Nothing worked for the first year. We learned through trial and error, using 20-litre batches. I nearly threw it out the door, but Padraig told me to keep going. Then one day I tasted one batch and I knew straight away this was the one – and since then it has taken on life of its own.”
Health shops are their main market, and they are also part of the SuperValu Food Academy. They make two kombuchas – original, and mango and pineapple. “We don’t filter or fine – it is just as you would make it at home. This isn’t a mass- produced product; it is living, so it will always taste slightly different – particularly if you leave it at room temperature. Eventually it ends up as vinegar.” The long, slow maturation means the drinks aren’t too sweet.
If you fancy making your own kombucha, you will even find a small scoby (symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast, the living thing that transforms sweet green tea into kombucha) in each bottle; just don’t drink it. Holo share a handy recipe for kombucha on their website.