/County-based kombucha biz brewing success 
Lucus Esson with his home-brewed kombucha Luc's Brew now carried by a number of local businesses. /Photo submitted

County-based kombucha biz brewing success 

By Chad Ingram

It was Haliburton County’s lack of kombucha selection that led Lucus Esson
to brewing his own, with those concoctions becoming the now-commercially available Luc’s Brew.
Komhucha is a fermented tea drink often lauded for its health benefits. As Esson told the Times, it was actually stomach issues he’s faced throughout his life that led him to the beverage in the first place.
“Growing up I dealt with stomach issues that left me feeling very uncomfortable,” Esson said in an email to the paper. “Eventually, I learned more about the gut and about the organisms that help it thrive. I started taking probiotic supplement pills, but I was never too fond on taking pills. When I found kombucha I was so happy because it was an all-natural food packed with healthy probiotics! Kombucha has been my main source of probiotics ever since!”
After earning a degree in mathematics from the University of Waterloo, Esson returned home to the Haliburton Highlands last year.
“I still needed my kombucha,” Esson said. “The selection of kombucha in Haliburton County was sad… So, I started brewing my own.”
Right from the start, it seems Esson had a knack for brewing the beverage he enjoys so much.
“I shared it with friends and family and they loved it too,” Esson said.
“So much so that they wanted to take some home. So one gallon went to
two gallons, two gallons went to four gallons, four gallons went to eight, and so on… Eventually they were giving me money to take some home. Realizing that there was an opportunity in the area and everyone was loving my brews, I kept on brewing.”
As Esson explained, the brewing process entails boiling water then steeping organic tea, and dissolving organic cane sugar into the tea. The tea is then cooled to room temperature, before it’s poured into a fermenter, with some starter kombucha. The mixture is then left to ferment in a warm, dark place for 15 to 30 days, and harvested when the taste is favourable. It can then be bottled, or poured into a keg for juice flavouring and carbonating. It can also be fermented again with herbs, fruits and vegetables.
“I love brewing kombucha so much because it is fun. I get to work with amazing organic teas and herbs; learn about them, work with them, enjoy them,” Esson said. “I feel like an artist when I am brewing. Combining ingredients together in my own unique way to create my own unique brew.”
“I’m creating and sharing a product that I truly believe in,” Esson continued. “ It has the potential to help a lot of people by improving the overall health of their gut biomes. Kombucha is full of probiotics and healthy organic acids. Both of which are so beneficial to the microbial community residing in our bodies. A lot of new research is coming out about the connection between our brain and our gut. Some studies are finding that gut health plays a key role in immune function and mood regulation. My own experience tells me how good kombucha must be for us, but science has a lot to say about it too. This makes me feel good because I can be certain what I am creating is good for me and good for others!”
Esson does his brewing at Little Hawk Resort, which is owned by his family, and is now producing about 1,000 bottles of kombucha per month.
As of March, a number of local businesses began carrying Luc’s Brew, including Abbey Gardens, Up River Trading, Castle Antiques, Organic Times Minden, Mixtape Vintage, as well as Muskoka Good Food Co-Op. Esson also sells directly from Little Hawk Resort, where people can order cases of six or 12 bottles, at a discounted price.
You can find Luc’s Brew on Facebook or Instagram @lucsbrew and at its website at https://www.lucsbrew.ca/