Island Hopper was born to showcase our brewing team's talented craft-brewing backgrounds. We talked story with brewmaster Dave Weikel and brewery director Jon DuPont to find out what makes this flavor special.
Dave, what sparked creating a hoppy kombucha flavor?
D: I thought to use hops in kombucha because hops aren’t just for beer! Being from the beer industry, I always enjoyed the different they impart. I decided to use Citra hops because we have an abundance of Meyer lemons on Maui and I actually started experimenting with lemons from my own backyard in Nāpili. I knew that the two ingredients would complement each other well!
J: Yeah, it definitely tastes great! The lemon makes it really quenching and the hops add great balance to the flavor and aroma. And I think since we are all converts from the beer industry we all have a little soft spot for hopped booch.
Besides most our ingredients, Citra hops are not grown on Maui. Where do you source them from?
J: They are grown in Yakima Valley, Washington. We source them from either Yakima Valley Hops or Yakima Chief Hops. The Meyer Lemons are sourced locally from Local Harvest as Dave's backyard has a limited supply :)
What's the process like?
J: We use T-90 hop pellets, which are processed from whole cone hops to pellets. We essentially preform a dry hop on the chilled kombucha with the hops loosely bagged so we don't get a lot of hop particulates in the booch. After they're added we recirculate for 2 hours and then wait at least 48 more hours before packaging to allow the flavor to really come through.
This ultra-refreshing craft kombucha blends juicy, hand-picked, Maui-grown Meyer lemons with the citrus and tropical fruit notes of Yakima Valley “Citra” hops, resulting in a major craft-sensory pleasure!
Island Hopper is now available year around in our signature can!