Ford Hebard is the Valley’s most exciting new brewer, and he isn’t making beer. In fact, his brews are chock full of health benefits– from providing probiotics to free radical fighting antioxidants– and are flavored with herbs instead of hops.
Hebard’s company, Teatonic Kombucha, brews kombucha (a slightly effervescent fermented tea) flavored with high-quality, locally sourced ingredients such as Wonderful Wyoming Honey. Compared to popular big name kombucha brands, Hebard’s ‘booch is surprisingly low in sugar, due in part to its flavoring from botanicals rather than fruit juice. Flavors like G’Day Mate made with basil and mint and Togwotea made with hibiscus and rosehips stock the shelves at thirteen local retailers such as the Whole Grocer, Basecamp, and Inversion Yoga. Which, considering that Teatonic wasn’t even bottling a year ago, is pretty damn impressive.
Hebard purchased bottling equipment and began bottling in his Driggs-based brewery last winter, which expanded his capabilities beyond simply offering kumbucha on tap and at local farmers’ markets. Still, his on-tap offerings are extremely popular– they are an amazing substitute for alcoholic beverages at local restaurants like Suda and Signal Mountain Lodge.
Hebard is currently working on bottling a brand new flavor: a lemon-y, herbal brew made with lemon verbena, lemongrass, lemon balm and jasmine (look out for it on shelves in September!). Around the holidays, he also plans to unveil a new hard kombucha fermented with honey, fruit and botanicals.
Teatonic has been met with so much local success that it’s taken Hebard a little bit to catch up, but he’s almost feeling ready to expand regionally in the next year. We can’t wait to see what’s next!