New Mexico Small Business Assistance: Solving small business challenges through laboratory expertise SUBMIT request for assistance NMSBA Los Alamos National Laboratory Sandias National Laboratory

Client Highlights

Honeymoon Brewery
"Thanks to NMSBA, we have developed the first kombucha beer with the assistance of a top-level U.S. research facility."

Santa Fe’s HoneyMoon Brewery has recently developed a novel alcoholic hybrid that not only tastes amazing but is also low in calories, rich in probiotics, and retains essential vitamins and other nutrients. The method adopted by Founders Ayla Bystrom-Williams and James Hill is an age-old tradition in tea brewing known as the kombucha process. Kombucha is a symbiotic colony of bacteria and yeast (SCOBY) that converts sugar and tea extract into a unique blend of organic acids and polyphenols.

To successfully brew what some call “healthy beer,” HoneyMoon Brewery sought technical assistance from NMSBA, whose project managers connected the startup with David Fox of Los Alamos National Laboratory. Using a zymurgybased philosophy, Fox helped Bystrom-Williams and Hill gain a deeper chemical understanding of how both the yeast and bacteria contribute to the flavor profile while brewing alcoholic kombucha. Bystrom-Williams believes that nothing short of strict scientific scrutiny will enable her company to deliver the health promises related to the product.

As a result of the work performed in collaboration with Fox, HoneyMoon Brewery is rolling out its “Gypsy Brewing Plan,” complete with the first kombucha-brewed product. The company has also received a preorder from the regional manager of Whole Foods Market. For Bystrom-Williams, the cost savings of this R&D work is incalculable. R&D is the backbone of her company and she believes the high-quality R&D performed by Los Alamos has been invaluable to her growing company.