Rooted in the Ozarks, Spring Branch Kombucha launched in 2018, supplying kegs of kombucha to local retailers and offering kombucha on draft at the Farmers Market of the Ozarks in Springfield, Missouri. During the COVID-19 pandemic, the company began canning its four core flavors – elderberry-ginger, lavender, lemon-hops and strawberry-rose – and launched an online store with a home delivery option.
Today, Spring Branch Kombucha continues to expand its reach, and owner Chris Ollis says he’s once again experimenting with new flavors such as elderflower, peach and watermelon. This fall, fans can also get the seasonal apple pie kombucha. Here, Ollis talks about some of the books that he references in his personal and professional life.
The Big Book of Kombucha by Hannah Crum and Alex LaGory (2016)
“This is a step-by-step handbook on how to make kombucha, with great tips for troubleshooting the process. It also has a huge recipe section with measurements for small-batch production on your countertop at home. It’s one of the better how-to books out there, and I found it super helpful.”
Cool Beans by Joe Yonan (2020)
“This was my pandemic find. The book is about all the different ways to prepare beans – not just in soups and stews, but in entrées, burgers, dips and more. It also has a pressure-cooking timetable for 20 types of beans, which is great for quick weeknight dinners. One of my favorite recipes is the kidney bean and mushroom bourguignon because it’s plant-based but really hearty.”
Ottolenghi Flavor by Ixta Belfrage, Yotam Ottolenghi and Tara Wigley (2020)
“Yotam Ottolenghi is an Israeli-born British chef, and his cookbook explains how to bring flavor out of plant-based recipes, including different techniques and processes for matching vegetables with other ingredients to create bold flavors. While the recipes can sound daunting, the methods have elevated my craft and changed the way I think about cooking.”