Humm Zinger is Born…

Posted on: May 21st 2018

Trust us, you will want to grab this kombucha radler before it runs out. It’s available in Oregon and Washington so *road trip* ahead! Here’s the story of how this fabulous beverage came to be.

Let’s start from the very beginning, a very good place to start:
The inception of Humm Zinger…a collaboration between Deschutes Brewery and Humm Kombucha, began over three years ago when our CEO, Michael LaLonde, was making his own Kombucha and comparing SCOBY stats with fellow kombucha homebrewers. Michael casually mentioned a “what if” thought to Ryan Schmiege, Deschutes Brewery Assistant Brewmaster, and they crashed a meeting between Humm Kombucha Founder and CEO, Jamie Danek and Deschutes Brewery founder, Gary Fish. We think Michael and Ryan should star in their own movie “Meeting Crashers,” but that’s another blog post.

Willy Wonka Would Be Proud:
The project was fully experimental and took creativity and (in the end) genius. Schmiege and Mackenzie Stabler, Director of Innovation at Humm, kicked off the project by generating wild recipes. Stabler recalled her shock and excitement to have a seat at the table with the Deschutes team. At the time, Humm was much smaller, brewing only a few hundred barrels per week. Deschutes’ Schmiege was equally as overwhelmed, immersing himself in the ways of kombucha.

Schmiege and Stabler laugh about their trials and all the different concoctions they came up with coining the inside joke “heart science” about the most tedious of brews (a drop of this, a drop of that – channeling Willy Wonka).

Humm Zinger is born…
Three years and a whopping 130 trials later, Humm Zinger was born. It was almost on a whim that this specialty brew was formed, using Pilsner malt that we use in many of our beers combined with a kettle sour from the pub combined with a specialty Humm brew that pairs tangy grapefruit with the iconic Cascade hops. Three brewhouses were utilized during this process, as well as many dedicated team members from both Deschutes and Humm.

Through all these trials, Humm and Deschutes have become greater friends. We share knowledge about equipment and similarities in our processes. This project was a true collaboration and we are excited to hear what you think about Humm Zinger.