(Clemens): Kombucha is a fermented tea, we produce it by using black tea, cane sugar, and water. Then we add a bacterial culture called ‘mother’ (a mixture between bacteria and yeast) and leave it to ferment for 10 days. I would call kombucha an energy and health drink, since the caffeine from the tea pumps you up whilst the bacteria helps your digestive system. It acts as a detox, something a few people here in Berlin need I think.
(Clemens): Lots of blogs and history books talk about the health benefits of kombucha, which is only partly scientifically proven. The best way to find is to drink it yourself. I personally can feel the positive effect it has on my body and the response I get from others reiterates that too. You feel energised and refreshed after drinking it, I’d say it’s probably more refreshing than anything else I’ve had. So refreshing that a friend of mine drinks around 3 bottles a day!
(Clemens): At the start betahaus in fact played an initial roll, I was making kombucha at home and didn’t know anyone else making it in Berlin. A friend of mine was at the Christmas market and called, informing me that there was a girl there demonstrating kombucha, within 5 minutes I was there. That was when Alexis and I met, since then we’ve become both very good friends and business partners.
We were then introduced to the owners of Cordobar, a one of the best wine bars and restaurants not only in Berlin, but Germany itself. The guys there love to experiment with food and invited us for a tasting session. They immediately loved our kombucha so we decided to make a go of it, that was only a year ago.
“A friend of mine was at the Christmas market and called, informing me that there was a girl there demonstrating kombucha, within 5 minutes I was there”
(Clemens): We’ve recently started making lemonade using Mother Kombucha as a base. You just add lime, mint leaves, elderflower syrup and of-course ice cubes. We’ve became addicted to this mix because it’s so simple to make and so refreshing in this hot weather!
(Alexis): The first three places we were in were Cordobar, Parker Bowles and Industry Standard! All highly recommendable, young, and vibrant places here in Berlin. Actually, Parker Bowles’ bar manager, Fabian, has created some beautiful cocktails using our kombucha. One named Jerry Steiner, and my favourite; Queen mother breakfast lemonade, which is a gin based cocktail, infused with Earl Grey, lemon, maple syrup and obviously Mother Raw Kombucha..
We also have some new exciting partnerships. Firstly, the craft beer shop LagerLager and also Home Cafe in Neukölln. Go check them out, they’re all doing some truly amazing things.
(Clemens): The plan for this summer is to explore how refreshing kombucha can be, we’ll not only be experimenting with different flavours and cocktails but also events too. Mother Kombucha is all about refreshment and that’s where we want to push the boundaries.
(Alexis): It’s really about making people understand what kombucha is too, that’s currently more important than trying to expand. It’s also difficult for us to grow as the expiry date for any bottle is 4 weeks. It’s because the drink is still technically ‘living’, so if you keep it for longer than 4 weeks, the bacteria will grow too big and the fizz will puts too much pressure on the bottle. Therefore our production cycle is very short and takes a lot of work, there is only three of us after all.
“The plan for this summer is to explore how refreshing kombucha can be, we’ll not only be experimenting with different flavours and cocktails but also events too”
(Clemens): Our team currently consists of 3 core members and a lot of very dedicated friends helping out whenever possible. The roles and responsibilities are very liquid amongst our team, we all focus on our strengths, overall it’s the big decisions we make as a group. At the end of the day the goal is to create a great drink and deliver it to the people. That’s our common goal and that’s what we’re all working towards.
If you’d like to try Mother Kombucha, you can buy a bottle in the café for 3€! Clemens, Alexis and Timo are also working on producing a six pack for those of you who want to enjoy the drink at home!
Join betahaus and become a member! Make here your first step!
In the summer, we launched a couple of new events in Neukölln like Freelancers, Unite!, The Backyard Sessions and My friend’s BBQ.
Freelancers, Unite! developed as our productive coworking session with freelancers from in and outside the ‘haus. Once a month, we picked an important freelance topic (such as taxes, time-management, etc) and invited experts to give us insights on the topic. We saw so many new faces and had the chance to come back closer to where we started from - the freelance, grassroots culture.
Another event, which started in July (and turned out to be our favourite events) were The Backyard Sessions. Organised by our queen of Neukölln - Robbin – the Backyard Sessions are our creative evenings with live music jams, movie screenings and cocktails.
This last event was hilarious because for quite some time, nobody knew exactly who organised it or invited them. The friend was throwing a BBQ for the community in the garden and this led to all our members joining and staying after for a beer or two with us.
‘’My favourite moment this year was the second friends bbq which was actually cancelled because of the rain forecast. But despite the bad weather, people show up and it turned into a super nice intimate evening with Elizaveta and Paul giving a garden concert.’’ - Robbin (Community Manager, betahaus)
''In July, it was great how the casual after-work BBQ turned into an impromptu acoustic blues jam session with Elizavetta Barsegova and Paul, who have the voice of an angel. Actually, all of the My Friend's BBQ's and Backyard Sessions were AWESOME.’’ - Paige (Head of Marketing, betahaus)
This year we released a new event format in Kreuzberg called ‘’The betaSalon’’. It's an open panel discussion which aims to give stage to important topics and give free speech on them. The fist one we did on the EU elections, last month we talked about changemakers, but our favourite one for this season stays ‘’Mother + Founder’’ where we partnered with FemGems podcast and recorded a live podcast episode for them having Madeleine Gummer von Mohl (betahaus co-founder), Kristine Zeller (co-creater of ooshi period underwear) and Luisa Hoffman on the stage.
Every September, our co-founders take part in the Techfestival. in Copenhagen, spending a few days disconnecting from the daily life and focusing on creating a better, more human-centered tech future. This year the think tank which included our co-founders Madeleine and Max came up with the TechPledge. The Tech Pledge was made to emphasize the need for a new direction in tech. Similar to the Hippocratic oath for doctors, the Tech Pledge is a promise to make tech a force for good and ensure responsible and sustainable tech leadership. It’s a commitment to driving a new direction in technology.
One of the most exciting projects for betahausX this year (which is also continuing in 2020) is their new startup challenge called The Werder Lab - a global startup competition that aims to reimagine the way clubs like Werder work with athletes, fans and partners.
This year couldn’t end without us having our favourite events - the end-of-the-year holiday party and the BETAPITCH Global Finals. On the 6th of December we saw the 9 finalists of the regional BETAPITCH competitions pitching in front of our jury. Congrats to Troy from Hamburg for winning the big prize.
We finished the year at our Holiday Party celebrating anything and everything at betahaus | Neukölln together with our members, friends of friends and our favourite artists from Passiflora LIVE, Tapete and Kotoe.
Thank you for being with us in 2019. It's been a crazy big year for us and it wouldn't been possible without your support, trust and the hard work of our amazing team. Have an amazing holiday time and we'll see you again in 2020.