Boochcraft tasting room opens atop Del Mar Highlands Sky Deck

Boochcraft is open on the Brewer's Deck of Del Mar Highlands Town Center Sky Deck.
(Karen Billing)

Boochcraft celebrated its official grand opening at Del Mar Highlands Town Center’s new Sky Deck on June 16. Perched atop the outdoor Brewers Deck, Boochcraft is now pouring its elevated hard kombucha, handcrafted and brewed with fresh-pressed, organic ingredients.

With its kombucha, Boochcraft brings a plant-based, probiotic and gluten-free option to the deck.

Boochcraft was the brainchild of three friends from Ocean Beach. Co-founder Adam Hiner had been brewing his own kombucha for years and started selling it on tap at his restaurant Local Habit in Hillcrest. He paired with brewmaster and flavor guru Andrew Clark and entrepreneur Todd Kent to launch Boochcraft, offering a high-alcohol kombucha that at the time was one of the first on the market.

With a brewing facility in Chula Vista, their bottles and cans landed on the shelves of stores in 2016—they are now in 13 states across the country.

Until now, they never had a tasting room.

Del Mar Highlands Town Center had been looking for a kombucha product to fill a spot in the Brewer’s Deck and Boochcraft connected through a friend. Hiner said it seemed like a perfect fit, in a well-trafficked shopping center in an exciting new kind of project lofted atop Jimbo’s, one of Boochcraft’s loyal accounts. They share the elevated deck with local breweries Rough Draft Brewing and Northern Pine.

Boochcraft doubled down on Sky Deck’s nautical theme, making their tasting bar into a little boat.

Boochcraft has six core flavors that include orange pomegranate, strawberry lemonade, lemon maple, apple jasmine, ginger lime and grapefruit hibiscus. Their rotating seasonal flavors celebrate the freshest produce and most distinctive flavors of the season—right now that’s watermelon chili, “like summer in a glass”.

Their heirloom series are small batch recipes in flavors like kiwi, peach and sangria that honor sustainable organic family farms. For every bottle sold, Boochcraft contributes to an agriculture nonprofit.

Boochcraft has a commitment to high quality. They source ingredients direct from family-owned farms and make all of its juice in house. There are no weird additives, artificial flavors, concentrates or preservatives: “It’s about keeping it real and you can taste the difference,” Hiner said.

Margaret Link and Adam Hiner of Boochcraft enjoy a sip at the new tasting room.
Margaret Link and Adam Hiner of Boochcraft enjoy a sip at the new tatsing room.
(Karen Billing)

“It’s just raw, bubbly goodness,” said Margaret Link, director of marketing.

Since the beginning, Boochcaft has stayed in pursuit of making the best possible hard kombucha, even when it might mean taking a more expensive or time-consuming option. When their heirloom kiwi kombucha called for vanilla, they nixed the vanilla extract and bought in Madagascar vanilla bean and macerated it in house.

The watermelon in their fresh summer flavor is chopped by hand.

Link said these extra steps are a perfect expression of Boochcraft’s ethos: “We go out of our way to make it as special as possible.”

With 16 taps at the new tasting boat, guests will be able to grab a bit of booch as well as take home crowlers. There will always be an innovation flavor that is only available at the taproom: marked on the menu board as “Kyle’s Kitchen.” This tap is reserved for Boochcraft’s lead research and development scientist Kyle Oliver to experiment and play around with new flavors like all spice and a recent take on a ginger-forward dark and stormy.

That innovation and constant creativity is a fundamental part of what Boochcraft is all about, Link said: “We love it.”