Clearly Kombucha

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Clearly Kombucha Logo.png
Clearly Kombucha
Type Kombucha
Manufacturer Top Shelf Beverages, Inc.
Country of origin United States of America
Introduced 2009
Variants Black Currant; Chai Cola; Strawberry Hibiscus; Grape; Raspberry Ginger; Asian Pear; Raspberry Lemonade

Clearly Kombucha is a brand of kombucha brewed by Top Shelf Beverages, Inc. in San Francisco, California. In 2009, Alison Zarrow and Caleb Cargle began brewing kombucha at home. The team formed Top Shelf Beverages, Inc. the following year and now distribute their Kombucha in more than 25 states.[1]

History of the Company[edit]

Top Shelf Beverages, Inc. was founded in 2009 in Palo Alto, California by Alison Zarrow and Caleb Cargle. They sold their product, then called "Top Shelf Ultra Premium Kombucha" in 6.3 oz. champagne style bottles, marketing it as an upscale alternative to alcohol.[2][3] In 2010, they changed their product's name to "Clearly Kombucha" and have since been selling it in 12 oz. clear bottles.[4]

In 2012, Clearly Kombucha launched in Northern California with several flavors in the 12 oz. bottles. Clearly Kombucha then launched nationally in August 2013.

Trademark Infringement Lawsuit[edit]

in 2013, The Clearly Food & Beverage Company (“Clearly Food”) of Canada, producer of Clearly Canadian, sued Top Shelf Beverages for trademark infringement in U.S. District Court, Western District of Washington, Judge James L. Robart presiding.[5]

Top Shelf Beverages counter sued Clearly Food and sought summary judgement against Clearly Food claiming trademark abandonment, fraud and lack of confusion. During the proceedings the court sanctioned both Top Shelf Beverages and their attorney for breach of court mandated confidentially and inappropriate delays during the discovery phase of the lawsuit.[6]

Ruling on Top Shelf Beverage’s request for summary judgement, the court rejected the majority of Top Shelf's motions and the suit was subsequently settled out of court in 2015. [7]


The original flavors of Clearly Kombucha were Asian Pear, Tangerine, Raspberry Ginger, and Black Currant. Current flavors now also include Strawberry Hibiscus, Chai Cola, Grape, and Raspberry Lemonade.

Clearly Kombucha Lineup.jpg

In November 2015, the company launched a very limited edition run of "The World's First Pumpkin Spice Booch."[8]

Product Attributes[edit]

Clearly Kombucha is a raw kombucha (fermented tea) brewed from Fair Trade ingredients[9] including whole leaf green tea. In 2013, Clearly Kombucha received its Non-GMO Project Verification,[10] USDA Organic Certification, Vegan, Gluten-Free, and Kosher certifications.[11] Unlike many other kombuchas, Clearly Kombucha is cold-filtered, which removes the sediment.[12][13]


Whole Foods Local Forager Contest[14]


  1. ^ "Clearly Kombucha - About Us". .
  2. ^ How I Did It: Alison Zarrow, Founder of Clearly Kombucha | Maria Shriver
  3. ^ Making a Fermented Tea Trendy |
  4. ^ Mollie Stone's Blog
  5. ^ Case No. 2:13-cv-01763
  6. ^ "Top Shelf & Attorney Sanctioned". .
  7. ^ "Top Shelf Intellectual Property Infringement". .
  8. ^ "Clearly Kombucha Reveals Limited-Edition 'Pumpkin Spice Booch' Flavor -". Retrieved 2015-11-18. 
  9. ^ Clearly Kombucha is a licensed partner of Fair Trade USA.
  10. ^ Verified Products | The Non-GMO Project
  11. ^ | Our Kombucha
  12. ^ Clearly Kombucha Makes Kombucha Less Scary | Serious Eats: Drinks
  13. ^ Your World: Healthy and Natural: Clearly Kombucha Review and Giveaway
  14. ^ 5th Annual SF Street Food Festival