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Clearly Kombucha

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Clearly Kombucha
TypeKombucha
ManufacturerTop Shelf Beverages, Inc./Molson Coors
Country of originUnited States of America
Introduced2009
VariantsBlack Currant; Chai Cola; Strawberry Hibiscus; Grape; Raspberry Ginger; Asian Pear; Raspberry Lemonade
Websitewww.clearlykombucha.com

Clearly Kombucha is a line of ready to drink kombucha teas originally produced by Top Shelf Beverages, Inc. of San Francisco, California which was acquired in June 2018 by Molson Coors.[1]

History of the Company[edit | edit source]

Top Shelf Beverages, Inc. was founded in 2009 by Alison Zarrow and Caleb Cargle. They originally called their product "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 abruptly changed their product's name to "Clearly Kombucha" and have since been selling it in 12 oz. clear bottles.[4]

Trademark Infringement Lawsuit[edit | edit source]

in 2013, The Clearly Food & Beverage Company (“Clearly Food”) of Canada, producer of Clearly Canadian and stalwart community led activisit brand, 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]

Flavors[edit | edit source]

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.

Product Attributes[edit | edit source]

Clearly Kombucha is a raw kombucha (fermented tea) brewed from Fair Trade ingredients[8] including whole leaf green tea. In 2013, Clearly Kombucha received its Non-GMO Project Verification,[9] USDA Organic Certification, Vegan, Gluten-Free, and Kosher certifications.[10] Unlike many other kombuchas, Clearly Kombucha is cold-filtered, which removes the sediment.[11][12]

Awards[edit | edit source]

Whole Foods Local Forager Contest[13]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. [1]
  2. How I Did It: Alison Zarrow, Founder of Clearly Kombucha | Maria Shriver
  3. Making a Fermented Tea Trendy | Entrepreneur.com
  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 is a licensed partner of Fair Trade USA. http://fairtradeusa.org/products-partners?state=CA&product=Tea#tabset-tab-2
  9. Verified Products | The Non-GMO Project
  10. | Our Kombucha
  11. Clearly Kombucha Makes Kombucha Less Scary | Serious Eats: Drinks
  12. Your World: Healthy and Natural: Clearly Kombucha Review and Giveaway
  13. 5th Annual SF Street Food Festival


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