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Ferments for gut health

South West-made ferments that will make you feel fabulous
Ferments for gut health, Counter Culture kombucha

From kick-ass kombuchas to funk-tastic kimchis, we lift the lid on a few of our fave ferments which are as good for your gut health as they are flaming delicious

Counter Culture, Bristol

This Bristol temple to kombucha offers a refreshing take on the good stuff.

The Counter Culture gang carefully brew each batch of kombucha to be light in acidity and boosted with probiotic live cultures that are survivable in the gut. So if you often find yourself wincing while sipping a traditional-method bottle of booch, you may find a can of Counter Culture more pleasing. Flavour-forward concoctions include rhubarb and hibiscus; grapefruit and hops; mango, ginger and lime; lemongrass and ginger; and spiced blackcurrant.

At the carbon-neutral fermentary, sparkling light kombuchas are made from natural vegan-friendly ingredients, including organic green tea and raw cane sugar. Once they’ve hit the funky sweet spot, the kombuchas are poured into cans wrapped in eye-catching artwork.

Counter Culture donates 51 per cent of shares to non-profit causes, with an ambition to raise over a million pound for social initiatives, so customers can relish each sip knowing they’re doing their bit for both their gut and for worthy causes.

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Ferments for gut health, Newlyn Fermentary

Newlyn Fermentary, Cornwall

Creating lacto-fermented goodness using local produce is the name of the game at this contemporary fermentary in Cornwall.

With an ambition to join the local artisan food scene, support the community and express a creative outlet through food, Rachel Booth established the indie fermentary in Newlyn in 2021. Since launching, she and her team have put their focus on producing a small range of seasonally changing and naturally fermented food and drink that includes the likes of zinger water kefir, green chilli and coriander kimchi, and fennel and samphire sauerkraut. Don’t know where to start? Sample the immune-system-boosting beet and thyme water kefir (crafted from locally grown beetroot, apple juice from a neighbouring orchard and handpicked thyme) to delight in earthy sweetness and a fragrant herb finish.

Intrigued folk can feed their mind (and gut) further by attending one of the regular workshops. Each session sees the team share their knowledge of fermentation, dish out samples and provide information for maintaining a gut-friendly diet.

Although Newlyn Fermentary doesn’t ship products, there is a click and collect service alongside regular market appearances.

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Cultjar ferments

Cultjar, Somerset

Kid-in-a-sweet-shop vibes await diehard ferment fans who come across Cultjar. The Somerset fermentary, based at Worminster Farm, produces a wide range of creative ferments, pickles, shrubs, fruit preserves, seasonings, nuts and more using ingredients cultivated at the farm, locally foraged or sourced within the South West.

Flavour-bomb creations come as a result of innovative methods utilising nutrient-rich produce that’s picked at its prime. Recipe inspiration is taken from all corners of the globe and classic method techniques are combined with contemporary preservation to guarantee each jar offers incredible depth of flavour.

The jerusalem artichoke and horseradish number is one to try for its ability to support healthy gut function as well as its delicious bite.

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Vigou Roots

Vigouroots, Devon

If you’re in the mindset of the-funkier-the-better when it comes to ferments, be sure to explore Vigouroots. Charged with medicinal herbs, spices and seeds, every gut-positive product in the range packs a punch.

Founder Michelle Brown fell for fermenting in 2019 after she sampled jun tea (which she now makes) and found her body reacted well to it. She then spent years researching microbiome and digestive health while experimenting with preserving at her workshop in Totnes. The result? An expertly made collection of superfoods and drinks crafted with vigour in mind.

Three of Michelle’s must-try ferments for gut health are her raw and unpasteurised kimchis, sauerkrauts and master tonics. The kimchis and sauerkrauts are made by lactic acid fermentation of vegetables and medicinal herbs, fresh organic roots and spices. This process produces beneficial bacteria to promote and balance the gut microbiome, while the addition of herbs acts as a prebiotic within the probiotic, reducing unwanted bacteria and yeasts in the gut.

Master tonic is another hero gut product. It’s made with traditional methods using raw apple cider vinegar infused with garlic, onion, ginger, horseradish, turmeric, cinnamon, clove, black pepper and red chilli. It’s very concentrated so only a small amount is needed to trigger its immune-system-strengthening effects.

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Boo Chi Kombuhcha

Boo Chi, Devon

Boo Chi was born out of the belief that traditional kombucha is best brewed using traditional methods. It’s why founder Eaoifa Forward and her all-female team craft the six-flavour range of booch in south Devon using ancient processes Eaoifa picked up in Sri Lanka.

Made using only four ingredients (water, tea, sugar and scoby), the kombucha is unpasteurised, unfiltered and bubbling in probiotics, organic acids and vitamins. Thanks to its natural gut-boosting qualities, Eaoifa describes the drink as a ‘microbiome heaven‘.

Reap the rewards of the functional drinks in flavours such as Brighten: Turmeric (mildly aromatic with scents of ginger, orange and black pepper) which bursts in antioxidants. Boo Chi also sells a range of homebrewing kits so like-minded fans can give it a whirl at home.

Explore the range.

Like 5 of the best ferments for gut health? Peruse our pick of alcohol-free drinks for special occasions.

We choose the companies included in our 5 of the best features based on editorial integrity. Occasionally, some inclusions will be from clients with whom we have a commercial relationship.

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