What is Tepache?

The wild world of fermentation keeps growing as technology and access to various ingredients continue to expand. In the beverage industry, we see patterns and trends that adapt to the demands of consumers. Hazy IPAs had their heyday, malted beverages in the form of canned hard seltzers took the country by storm, and now we are seeing the Ready-to-Drink canned cocktails in the spotlight. We’re thinking the time for tepache is fast approaching.

Unless you’ve been lucky enough to be graced by the presence of one of these delightful beverages, you might be asking yourself, what is tepache? It’s made from fermented pineapple rinds, so despite a flavor that is adjacent to some fruited ciders, the absence of apples means it’s not a cider. Tepache typically is tangy, a little bit sweet, and takes on flavors from any additional spices that are added, which are most commonly cinnamon and cloves. Oftentimes, especially when made on a smaller scale, tepache can end with an alcohol percentage similar to kombucha but can be tinkered with to produce an ABV of around five percent. 

The long history of tepache dates back to indigenous people of Mexican tribes, making beverages with various fermented fruits and vegetables. In an effort to utilize all parts of the pineapple, this ingredient stuck and became what we know today as a classic tepache. It gained popularity in pre-Columbus times due to the relatively easy process, which involves adding sugar, water, and optional spices to the pineapple and allowing the fermentation to occur naturally in a sealed, room-temperature jar. 

Today, tepache is still a popular at-home project but is also made on a larger scale, normally by cider houses or by small batch contract brewing companies. In more recent years, as beverage copacking has become more accessible, there has been a growth in tepache popularity. Every June, there is an event called Night of 1000 Tepaches that is hosted by Reverend Nat’s Cider in Portland, Oregon. Rev Nat’s is leading the way for fermented beverages of its kind, and they rejoice in creating an event to celebrate this increasingly popular and delicious beverage. 
Does your small batch beverage company need contract brewers or canning services to fulfill your desire to get creative with your products? Our full-service copacking house can serve a multitude of needs, and we’re especially good at allowing you to have creative freedom by taking some of the work off your hands. Let’s get in contact!

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