By Sean Streicher

BALTIMORE (WJZ) — A Baltimore-based company is celebrating five years of fermenting! After starting out of a small room in Hampden, Wild Kombucha has grown to be in more than 1,000 stores across nine states.

Kombucha is a fermented tea that’s been around for centuries, but the ancient beverage has recently made a resurgence.

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Mobtown Fermentation, the maker of Wild Kombucha, was founded by Sid Sharma, and stepbrothers Sergio Malarin and Adam Bufano.

“I was living with Adam briefly, and he was selling it underground to Hopkins students kind of,” Malarin said. “Like friends of friends, kind of got the word of mouth out, and I tried the product he was making and ended up kinda having a vision for something much bigger and that’s how we started rolling.”

They brought on Sid, rented a room out of the side of a juice shop in Hampden and the rest is history.

“Our first goal ever when we started was to sell 16, 24 packs of kombucha,” Sharma said.

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It took them two months to reach their goal, and five years later, they’re selling 3,000 cases a week, in flavors like Elderberry, Watermelon Hops and Ginger Grapefruit.

“It’s incredibly humbling that we’ve been able to grow to this level because people in Baltimore, people in Maryland and D.C. have supported us and grabbed the drink off the shelves,” Sharma said.

In February 2019, they moved to a 13,000 square foot brewery in northwest Baltimore and just this month, they started selling a new product Icaro Yerba Maté.

“Yerba Maté is a traditional South American tea. It’s drank to help boost awareness, it’s got a little bit of caffeine in it but it also helps tremendously with altitude sickness,” Malarin said.

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“You know we feel like there’s a reason those teas have staying power. There are health benefits, there’s the way it makes you feel when you drink it and there’s something cool about taking something that’s existed for so long and almost giving it your own spin and bringing it back to life,” Sharma said.

Sean Streicher