Pilot Kombucha

Fresh Brewed Kombucha

Former chef Alex Ingalls launched Pilot Kombucha in March 2015 with one goal: bring gut health to the hedonistic food lovers of New York City. Using a mix of organic and fair-trade ingredients and sacrificing a longer (i.e., heat-pasteurized) shelf life for more nutritious bacteria, Pilot offers products you can feel good about—literally! At The Market Line, Alex will be brewing seasonal flavors of kombucha, as well as offering growler fills and bottled kombucha to go for those looking to pick up an alternative and holistic healthy beverage.

Get to know: Pilot Kombucha

Alex Ingalls

Owner

This is your first brick and mortar location! What are you most looking forward to about being based in the LES?

As a former party animal & burlesque performer basing Pilot in the LES feels like a return to my roots. I’m excited to nurse people’s hangovers and get them on the road to discover all the amazing history & food NYC has to offer while still maintaining their health.

A former chef, you started making your own kombucha to aid your digestion after hedonistic meals and nights out partying. What's one thing most people don't know about kombucha and what was the moment that persuaded you to leave restaurant kitchens and focus solely on brewing your own kombucha?

Kombucha made the news for its probiotic content but it’s actually the B vitamin count that I think is the real super hero in kombucha. All naturally occurring and it has an especially high count of B12, which is extremely difficult to find outside of supplements. B12 is THE hangover replenishment essential - energy, immunity, & balance all in one little guy.

When I think of the Lower East Side, I think of...

Jewish culinary heritage: latkes, knishes, cured fishes & dried fruit; Nurse Bettie, my favorite hole in the wall burlesque venue and quiet place to get an afternoon post-opening shift tipple in my cooking days; and Economy Candy which is the happiest place on earth no matter what Disney World says.

Best thing about NYC and worst thing about NYC:

The crowds, depending on whether or not I’ve meditated that morning can be invigorating and fun or positively day-ruining.

What is your earliest food memory?

When I was in first or second grade and living in San Diego my parents bribed me with a Milky Way to get me to try sushi. I love sushi now & I will still do anything for candy.

What’s the one food you can’t live without?

Probably nachos, but this is a really tough question.

Preferred method of transportation:

Bike!

What is your most essential ingredient in the kitchen?

Another hard question. For kombucha? Sencha tea. For cooking, maybe salt? Under-seasoned food is the actual worst.

This is your first brick and mortar location! What are you most looking forward to about being based in the LES?

As a former party animal & burlesque performer basing Pilot in the LES feels like a return to my roots. I’m excited to nurse people’s hangovers and get them on the road to discover all the amazing history & food NYC has to offer while still maintaining their health.

A former chef, you started making your own kombucha to aid your digestion after hedonistic meals and nights out partying. What's one thing most people don't know about kombucha and what was the moment that persuaded you to leave restaurant kitchens and focus solely on brewing your own kombucha?

Kombucha made the news for its probiotic content but it’s actually the B vitamin count that I think is the real super hero in kombucha. All naturally occurring and it has an especially high count of B12, which is extremely difficult to find outside of supplements. B12 is THE hangover replenishment essential - energy, immunity, & balance all in one little guy.

When I think of the Lower East Side, I think of...

Jewish culinary heritage: latkes, knishes, cured fishes & dried fruit; Nurse Bettie, my favorite hole in the wall burlesque venue and quiet place to get an afternoon post-opening shift tipple in my cooking days; and Economy Candy which is the happiest place on earth no matter what Disney World says.

Best thing about NYC and worst thing about NYC:

The crowds, depending on whether or not I’ve meditated that morning can be invigorating and fun or positively day-ruining.

What is your earliest food memory?

When I was in first or second grade and living in San Diego my parents bribed me with a Milky Way to get me to try sushi. I love sushi now & I will still do anything for candy.

What’s the one food you can’t live without?

Probably nachos, but this is a really tough question.

Preferred method of transportation:

Bike!

What is your most essential ingredient in the kitchen?

Another hard question. For kombucha? Sencha tea. For cooking, maybe salt? Under-seasoned food is the actual worst.

This is your first brick and mortar location! What are you most looking forward to about being based in the LES?

As a former party animal & burlesque performer basing Pilot in the LES feels like a return to my roots. I’m excited to nurse people’s hangovers and get them on the road to discover all the amazing history & food NYC has to offer while still maintaining their health.

A former chef, you started making your own kombucha to aid your digestion after hedonistic meals and nights out partying. What's one thing most people don't know about kombucha and what was the moment that persuaded you to leave restaurant kitchens and focus solely on brewing your own kombucha?

Kombucha made the news for its probiotic content but it’s actually the B vitamin count that I think is the real super hero in kombucha. All naturally occurring and it has an especially high count of B12, which is extremely difficult to find outside of supplements. B12 is THE hangover replenishment essential - energy, immunity, & balance all in one little guy.

When I think of the Lower East Side, I think of...

Jewish culinary heritage: latkes, knishes, cured fishes & dried fruit; Nurse Bettie, my favorite hole in the wall burlesque venue and quiet place to get an afternoon post-opening shift tipple in my cooking days; and Economy Candy which is the happiest place on earth no matter what Disney World says.

Best thing about NYC and worst thing about NYC:

The crowds, depending on whether or not I’ve meditated that morning can be invigorating and fun or positively day-ruining.

What is your earliest food memory?

When I was in first or second grade and living in San Diego my parents bribed me with a Milky Way to get me to try sushi. I love sushi now & I will still do anything for candy.

What’s the one food you can’t live without?

Probably nachos, but this is a really tough question.

Preferred method of transportation:

Bike!

What is your most essential ingredient in the kitchen?

Another hard question. For kombucha? Sencha tea. For cooking, maybe salt? Under-seasoned food is the actual worst.