A FORMER science teacher turned brewer has launched York’s newest drink brand after spotting a gap in the market for a low sugar non-alcoholic beverage.

Debbie Wild has launched Kinoko, a new kombucha drink with made from Asian inspiration and Yorkshire ingredients.

The brand has been created through a collaboration with Rudgate Brewery and already counts local restaurants, bars, and cafes, including Filmore and Union as its customers.

Ms Wild hung up her lab coat as a teacher and went back to the classroom herself ahead of launching venture, to complete a masters degree in Brewing and Distilling.

Initially intending to establish a micro-gin distillery, Ms Wild has instead created a lightly sparkling non-alcoholic drink brewer from tea and Yorkshire water.

She said: “Kinoko tastes nothing like tea, people liken it much more to white wine, but it has the bonus of being alcohol free and packed with health benefits.

“With more and more people becoming mindful drinkers or choosing to avoid alcohol altogether, I saw that there was a gap in the market. Soft drink alternatives tend to be ladened with sugar or sweeteners. But Kinoko is different.

“When I started my Masters degree my intended outcome was to set up a micro-gin distillery.

“However, over the duration of my course I became aware that people’s drinking habits were changing, people are much more aware nowadays about the amount of alcohol they consume and are pursuing increasingly healthier lifestyles.

“I tasted the current kombucha drinks that are on the market and I felt that I could brew a drink that tasted naturally nicer than others on the market.

“Kombucha is popular down in London but is quite new to Yorkshire and North East, there are not many of us brewing kombucha up here. I’m really proud to be able to say that Kinoko is made in Yorkshire.”

Ms Wild teamed up with Craig Lee, director of Rudgate Brewery, to form WildLee Brewing and Kinoko is brewed just outside York, in Tockwith.

The first flavour of Kinoko, The Classic, was launched just before Christmas last year and in the five months since, two new flavours have been added to the range, Reef Coconut and also, Lime Orchard and Mint.

Mr Wild said: “The response to Kinoko has been fantastic, I can’t believe how much we’ve achieved in the five months since we launched. We are in pubs, cafes and farm shops across the North of England and most recently Filmore and Union added Kinoko to their summer menu, which we are so proud of.”