Hard Kombucha vs High Alcohol Kombucha: Is There a Difference?

We frequently get the question - "how much alcohol is in Kombucha", so we're here to shed some light on the topic of alcohol and Kombucha.

Kombucha is a slightly sweet, fizzy and acidic beverage that (rightfully so!) is becoming increasingly popular in the health community. Kombucha has been around for centuries due to its incredible health benefits and is thought to originate in China. Some people even consider kombucha to be a health elixir, which is why we love turning it into a hard drink and providing an alternative to other alcoholic beverages. So what is hard kombucha and is there a difference between it and high-alcohol kombucha? Nope. Just semantics. Hard kombucha tends to be used more by the general public but could be confused with a beverage that was spiked. High-alcohol kombucha is a mouthful and might indicate the alcohol was fermented into the beverage, but neither assumption would be true as both words are completely unregulated. Hard, high alcohol, tomayto, tomahto.

What is Kombucha Simply put, kombucha is a fermented drink made with bacteria and yeast mixed with black tea and sugar. Kombucha is made using a SCOBY aka a “symbiotic colony of bacteria and yeast,” which is typically a dense, round, rubbery and opaque looking ingredient that often has a mild, vinegar-like smell. Some people think that a SCOBY looks similar to a mushroom. A SCOBY is a dish-like structure that is comprised mostly of cellulose and it hosts a variety of yeast and bacteria that aid the fermentation process by breaking down the tea’s sugars and converting them to alcohol, carbon dioxide and acids. During fermentation, the yeast in the SCOBY breaks down the sugar in the tea and releases probiotic, or healthy bacteria. This makes the tea carbonated and bubbly. The fermentation process is what sets kombucha apart from other drinks and helps with the incredible health benefits of our favorite fizzy beverage.  

Is There Alcohol in Kombucha There are actually three levels of kombucha... Non-Alcoholic Kombucha: Fermentation is the process of turning carbohydrates, like sugar, into alcohol. Because kombucha is made by fermentation, all of the fizzy tea has a small amount of alcohol in it. Most commercial kombucha sold has less than .05% ABV because the yeast and bacteria help keep the alcohol levels low. This is why you do not have to be 21 to purchase traditional kombucha and it is considered “non-alcoholic.”

Traditional Kombucha: Typically 1 to 2% alcohol but could get up to 3%. Kombucha traditionally comes out to roughly 1.5% alcohol if fermented in the normal manner. Very little kombucha on the market falls in this category. The most popular is GT's Black Label.
Hard / High Alcohol Kombucha: Above 3%, made using a double fermentation process.
 Benefits of Kombucha The benefits of drinking kombucha are plentiful and undeniable. It is naturally vegan and gluten-free, and is filled with probiotic bacteria that are touted for their amazing ability to improve digestion, reduce inflammation and promote weight loss. Kombucha is also very high in antioxidants which are helpful when protecting the liver from toxicity, fighting free radicals and repairing damaged cells. It has amazing antibacterial properties which have been shown to help boost our immune systems and overall health.  A Healthier Alternative to Alcohol? Look, we get it - drinking alcohol isn’t the healthiest thing to do, which is why we wanted to find a way to get a buzz with benefits. If you’re going to drink alcohol, you might as well go for something that also fills your body with probiotics that is believed to benefit your overall health and counteract the negative effects of drinking alcohol. This is what makes Boochcraft a better-for-you alternative to traditional alcoholic beverages. Why Choose Boochcraft Here at Boochcraft, we are dedicated to creating the most delicious and nutritious hard kombucha available. We stand for quality and take pride in sourcing the best fair trade organic ingredients that ensure the tastiest booch out there. All of our ingredients are organic, non-GMO and locally sourced. Our flavors are made with 100% organic fruit juices pressed in-house, which helps make Boochcraft a natural alternative to other hard kombucha. Read more about the Boochcraft difference here.