Hard kombucha is a relatively new contender in the “not a beer” corner of the alcohol market, but it’s rising in popularity as more and more people learn to appreciate the tang of this tart and tasty beverage. Read on to find out more about what it is, what it tastes like, and most importantly – how you can get your hands on it!
What is Hard Kombucha?
Hard Kombucha is a boozier version of regular kombucha – the carbonated, fermented drink known for its tangy, slightly vinegary taste. “Hard” means it has a higher ABV (alcohol by volume) as noted below. It’s made through the alchemy of brewing tea (often green), adding sugar, and introducing a SCOBY (Symbiotic Culture of Bacteria and Yeast). SCOBY helps bring beneficial bacteria and probiotics, which booch enthusiasts say are good news for digestion and immune health, and brings that “love it or hate it” sour flavor.
Is The Hard Stuff Good For You?
Hard kombucha may have lower calories and less sugar than other similar drinks, and of this people tend to feel better drinking it over other alcoholic drinks. That, and the aforementioned digestive and immune benefits, can make it intriguing to those interested in the health benefits, and it may be a lower-carb option than other, similar drinks (more on that below, and check the label, of course). All that said, it’s an alcoholic drink to be enjoyed in moderation.
Is Hard Kombucha Gluten Free?
In general – yes. There is nothing natively in it that would contain gluten, but always make sure you check the label if you are concerned.
How Much Alcohol Is In Hard Kombucha?
All kombucha is fermented, but most “non-alcoholic” versions have less than 0.5% alcohol. Hard kombuchas have a range of alcohol content (ABV) levels, starting somewhere around 4.5% (similar to session beers or hard seltzers) to 8.0% or more, similar to some craft beers. Read the label, but most brands’ flagship brews are in the 4-6% range.
What's It Taste Like?
In a word – tart. Some say it’s not for the faint of heart, and it tastes too much like vinegar for others, but people who love it, really love it. RIYL sour beers, tart wines and vinegar. That said, most brands offer varieties with adjunct ingredients meant to offset (or accentuate) the sour notes, including ginger, hibiscus, pineapple, mint, and citruses like blood orange, lemon and grapefruit.
Let's Talk Calories
The range is around 5 to 13g of carbs per serving, and you can anticipate each 8 ounce serving will have around 100 calories, so it’s probably best not to think of it as a low-carb or low-calorie alcohol beverage unless otherwise noted.
What Are Some Hard Kombucha Brands?
Where Can I Buy Hard Kombucha?
We’re so glad you asked! Your local liquor store most likely carries it, and you can shop hard kombucha on Drizly for delivery to your home or business. Make sure you add your address so you can see what is available in your local stores. Or, head on over and find out if Drizly is available in your area and shop hundreds of products from local liquor stores.