What Is Hard Kombucha? Everything You Need to Know

Different colored glasses of kombucha on table with fruit and ginger

If you want to enjoy an alcoholic beverage with some health benefits, hard kombucha might be just what you’re looking for. This tangy fermented tea has become a popular beverage of choice thanks to being low in sugar and carbs. While some kombucha fans brew their own, the results aren’t always as tasty and healthy. When it comes to alcoholic beverages in Oregon or Washington, buying from professional manufacturers and distributors like Columbia Distributing may be a smarter choice. Here, we explore the ins and outs of hard kombucha and what makes it so popular.

Differences Between Hard Kombucha and Regular Kombucha

To make any type of kombucha, you need the same four ingredients: tea, sugar, water, and a symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast (SCOBY). Making traditional kombucha is fairly simple. The steps include:

  • Create a sweetened tea solution
  • Place SCOBY inside the solution
  • Let the mixture ferment at room temperature for two weeks
  • Bottle the solution and leave it for another two weeks to encourage carbonation

The key differences between hard and traditional kombucha are the time it takes to make and the alcohol they contain. To make a hard kombucha, you must arrange a second fermentation round. This will increase the drink’s alcohol content and could alter its taste.

Sometimes, kombucha manufacturers add different flavors to hard kombuchas, such as complementary fruit flavors or ginger. This creates tasty alcoholic drinks that often beat traditional beers or cocktails.

How Much Alcohol Does It Contain?

Regular kombucha’s alcohol by volume (ABV) is 0.5%. Hard kombucha’s ABV can be between 3.5% and 5.5%, which is similar to the alcohol content found in light beer.

Once the drink’s ABV exceeds 0.5%, the product becomes an alcoholic beverage according to the U.S. Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau. So, to buy it, you need to be 21 years or older.

Is It Healthy?

Like regular kombucha, hard kombucha contains probiotics that can help your gut health. Meanwhile, it has less sugar and fewer carbs than many other alcoholic drink options, such as beer, cider, and wine.

However, since it is an alcoholic drink, it can have the usual adverse effects of other alcoholic beverages. Due to the higher ABV, hard kombucha also has fewer probiotics than its traditional counterpart.

Overall, it may not be the healthiest drink you try. However, it trumps other alcoholic drinks health-wise. So, if you are planning to enjoy a little alcohol, hard kombucha with its probiotic and antioxidant content can be an excellent choice.

Can You Get Drunk Off Hard Kombucha?

Since hard kombucha’s ABV averages around 4%, it can have an effect like beer when it comes to impairment. Like any other alcoholic drink, it depends on how much you drink.

It’s important to remember that homemade kombucha’s alcohol content is hard to control. Unless you are buying it from professional manufacturers or distributors, you can’t be sure how much alcohol you are consuming.

Is It Tasty?

Hard Kombucha has a unique taste that people describe as tart and zingy. Some feel a touch of vinegar while others love the mild sweetness. The only way to find out how it tastes is to try it for yourself.

While many people enjoy the taste of unflavored hard kombucha, you can also explore flavored options. To lessen the tart and sour taste, many hard kombucha brands add citrus flavors to the beverage. You can try this drink with lemon, orange, grapefruit, and pineapple.

How Much Hard Kombucha Can You Drink?

According to the recent dietary guidelines for Americans, adults of legal age should limit the number of alcoholic drinks to two per day for men and one per day for women. For hard kombucha, the standard drink is around 12 ounces.

Explore Kombucha with Columbia Distributing

Hard kombucha is a tasty drink with some health benefits. If you are a fan of traditional kombucha, you may want to try the hard variety as well – if you are 21 or older. Just be sure to engage in safe and moderate drinking. Columbia Distributing offers a wide variety of hard and traditional kombucha drinks in Oregon and Washington. Contact us today to learn more about our selection and to start exploring this unique beverage.