The co-founder of well-known kombucha brand JuneShine believes that hard kombucha is the next big wave for alternative alcohol. Recent data support this statement as hard kombucha’s market size jumped to $215.2 million last year. Because of kombucha’s popularity, Kombucha Brewers International made February 21 World Kombucha Day.
Today, many regular kombucha brands are available online and in physical stores, but alcoholic or hard kombucha is more challenging to find. Although you may see it in convenience stores, you’ll have more luck if you order hard kombucha online. Purchasing online will even let you pick the ones you find most interesting.
If you want to learn more about what hard kombucha is all about, keep reading.
What To Know About Hard Kombucha
Before kombucha hit the shelves of many health-conscious individuals today, it was known as the “Tea of Immortality” in Eastern cultures. It was thanks to Chinese Emperor Qin Shi Huang in 221 BC, who ordered his physicians and alchemists to develop a product that would make him live longer.
Kombucha is a fermented beverage made with green or black tea, sugar, bacteria, and yeast (also called SCOBY.) It naturally contains alcohol because of the ingredients and fermentation process, but it’s not considered an alcoholic beverage.
Only kombucha products exceeding 0.5% alcohol by volume (ABV) are considered alcoholic drinks. Hard kombucha falls under this category, with at least 3% ABV.
Original and hard kombucha has the same ingredients but different proportions and fermenting times. Hard kombucha requires longer fermentation and more sugar than regular kombucha, increasing the alcohol content. You might also be interested in fermented tea.
Hard Kombucha Vs. Other Alcoholic Drinks
Why do people prefer drinking hard kombucha over other alcoholic drinks? The short answer is that it’s the “healthier” option.
Aside from hard kombucha’s alcohol content, it also has natural and rich probiotics. If you’re concerned about your weight, a can of hard kombucha has about 85 to 150 calories, and the probiotics in the drink can help in your weight loss journey.
Plus, it comes in different flavors and is perfect for anyone looking for a fizzy, tart, and mildly sweet beverage. Most hard kombuchas have 4.5 to 7% ABV, placing them between beer (5% ABV) and wine (12% ABV).
Lastly, unlike beer, most hard kombucha products are free from barley and wheat. So if you’re looking for a gluten-free alcoholic drink, hard kombucha is a great alternative.
Hard Kombucha: Benefits And Risks
Before you buy and drink hard kombucha, you need to know first if it’s safe for you or not.
- Rich in probiotics that can improve digestion and gut health
- Can reduce inflammation
- Protects against the growth and spread of bad bacteria in the intestines
- Can lower cholesterol
- Recommended as one of the best teas for singers
- Contains a small amount of caffeine that offers other health benefits
- Improves liver function due to antioxidants
- Has vitamins and minerals that are important to the body
- Has good acids that increase nutritional value and antioxidants to enhance digestion
- Unsuitable for pregnant and breastfeeding mothers or children because of the higher alcohol content
- Alcohol still has harmful effects
- Homemade kombucha can result in over-fermentation or be contaminated by pathogens if brewed incorrectly without the proper equipment
Where To Buy Hard Kombucha
Since hard kombucha is regarded as the healthier alternative for health-conscious drinkers, many brands jumped at the opportunity to sell this product. However, unlike non-alcoholic kombucha, which is more readily available in online and physical stores, not all types, brands, and flavors of hard kombucha are in US stores.
To help you in your search for hard kombucha, here are the places to look:
Physical Or Retail Stores
While there aren’t many options, you can buy hard kombucha at retail stores like Trader Joe’s, Target, Costco, and many more. Some well-known brands are now supplying to various physical and retail stores in the country to further promote their hard kombucha product. Because of technology, some of these stores also have online sites where you can browse and order hard kombucha.
If you want a particular brand that isn’t available in any of these stores, visit the brand’s official website. Check out its site to see the nearest retail store to your location through the “Find in Stores” website feature.
Online Liquor Store
There are many online liquor stores where you can buy hard kombucha. One of the famous sites is Drizly. It has over 280 hard kombucha products from the best brands that you can get at very affordable prices.
In terms of delivery, you can choose “Shipments,” where you can use a third-party courier like FedEx or UPS. However, this usually takes several business days to receive your order.
Another option is “Delivery,” where the order is processed and handled by a retail partner. Drizly serves in 31 states, where it can deliver your hard kombucha to your doorstep in just 60 minutes. But still, keep in mind that other factors, like traffic and bad weather, can affect how fast you receive your order.
One mobile application that Android and iOS users can use to buy hard kombucha is the Instacart App. It’s an online grocery store application where you can sign in, find a product, or shop and get it delivered to your home. Instacart operates in all 50 states in the US, and its delivery usually takes two hours or less depending on the store distance to your place.
Take note that there are more online grocery stores that you can use if you don’t like a mobile application or don’t know how to use it. Just be careful in choosing the site you use to avoid being scammed or accidentally getting your information stolen.
The Brand’s Official Website
Other than the new website feature “Find Stores Near Me,” some well-known brands that sell hard kombucha also offer delivery. Famous hard kombucha brands like Kyla, JuneShine, Unity Vibration and Flying Embers provide local and international shipping to reach more customers.
However, each brand has different rules on delivery time and fees that you should read before placing an order.
FAQs About Where To Buy Hard Kombucha
How Do You Get Hard Kombucha?
Regular and hard kombucha has the same ingredients but different amounts and fermentation times. Original kombucha is usually fermented twice, and hard kombucha needs to be fermented longer. The longer fermentation, the more sugar will be converted into alcohol.
What Is A Good Hard Kombucha?
An excellent hard kombucha should have a wide range of flavors to find the perfect one that suits your taste. The alcohol level is important, so choosing a light drink with only 5% ABV is good. Other than flavor, there is also vegan-friendly hard kombucha.
Does Trader Joe’s Carry Hard Kombucha?
Yes. Hard kombucha is now available in Trader Joe’s, depending on its availability.
Does Hard Kombucha Get You Drunk?
Most hard kombucha has 4.5 to 7% ABV, which is moderate and similar to beer. Hard kombucha it’s considered an alcoholic beverage and can get you drunk, depending on your alcohol tolerance.