These days we can’t keep track of all the new brands releasing their own hard seltzer. Aside from acknowledging our favorites, the rest have begun to blur together.
One new kind of drink we’re enjoying right now is hard kombucha.
Fans of kombucha go crazy for the fermented tea drink. Some are in on kombucha for the reported health benefits and others are in for the tea’s sweet, funky, and bubbly taste.
Hard kombucha is theoretically the same drink as your regular kombucha, except the tea goes through a second fermentation process. The only difference in the second process is the addition of a bit more sugar and a different type of yeast that creates a delightful fizz. These small differences increase the alcohol content in hard kombucha up to almost 4.5 – 7% ABV.
With all the new boozy kombucha options emerging on the market, it’s difficult to know which is the best tasting and most worthy of your time and money.
Luckily we’ve got the best hard kombucha brands to recommend to you right now.
Sierra Nevada Strainge Beast
Flavor: Passion Fruit, Hops, and Blood Orange
Sierra Nevada holds a high reputation for craft brewing in general, but they’ve done an excellent job at parlaying their experience into hard kombucha. What we like most about their kombucha is the dedication to using organic ingredients. In fact, they’re Oregon Tilth certified, an organic ingredient certification that links Strainge Beast with growers who prioritize quality, sustainable food.
Our favorite flavor is the passion fruit and blood orange. It really ups the kombucha to a kind of tropical drink. It’s got a strong citrus tone but it’s not too sweet or sugary, and behind it’s flavors is a clean white tea taste. Plus, its ABV sits at a steady 7%.
Flavor: Midnight Painkiller
Juneshine has a ton of great flavors to try. Their kombucha is brewed with green tea and honey and is void of artificial coloring, GMOs, and processed corn or rice syrup. The West Coast-inspired brand encourages their fans in taking up an active outdoor lifestyle versus getting away from it. And as far as flavors, we really enjoy the midnight painkiller, a bold cocktail flavored kombucha with notes of pineapple, coconut, and orange leading the charge. Its got 6% ABV.
Flavor: Watermelon Lime
Walker Brothers was created by two brothers (Sam and Luke) who loved craft beer but wanted a healthier alternative. They turned to hard kombucha, focussing on creating a drink that’d highlight the health benefits of kombucha while still providing a crafted taste. The watermelon lime flavor is perfect for warm weather with its sweet, tarty flavor and the tea itself is rich in probiotics that will help with digestive health. The watermelon lime has an ABV of 5%.
Flavor: The Original
Jiant prides themselves are creating some of the best Jun Kombucha—essentially green tea, honey, and water—by using an open air, small batch process. They avoid using fruit juice and opt for real fruit in their brewing process. Our favorite is probably The Original, made with passion fruit and elderflower. It’s got a nice refreshing green tea taste and has great fizz. The Original has a 4.5% ABV.
Luna Bay Booch
Flavor: Palo Santo Blueberry
Chicago-based Luna Bay’s hard kombucha is gluten-free, vegan, and low in sugar. We’re loving their palo santo blueberry flavor, bright on the first sip with a smoky touch all around. What’s unique is Luna Bay actually steeps the kombucha with Palo Santo wood to create a flavor many in the market have yet to attempt. Luna Bay ABV is 6%.
Flavor: Kombucha IPA
If you love IPAs, then Dr. Hops is your hard kombucha to turn to. Their kombucha IPA packs a strong 9% ABV and adds a tangy fruity punch to the overal blast of hops. It’s a niche flavor but if its the kind you like you’ll be impressed.
Flavor: Grapefruit Thyme
This Hard Kombucha is really delightful – it’s light and has a slight hint of grapefruit that isn’t overpowering. Even if you’re not the biggest regular Kombucha fan, this flavor tastes less like Kombucha than some other Hard Kombuchas on the market. Warning, it’s not very sweet so if you prefer cocktails that taste like soda or lemonade, this is definitely not anything similar to those types of drinks. It has a 4.5% ABV which is similar to a light beer.
Unity Vibration Kombucha Beer
With a 9.2% ABV, this Kombucha gave a bit more of a buzz than the other ones so if you’re looking for a good time, this is the one for you. Unity Vibration KPA tastes like grapefruit and berries with a slight oaky flavor. It’s flavor palette is definitely more robust in nature and much stronger than the other Hard Kombuchas we’ve mentioned. This Kombucha is suited more towards those who enjoy IPA’s.
Flavor: Ginger Lime Rosehips
If you’re a fan of Moscow Mules, this Ginger Lime Rosehips flavor Hard Kombucha does the trick. It’s a lot healthier than a moscow mule but it resembles that same flavor profile. With 7% ABV, it offers a higher alcohol content than most other Hard Kombuchas on the market. It’s locally crafted in San Diego, CA so through supporting this brand, you’re supporting a small business in a time of economic uncertainty which is a huge plus.
All Boochcraft kombuchas are smooth without any harsh aftertaste, you can immediately tell it is high quality buch. The other flavors of Boochcraft include grapefruit, orange, and turmeric but ginger lime was our favorite.
As the hard kombucha space develops further, we’ll be sure to stay on top of the latest brands and brewing varietys. Stay tuned for more future coverage.