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15 Best Hard Kombuchas 2022


best hard kombuchas


When temperatures rise and the sun shines brighter, there’s no better unwind than a glass of something cold, refreshing and oh-so-yummy. And if you’re in the mood for a drink that’s healthyish plus takes the edge off of your go, go, go lifestyle, meet your new favorite summertime sip: hard kombucha. It’s exactly what it sounds like — the higher in alcohol version of regular kombucha, a fermented tea that’s known for harboring gut-friendly probiotics.

“Kombucha is brewed in green or black tea, which brings to the table a host of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants that boost immunity and aid in digestion,” says Christa Brown, MS, RDN, a New Jersey-based dietitian. “Hard kombucha undergoes a few more weeks of fermentation, which raises the alcohol content to be closer to the ABV of beer,” — usually between 4% and 7%, on average. There’s not enough research to determine whether or not the probiotic content is affected by the heightened alcohol content, Brown says, but not all of the good-for-you benefits are lost because the vitamins and antioxidants remain intact. Hard kombucha also tends to be lower in sugar than mixed drinks because much of it disappears during the fermentation process, and also lower in calories and carbs, if you’re someone who monitors those.

But just because it has better-for-you qualities doesn’t mean you can guzzle down hard kombuchas to your wellness-oriented heart’s content. It’s still an alcoholic beverage, which means you’ll want to drink it in moderation like you would wine, beer or liquor to avoid raising your risk for the harmful outcomes that excessive alcohol use can lead to — heart problems, organ damage, dependency and even some cancers. However, “hard kombucha is still better than drinking sugary cocktails or beers, which don’t have any nutrients, and hard kombucha won’t trigger the same type of inflammatory response that alcoholic beverages with a higher sugar and alcohol content do,” says Dana Ellis Hunnes, PhD, MPH, RD, a senior dietitian at UCLA medical center, assistant professor at UCLA Fielding School of Public Health, and author of the new book Recipe for Survival.

When you do enjoy a can or two, look for hard kombucha brands with zero or less than 5% of your daily value of added sugar, Brown adds. And, since most kombucha flavors tend to be fruit-forward, it’s the perfect excuse to pour that can into a pretty glass, then drop in some fresh fruit for extra goodness.

Ready for a taste test? We tracked down some of the best hard kombucha brands out there.

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Best Overall

Luna Bay Booch

Whichever flavor you choose from this female-owned company will be sure to tantalize your tastebuds while it gives you a little buzz. Don’t believe us? They’re truly unique! Choose from Orange Persimmon Smash, Hibiscus Lavender, Ginger Lemon, Palo Santo Blueberry, Lychee Lime, Prickly Pear Punch, Grapefruit Jalapeno and the newest release, Raspberry Rose. The company uses Yerba Mate as the base, a type of herbal tea native to South America, and each can has 5g of sugar or less.

Believe it or not, this hard kombucha’s journey to your belly started in a little Santa Monica apartment, where the founders tinkered with their formula until they found the perfect blend of Dragonwell green tea (one of the most prized), Acacia honey (from the Himalayas) and lot of real herbs, fruit and botanicals. Don’t worry —the brewing now takes place somewhere much larger than an apartment!

You’ll want to sip on Flying Embers hard kombucha for more reasons than one. The flavors are fabulous (Orange Passion Mimosa, anyone?!), you can choose from a range of ABV (4.5% to 7%) to find one that fits your fancy and there’s zero grams of sugar. Oh, and a portion of company revenue is diverted to its philanthropic arm, the Embers Foundation, a 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to supporting first responders, wildfire prevention and response and recovery efforts.


Lowest in Alcohol

Little Grove By Allagash

This Maine-based brewery dapples in mixology — and by that we mean they’ve found a way to ferment ale with fresh peaches amd then blend it with kombucha for fruity, fizzy perfection. It has a lower ABV of 3.5%, and clocks in at just 100 calories.

This hard kombucha is crafted by Sierra Nevada Brewing Co., and all the ingredients used are natural, organic and carefully sourced. Each can is big on flavor but light on calories at just 100 per drink.

This San Diego-based company brews up delicious handcrafted hard kombucha made from green tea. It relies on only real, natural ingredients to impart exciting flavors like mango, grapefruit, acai berry and more — with just 3g of sugar.

Made with organic, all-natural ingredients (a.k.a no artificial sweeteners or additives!), you’ll want to sample every flavor from Boochcraft. And, the company prioritizes more than quality ingredients — a portion of gross sales is donated to help fund sustainability projects that benefit communities and the planet.

Plenty of passion goes into each batch of hard kombucha that’s crafted at Odell Brewing Co., a company in Colorado. Black and green teas are used for the base, and it’s flavored with real fruit, juices and purees.

The team at Local Roots searches the globe far and wide to source the quality ingredients that make up its hard kombucha. For example, the teas hail from India and China, while the ginger comes from Peru. And, each can is certified USDA Organic.

You can trust that the hard kombucha this Oregon-based company pours out is top notch — the team has been brewing and fermenting for 30 years, and you can find cans with an ABV as low as 4.5% and as high as 7%.


Highest in Alcohol

Hooch Booch

A relative newcomer to the hard kombucha scene, Hooch Booch launched in March 2020 and contains no added sugar. It also clocks in at a higher ABV of 8.5% to deliver a little more buzz for your sipping buck.

Sipping this hard kombucha might feel like sharing a drink with a relative or close friend. That’s because the company was founded by two brothers who use their aunt’s signature SCOBY to brew craft hard kombucha in Nashville, Tennessee.

With just 5g of sugar (and 0g added sugar!), this Brooklyn-brewed hard kombucha comes in bright, refreshing flavors that are perfect for a day at the beach or a backyard BBQ.

Makers of regular kombucha, Aqua ViTea, brew up this alcoholic version using only organic and natural ingredients, and no added sugar.

Makers of this funky hard kombucha brand don’t mess around—they stay true to the simple, traditional method of brewing kombucha, then rely on only organic fruit and herbs for flavor. And best of all, there’s no added sugar!

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