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What Kind Of Alcohol Is In Hard Kombucha?

Every can of Strainge Beast is a unique love triangle of flavors, but the alcohol itself is something shared across boozy beverages.

“Scientifically, hard kombucha is not any different from beer, wine, or cider,” explains James Conery, lead Strainge Beast brewer. “It’s always the fermentation of a sugar source. The differentiator is that it’s being fermented with the kombucha culture.”

And that kombucha culture, looking like an alien pancake, is called a SCOBY (Symbiotic Culture of Bacteria & Yeast). It brings kombucha to life, similar to a sourdough bread starter.

The SCOBY helps generate alcohol and acid—a potential vinegar bomb if left unchecked, but a perfect balance of sweet and tart when you get it right. That’s why we tested hundreds of cultures before finding the ideal SCOBY, one that’s exclusive to Strainge Beast. No one unlocks these aromas and flavors but us.

“Scientifically, hard kombucha is not any different from beer, wine, or cider. The differentiator is that it’s being fermented with the kombucha culture.” — James Conery, Strainge Beast Brewer

Kombucha Vs Hard Kombucha

Regular kombucha and hard kombucha start the same way: making sweet tea with boiling water, cane sugar, and tea leaves. Then comes the SCOBY, launching that mellow mixture into a fermentation frenzy. The bacteria and yeast first transform the sugar into alcohol, then turn that alcohol into natural, tangy acids for a drink that’s bubbly and bright.

Pouring Strainge Beast Ginger, Lemon, and Hibiscus into a glass

At this point, you’ve got yourself regular kombucha, which has only trace alcohol (0.2%–0.5%).

Strainge Beast levels up to hard kombucha with a second round of fermentation—extra sugar and fresh yeast. Then we infuse each beast with a harvest of organic fruits, spices, and herbs that keep your taste buds begging for more.

Alcohol Content Of Hard Kombucha

The alcohol content of hard kombucha is largely up to the brewer, and with Strainge Beast you can pivot from 7% bangers like Ginger, Lemon & Hibiscus to 4% charmers like Watermelon, Sea Salt, Lime & Mint that clock in at 100 calories—and get unruly in a DIY Strainge Beast jalapeño margarita.

Watermelon Strainge Beast can sitting inside an actual watermelon

Just read those kombucha labels closely, and drink responsibly, because hard kombucha can get you drunk. (You thought it was regular kombucha, then dinner with the future in-laws got awkward real fast.)

No matter the ABV, every Strainge Beast flavor is like a stroll through a wild farmers market, snatching up everything from berries and tropical fruit to cucumber and elderflower.

Does Hard Kombucha Have Caffeine?

Since tea is at the heart of any kombucha, natural caffeine does lend a small kick to hard kombucha. We brew Strainge Beast with a blend of organic green and black tea, so one 12-ounce can amounts to the caffeine in a standard cup of black tea. (Maybe “tea time” could be a code word for getting Strainge. You’re welcome.)

Still curious about other details? Jump to our hard kombucha frequently asked questions for more, and check out this rundown of how Strainge Beast fits into popular diet programs.

Where Can I Buy Hard Kombucha?

Hard kombucha is big in some parts of the country, like the West Coast, and it’s breaking through in others. Thankfully we’ve unleashed Strainge Beast nationwide, so use our Kombucha Finder to search your neighborhood shelves before making the trip. Once at the store, odds are you’ll spot Strainge Beast with the other alcoholic drinks in the cooler section. (Regular kombucha? Who knows, maybe near those frappamocha things. Or bone broth.)

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