So you’ve heard of Kombucha even if you don’t know what it is. Now Kombucha Beer is popping up. And now you’re wondering “am I missing out?” If you like a bubbly probiotic tea with a history of health benefit stories, the answer is “yes.”
Kombucha is a mixture of tea, bacteria, and sugar. As appetizing as that sounds, it is a taste you need to try. It’s fermented like kimchi and beer, and its effervescent flavor might remind you of fizzy soda. HuffPost’s Rebecca Orchant described it as vinegar soda. Kombucha tastes a lot better than it sounds or even looks in a bottle.
Drinking kombucha comes with all the same benefits of drinking green tea, plus more! Because of its antioxidants, kombucha can assist in digestion, joint care, and heart health. The health benefits of this fermented “mushroom-tea” are strung throughout history. Kombucha has been around for thousands of years, originating in China. It is nothing new.
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Kombucha can be made at home, bought in stores, or delivered to your front door. You can find taprooms and bars serving all kinds of probiotic drinks on draft, too.
- The Buchi Bar features six of Buchi Kombucha’s flavors in Asheville, NC.
- Panacea Brewing Company serves craft kombucha in their very own mobile Booch Bus and can be found at market four days a week in Wilmington, Carolina Beach, and Wrightsville Beach. Coming soon is their very own taproom in downtown Wilmington
- The Raleigh-based brewer Tribucha distributes their craft all around the eastern part of the state in Cary, Durham, Wilmington, and Winston Salem.
Tasting rooms and brewery tours have emerged since the bucha boom, with opportunities to participate in the kombucha-making process (i.e. foraging for tea ingredients). To make kombucha, you must then ferment the sugary tea with an active SCOBY culture. “Scoby” is an acronym: Symbiotic Culture Of Bacteria and Yeast.
Now that you understand the basics, let’s talk about kombucha beer. Traditionally, this fermented tea is nonalcoholic, with very few non-inebriating traces of alcohol (0.5 ABV), but more recently businesses are packing it with a punch.
Beyond Kombucha was the first licensed kombucha brewery on the East Coast in 2011, but it has since closed its doors. Other craft beer breweries are collaborating with kombucha companies, redefining the effervescent elixir. For example, Canada-based Wild Rose Brewing and Wild Tea Kombucha in Calgary developed Blushing Brew, a kombucha beer flavored with juniper, rose petals and hibiscus. Its tartness and pinkish color will likely remind you of a dry cider.
Unity Vibration Kombucha in Michigan is transforming kombucha with organic dried hops, producing flavors like the Triple-Goddess K.P.A with an 8.00 ABV and their seasonal cream ale. Unity’s average rating on Beeradvocate is fairly low. The unique flavor profile of Kombucha will lend itself to having a slightly lower rating. But, its retired Kombucha Pale Ale was rated 85, “very good.” The Triple-goddess Ginger Kombucha, available year-round, was rated 84, “good,” and was described as “light, refreshing, easy to drink.”
Kombucha beer offers a unique break from the usual craft beer scene. It is not for everyone, but if you are a fan of sours, lambics and other beers of similar style you should try out a kombucha beer next chance you get.