Drinking

San Diego Hard Kombucha Brands are Poised for a Big Year

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Kombucha is having a moment of renaissance. This curious fermented tea has become a favorite among the health and wellness crowd, boasting benefits like probiotics and antioxidants that help fight off free radicals. Also growing in popularity — hard kombucha.

San Diego alone has a wide variety of hard kombucha breweries, including two of the biggest players in the market – Boochcraft and Local Roots.

For those unfamiliar with this tangy beverage, kombucha is an effervescent drink made by fermenting tea. From the SCOBY, the symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast used in the fermenting process, to the finished product, no two kombuchas are made the same, although the process shares similarities across the board.  Hard kombucha is made just like regular kombucha, but takes it a step further with an additional round of fermentation.

Kombucha has a long history, and according to Forbes “originated in Northeast China around 220 B.C. and was initially prized for its healing properties.” It gained popularity in the 1990s when the now popular brand GT’s Kombucha was founded. While there haven’t been any scientific studies to the benefits of Kombucha in humans, positive properties including antimicrobial, antioxidant, hepatoprotective, and anticancer properties have been noted in nonhuman studies.

Science aside, kombucha (and hard kombucha in particular) is gaining in popularity. Even during the pandemic, hard kombucha is seeing growth, due in large part to grocery distribution. According to InstaCart, hard kombuchas are a trend to watch in 2021.

“Consumers are reaching for more alcohol-free spirits, low-calorie alcoholic beverages, and boozy versions of popular healthy beverages ahead of 2021,” they released in a statement. Hard kombucha is up 320% in searches across the Instacart marketplace and is largely a West Coast drink. The top five cities buying the most hard kombucha include Seattle, Sacramento, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and you guessed it – San Diego.

Several brands, including San Diego favorites are aligning to celebrate this burgeoning and dynamic category while spreading awareness for their beloved hard booch. Loyal fans and booch lovers will be able to enter social giveaways starting February 18, and running through February 21. Each participating brand will select one winner to walk away with brand-specific goodies, while also being entered to win a collective grand prize from all 10 hard kombuchas — which includes a variety of swag, apparel, glassware and gift cards.

So, if you’re looking to get in on this trend, now is a good time to start. Check out the ten leading hard kombucha brands participating in the give away below:

Boochcraft is creating a future in which the most compelling beverage choices are the ones that align with a healthier planet. They brew premium organic hard kombucha, made distinctly delicious by fresh-pressed juice, herbal infusions, and the power of live cultures. From the farm to the future, they’ve committed to creating a buzz around regenerative agriculture and strengthening food systems.

Local Roots Kombucha brews authentic, craft kombucha packed with probiotics and organic ingredients. They brew bold, great tasting and gluten-free hard kombucha with inspired flavors that include Strawberry Mojito & Island Vibes. The name Local Roots was derived from their passion for bringing people together, sharing and instilling a sense of community. Their goal is to create a cleaner alcohol that gives back to local communities through cause endeavors as much as it does for your gut health.

Flying Embers Hard Kombucha is a California-crafted line of organic Hard Kombuchas, Hard Seltzers and other botanical brews with functional benefits. With a commitment to innovation, Flying Embers’ products are 0 sugar, 0 carbs, and low calories (85-130), while also featuring attributes such as live probiotics, functional adaptogens and USDA certified organic ingredients. A proud supporter of its community, Flying Embers donates a portion of their revenue to firefighters and first responder charitable organizations out of respect for their service.

Jiant Hard Kombucha is a better-for-you alcohol company dedicated to sourcing the highest quality organic ingredients to deliver superior gluten-free beverages that are approachable, transparent, and delicious. Jiant is known for its clean, crisp and refreshing hard kombuchas that are thoughtfully crafted with high-grade green tea, sustainable honey, fresh-brewed botanicals and real fruit.

Kombrewcha is USDA certified organic, gluten-free and brewed to 4.4% ABV through natural fermentation. Kombrewcha uses quality ingredients, like fair-trade black tea, to create a sophisticated and refreshing flavor profile. Available in four delicious flavors: Berry Hibiscus, Ginger Lemon, Mango Pineapple and Blood Orange.

KYLA Hard Kombucha is craft brewed in Hood River, Oregon by a team of fermentation experts. Using a combination of thoughtfully sourced artisanal ingredients, pure Mt. Hood water and a bespoke SCOBY, KYLA offers an award-winning portfolio of fun, fizzy and fantastically refreshing flavors that are low sugar, low cal, low carb, low ABV, gluten-free and 100% vegan. Four new tropical flavors, Lavender Lemonade, Coconut Crush, Sunset Trio and Pineapple Ginger Colada now complement KYLA’s original four flavors (Ginger Tangerine, Pink Grapefruit, Berry Ginger and Hibiscus Lime), offering the health-conscious consumer a unique range to explore and enjoy.

Luna Bay Booch is a female founded line of boozy kombuchas that are vegan, gluten free and brewed with yerba mate tea, fruits and herbs. Luna Bay maintains its core flavors (Palo Santo Blueberry, Hibiscus Lavender, Ginger Lemon) and recently introduced a “Light” version to their lineup with lower calories and ABV. 

Nova Easy Kombucha sources the highest-quality ingredients to brew a unique kind of kombucha inspired by nature. With a variety of core products and seasonal releases that are low in calories, vegan, gluten-free, naturally fermented and full of probiotics, Nova makes it easy to please any palate with a perfectly balanced and very-good-tasting kombucha. Aavailable in alcoholic and non-alcoholic flavors.

Strainge Beast Hard Kombucha is an offshoot of Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. and is rooted in a lifelong love of fermentation – its art, its madness, its taste. Theiri hard kombucha starts with tea leaves, water, and organic ingredients, but it’s no mellow cup of herbs. Through a fermentation frenzy kombucha emerges bright and bubbly, winning taste buds in this enchanting brew.

WILD TONIC® Jun Kombucha is a woman-owned, Arizona based brewery crafting premium Jun Kombucha using sustainably-sourced honey and high quality organic teas, infused with farm fresh fruits, herbs and botanicals. All buzz and no bite, WILD TONIC offers a truly unique spin on taste with refreshing, delicate, chef-inspired flavors like Strawberry Blood Orange, Raspberry Goji Rose, Blueberry Basil and Mango Ginger. Available nationwide in non-alcohol and hard flavors, known as the “Champagne of Kombucha!”

NO PURCHASE NECESSARY for the giveaway. 21+. Ends February 21, 2021. Message and Data Rates may Apply. Void where prohibited. See here for Official Rules and Terms and Conditions.

San Diego resident for over 10 years, I now call this beautiful city home. Originally from the Bay Area, I'm a California girl at heart. I love the outdoors, fitness, food, and a good craft beer (from San Diego of course).

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