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What Is Hard Kombucha? Does It Taste Good?

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The alcohol industry has been turned on its head. For centuries, alcohol enthusiasts were steadfast in their loyalty to beers, wines, and spirits. We think that’s a little boring.

A new face has emerged in the market—or pulled up to the party, as the case may be. Lighter, lower-calorie drinks like spiked seltzers have suddenly become a favorite among drinkers all over the world. We’re not so sure about all that malt liquor, though. So, what’s our choice?

Consumers are rapidly moving toward lower-calorie beverages, even when they’re choosing their alcohol. If you’ve walked into your local supermarket recently, you’ve probably noticed an uptick in vegan, organic, and gluten-free items on the shelves. 

The real star of this new movement is kombucha, a fermented tea renowned for its variety of health benefits. Naturally, it contains small traces of alcohol, but now hard versions of this superdrink are changing the game.  

Enter JuneShine. Our hard kombuchas are made from the highest quality, organic ingredients you can find. With only 2-4 grams of sugar per can and less than ten carbs, you can enjoy our drinks guilt-free! At 6% ABV, you can also sip this drink comfortably.

If you’re in search of a healthier alcoholic beverage, look no further! Unlike seltzer, kombucha isn’t just a less harmful alternative to other drinks. Kombucha is packed with probiotics, which support your gut health, as well as antioxidants, which promote a healthy liver. Also, it just plain tastes great. 

Yes, hard kombucha is a better-for-you alcohol. Of course, alcohol should always be enjoyed in moderation, but if you’re going to enjoy a proper adult beverage, why not do it in good conscience? 


How Hard Kombucha Is Made

Kombucha is usually made by blending tea leaves with different strains of yeast and bacteria. When contained at room temperature, the yeast and bacteria begin to ferment the mixture. Many of this beverage’s health-boosting attributes come from this fermentation process. After the drink is fermented, it is fermented again—that’s right, booch so nice we brew it twice. 

Hard kombuchas are made with a different proportion of ingredients than traditional kombuchas, and they’re fermented for longer. As a result, more sugar from the blend converts to alcohol, increasing the ABV of the drink. Once a kombucha goes over 0.5% ABV, it is considered an alcoholic beverage, according to the U.S. Tax and Trade Bureau. What does that mean for your booch? Just that you can have a little extra fun while sipping on the same great taste. 


Hard Kombucha: A Healthy Alcohol?

Hard kombucha tends to have fewer calories, carbs, and sugar than other alcoholic drinks. Your average hard kombucha will contain 100-150 calories, 5-13g of carbs, and 2-10 grams of sugar per serving.

These amounts will vary depending on the brand, but typically, hard kombuchas are pretty light drinks.  

Hard kombucha is usually gluten-free, too—that’s right, the good news just keeps coming. The production process doesn’t require any ingredients that contain gluten, so it’s rare that kombucha ever has gluten. Unlike beer, kombucha isn’t made from wheat or barley. For those with celiac disease, this is a safe option to drink! To be safe, though, you should always read the label.

Hard kombucha also provides other benefits. Both hard kombuchas and regular kombuchas can be made from black or green teas, which provide a ton of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. 

Kombucha also contains polyphenols and several acids that help maximize the nutritional potential of food, support digestion, and encourage the activity of antioxidants in the body. These polyphenols and acids are still effective in hard kombuchas. 

Don’t Forget… It’s Still Alcohol

Despite these benefits, it should be noted that all of the risks associated with drinking alcohol still apply to hard kombucha. Most hard kombuchas float around 4.5% to 8.0% ABV, which is comparable to many beers and wines. 

If you’re brewing hard kombucha at home, it’s very easy to ferment it for too long and increase the ABV of the drink way too high. Homemade brews can also be contaminated by pathogens if your equipment isn’t sterilized properly. That means that you’re probably better off just grabbing a few cans of JuneShine and calling it a day.

A Taste Like No Other

Though the flavor profile of your hard kombucha will vary based on where you get it and what was added to it, we can make a pretty good guess about what it’s going to taste like. 

Some say it’s bitter. Some say it’s tart. Either way, this drink may not be an instant favorite for  inexperienced drinkers, but it sure does grow on you. A lot of the notes that are naturally found in hard kombucha are offset by additional ingredients like ginger, hibiscus, pineapple, mint, and citruses like blood orange, lemon, and grapefruit.

The taste of some hard kombucha can be described as sour, sweet, and slightly vinegary. But JuneShine isn’t your average hard kombucha. Try it and revel in the refreshingly smooth taste and super-sessionable sips. 

Where to Find Hard Kombucha

When it comes to hard kombucha, we flipped the switch and made some innovative new flavors, including Blood Orange Mint, Iced Tea Lemonade, Hopical Citrus, and so much more. 

One of our favorite flavors is the Midnight Painkiller, a dry, fruity kombucha containing elements of coconut, pineapple, orange, nutmeg, activated charcoal, green tea, and Jun kombucha. It is our dark twist on the classic painkiller cocktail. Midnight Painkiller is bold, complex, and remarkably smooth. At only $3.00 per can, you can’t go wrong with this tantalizing drink.

For those who like their drinks more on the sophisticated side, our Grapefruit Paloma flavor will do the job! With sweet, subtle notes of punchy grapefruit and tangy lime, with green tea notes rounding it all out, you’re sure to enjoy sipping it wherever you are. 


While hard kombucha is still alcohol, it’s considered a ‘better-for-you’ alcohol, unlike beer or tequila. It’s made with real ingredients containing antioxidants, probiotics, and other bonuses you won’t get from other forms of alcohol.

Avoid the beer belly. Say no to the tequila hangover. Drink something that you can feel good about and that you can enjoy regularly. 

Most importantly, hard kombucha is insanely delicious. Without a doubt, kombucha is an acquired taste. But isn’t that the case with a lot of drinks?  In the case of stronger drinks like these, it usually takes a while before you begin to like the taste, but when you do—there’s no going back. 

It’s taken quite some time for people to appreciate kombucha for the magical drink it is. At first, you may be thrown off by its tart taste. However, as you continue to sip this fermented tea, you’ll realize that you’ve discovered your new best friend, JuneShine.  

As the world continues to trend toward a health-conscious future, expect to see more kombucha on the shelves of your local stores. Don’t get left behind! JuneShine hard kombucha ain’t going anywhere any time soon! 


The Hard Seltzer Market Is Getting More Crowded | Forbes 

Kombucha General | TTBGov 

Microbiome and Gut Dysbiosis | NCBI