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Is Kombucha Alcoholic?

April 1, 2022 | Health | Kombucha

While kombucha has been around for thousands of years, the popularity of the fermented beverage has surged in recent years. Aside from kombucha’s delicious taste, the growth of the wellness industry globally has led to people looking for new ways to get their health fix. Many have naturally landed on this nourishing yet flavoursome beverage as a way of doing just this.

Considering kombucha is filled with probiotics and antioxidants, it offers numerous health benefits. However, some people are put off by kombucha’s alcohol content — after all, it is made using a fermentation process that converts sugar to alcohol. But how much alcohol is in kombucha, and is it enough to classify the beverage as alcoholic? Read on to find out answers to these questions, and more.


Does kombucha have alcohol in it?

Like all kinds of other fermented food and drink, including water kefir, soy sauce and vinegar, kombucha naturally contains alcohol. However, kombucha isn’t brewed to be intoxicating. This is simply a natural result of the fermentation process used to create the drink. 

In this process, a SCOBY (a pancake-shaped symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast) is mixed with sweetened tea. The bacteria and yeast then convert the sugar into ethanol (alcohol) and acetic acid, giving kombucha its unique sour taste and probiotic goodness. 


How much alcohol is in kombucha?

Kombucha’s alcohol content is minimal, with most commercially available brews containing around 0.5% ABV. This technically makes it non-alcoholic, as a drink is only classified as alcoholic if it contains more than 1.2% ABV. For reference, many de-alcoholised beers and wines have an ABV of 0.5%, while even a very ripe banana can have an ABV of up to 0.4%.

With all that being said, it’s important to note that the alcohol content of kombucha can differ from brand to brand depending on aspects like the brewing time and the type of yeast used. Generally speaking, homemade variations will often naturally feature a higher alcohol content. Here at No.1 Living, our kombucha contains around 0.5% ABV.


Will drinking kombucha get you drunk?

No, drinking kombucha will not get you drunk. You’d have to consume an unholy amount of the drink to become intoxicated on it, so much so that the possibility isn’t really worth thinking about!

It’s for this reason that many teetotalers (or those trying to reduce their alcohol intake) are switching from booze to kombucha, giving them a tasty treat without the inebriation. If you’re looking to cut back on alcohol, why not try this yourself? You can even include kombucha in mocktails if you want to replicate the unique cocktail taste.


How does No. 1 Living reduce its alcohol content?

The controls we have in place means we don’t need to take any additional action to reduce the amount of alcohol in our drinks, but we carefully monitor our production processes to ensure levels of alcohol are minimised. This allows us to keep our drinks natural and maintain the beneficial bacteria.


Can anyone drink kombucha?

If you are especially sensitive to alcohol or have other health concerns or religious reasons for steering clear of kombucha, you should bear in mind its alcohol content. For those with medical concerns specifically, it might make sense to talk things through with your doctor before drinking the beverage. 

Even with its extremely low alcohol content, you may also want to consider diluting kombucha before giving it to any children. You can do this in multiple ways, such as with juice, water or ice cubes.

We hope this has cleared up some of the uncertainty around kombucha and alcohol! With No. 1 Living’s kombucha, you can enjoy a healthy and delicious beverage without the alcoholic buzz. Check out our kombucha range today, which features flavours including ginger, raspberry and passion fruit.

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