Hard Kombucha: A Beer And Wine Alternative
You’ve crushed your share of IPAs and swirled the occasional merlot. But sometimes you want to mix it up, taste something unique — something Strainge. Hard kombucha, a boozy and fruit-infused tea beverage, is a worthy alternative to beer and wine.
How Is Wine Made?
Drive past the rolling hills of a vineyard, and that horizon of grapes is ripe for a delicious transformation. The fruit is pressed or crushed before yeast — often naturally living on the grapes already — convert those grape sugars into alcohol and carbon dioxide. Red wine includes the grape skins and seeds during fermentation, providing color and more; grapes for white wine ditch their skins before fermentation.
How Are Wine And Kombucha Different?
Grapes define wine, but tea is the bedrock of kombucha. Its signature sweet-and-tart, fizzy flavor is thanks to fermentation with a mixture of bacteria and yeast. Then to make Strainge Beast a hard kombucha, we launch a secondary fermentation with fresh yeast and organic sugar to create alcohol — up to 7% ABV with flavors like Blood Orange & Passion Fruit.
There’s a clear divergence when it comes to alcohol content of hard kombucha vs wine. There is a broad range for wine, but it’s common to see labels with ABVs in the double digits.
While our nutrition facts are based on 12-ounce servings, wine is much less, around 5 ounces (gotta respect that hefty ABV). According to USDA data, a serving of “red table wine” has less than 1 gram of sugar and not quite 4 carbs; white wine makes a modest increase to 1.41 grams of sugar.
Pound for pound, then, our hard kombucha can be a solid wine alternative. Take our Watermelon, Sea Salt, Lime & Mint flavor, which clocks in at 4 grams of sugar and 5 carbs in a 12-ounce can. And with only 100 calories, Strainge Beast Watermelon edges out wine’s average in the low 120s.
Can You Mix Hard Kombucha And Wine?
The modern cocktail scene is full of artful drink combos, so you’re bound to see mixologists blending hard kombucha and wine. (The internet readily showed us sangria ideas.) We’ve been exploring other hybrids, with recipes like our Strainge Beast Old Fashioned or Strainge Beast Blueberry Mojito.
Hard Kombucha Vs. Beer
Where kombucha begins with tea leaves, craft beer gets rolling with malted barley. Mixing hot water and malted barley, a brewing step called mashing, activates enzymes that convert barley starches into fermentable sugars. Then, you guessed it, yeast will eventually nom on those sugars to create alcohol. (Here’s your rabbit hole for hops and yeast strains, too.)
Looking at the nutritional facts of hard kombucha vs craft beer, they can either be mirror images or miles apart. There’s such variety in craft beer — from low-alcohol “session” IPAs to beastly imperial stouts — that you can really choose your drinking destiny. If you want poolside margarita vibes with low cals, then Let’s Get Strainge. Or maybe the day calls for a beer, so the only question remains: What’s your thing?
And if a gluten allergy means beer is off the table, rejoice, Strainge Beast is gluten free.
Is Kombucha Beer?
Look closely at a can of hard kombucha, and you’ll spot “beer” somewhere in the small print. That’s because, by law, hard kombucha and beer share a classification since their alcohol is derived from the fermentation of sugar. Yet they are two distinct drinking experiences with unique ingredients and complex fermentations.
Why Does Kombucha Taste Like Beer?
Or at least you’re maybe reminded of beer since both drinks rely on yeast as part of their fermentation, and therefore part of their flavor. And each one employs bubbly carbonation for that sense of refreshment. Yet the tea-based, fruit-infused tang of hard kombucha is a departure from the hops-and-malt world of beer.
Where To Find Kombucha
When you’re craving new flavor — unchartered territory for your taste buds — grab hard kombucha as an alternative to beer and wine. They all share bits of science as they come to life, but Strainge Beast is deliciously different.