A Better Buzz: Hard Kombucha

Most hard kombuchas — kombuchas with added alcohol — are not only low in sugar and high in probiotics, they also come in impeccable packaging worthy of display. Here are some that check all those boxes and also do good.


California’s first hard kombucha brewery, Boochcraft features zesty flavors like ginger lime, grapefruit hibiscus and apple jasmine that are crafted with fruit that’s fresh-pressed in-house. All Boochcraft beverages are organic, vegan and contain no fake flavors. To top it off, the company is 1% for the planet — meaning at least one percent of annual sales go toward environmental causes — and is the number one composter in the city of Chula Vista.

June Shine

San Diego’s JuneShine works with the National Forest Foundation by planting trees to replace those used to make its cartons, and its brewery is powered with one hundred percent renewable energy. JuneShine drinks come in flavors like blood orange mint, honey ginger lemon and acai berry among others and contain six percent alcohol by volume (ABV). In June, the company launched two flavors of JuneShine 100 — 100 calorie slimmer cans with just one gram of sugar. Two hour home delivery is available in the Bay Area.


Born in Brooklyn and available in New York City, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Oregon, and Washington, Kombrewcha is brewed with from black tea which is Fair Trade Certified — Fair Trade Certified products support the small-scale farmers and workers in developing countries by ensuring safe workplaces, income sustainability, supporting the environmental impact, and more. Available in three flavors — lemongrass lime, berry hibiscus and royal ginger — Kombrewcha beverages are organic, 4.4% ABV, and just 120 calories.

KYLA Hard Kombucha

Hailing from Hood River, Oregon, KYLA Hard Kombucha is brewed from a SCOBY — symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast — and comes in flavors like ginger tangerine, hibiscus lime, and pink grapefruit. Drinks contain live cultures, do not require refrigeration, have 100 calories, 4.5% ABV and 2 grams of sugar. In April KYLA launched Sunbreak Series, seasonal flavors like lavender lemonade and coconut crush that are the result, in part, of KYLA’s newly installed, state-of-the-art pilot system from Portland Kettle Works — a five-barrel steam jacketed brew system with three 10-barrel fermenters and five one-barrel fermenters.

Luna Bay Booch

Crafted in Chicago, Luna Bay is a female-founded hard kombucha brand that is distributed in Illinois, California and other select states across the nation. The three core flavors — Palo Santo blueberry, hibiscus lavender and ginger lemon — are naturally fermented to 6% ABV and made with Yerba Mate tea and all non-GMO ingredients. Luna Bay Booch products are gluten-free, vegan and low in sugar — the company is also 1% for the Planet. Find it at Whole Foods and many other grocers across the nation.

Nova Easy Kombucha

After starting Novo Brewery in 2014, Tiago Carneiro set out to make alcoholic drinks in a more natural way and launched Chula Vista-based Nova Easy Kombucha. Nova Easy Kombucha is gluten-free, vegan-friendly, probiotic, contains 6% ABV and comes in flavors like mango and ginger, peach and passionfruit and orange brunch. The newest seasonal flavor, sexy pina colada, features organic pineapple juice and coconut water, as well as a little extra alcohol, bring it to 8% ABV.⁠

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Kasia Pawlowska

Kasia Pawlowska loves words. A native of Poland, Kasia moved to the States when she was seven. The San Francisco State University creative writing graduate went on to write for publications like the San Francisco Bay Guardian and KQED Arts among others prior to joining the Marin Magazine staff. Topics Kasia has covered include travel, trends, mushroom hunting, an award-winning series on social media addiction and loads of other random things. When she’s not busy blogging or researching and writing articles, she’s either at home writing postcards and reading or going to shows. Recently, Kasia has been trying to branch out and diversify, ie: use different emojis. Her quest for the perfect chip is never-ending.