Is Kombucha An Alcoholic Beverage?

Is Kombucha An Alcoholic Beverage?

Key points

  • All types of kombucha contain a small amount of alcohol. The minimal alcohol content in kombucha is unavoidable. Alcohol is a natural byproduct of fermentation, and all fermented foods contain some trace of it. Some other fermented foods that contain this substance include vinegar, sauerkraut, kefir, and soy sauce. However, the alcohol content of kombucha is different between brands. Homemade kombucha has a higher alcohol content than the commercially available one.
  • The alcohol content in kombucha depends on various factors. The longer kombucha is left to ferment - the higher percentage of alcohol it’ll contain. The amount of alcohol in kombucha also depends on the yeast the brewer is using.
  • People who are sensitive to alcohol or try to avoid it should opt for alcohol-free kombucha alternatives such as FUL® sparkling spirulina drinks. Spirulina delivers numerous health benefits, some of them similar to kombucha. For instance, it helps to control cholesterol and blood sugar levels and improves the digestive system function. Spirulina doesn’t contain probiotics, but it has detoxifying, antioxidant, and anti-inflammatory effects.
Try Sparkling Spirulina Drink


Kombucha has been around for years, but its popularity has really spiked recently. More and more people are drinking this fermented beverage due to its numerous health benefits. With the health industry evolving every day, people are exploring different ways to care about their health and well-being. Drinking healthy and nourishing beverages is one of the ways to do this. 

An abundance of research has proven kombucha’s health benefits, and there are still some ongoing studies to understand how we can benefit from probiotics. Some of the well-known benefits of kombucha are improved digestion and lower cholesterol and blood sugar levels. One thing that concerns some people is kombucha’s alcohol content. In this article, we’ll take a look at how much alcohol kombucha contains and whether it’s considered an alcoholic beverage.  

Does Kombucha Contain Alcohol?

Like many fermented beverages, kombucha originated in China and is made from black or green tea mixed with bacteria, yeast, and sugar. The mixture is left to ferment for several weeks. Over time, a mushroom-like film develops on the surface of the tea. 

Alcohol is a byproduct of any fermented drink. Beverages like water kefir, soy sauce, and vinegar naturally contain it, and so does kombucha. Despite the minimal alcohol content, kombucha isn’t intoxicating, and you won’t feel any effects of alcohol while drinking it. Alcohol in kombucha is simply a natural result of fermentation. How does it form? During the first fermentation, when a SCOBY (a symbiotic mix of bacteria and yeast) is mixed with sweetened tea, it feeds on the sugar that tea contains. During this, it converts sugar into ethanol (alcohol) and acetic acid, which gives kombucha its sour and tart taste as well as enriches it with probiotics.  

How Much Alcohol Does Kombucha Contain?

Kombucha contains a minimal amount of alcohol, and most commercially available brands have no more than 0.5% ABV. This means that kombucha is technically a non-alcoholic drink, as a drink should contain more than 1.2% ABV in order to be classified as alcoholic. To compare, many non-alcoholic beers and wines have an ABV of 0.5%.

However, kombucha’s alcohol content can differ from brand to brand. It all depends on the type of yeast the brand uses and how long they brew each batch. The longer kombucha is fermented - the more alcohol content it’ll contain. Also, some types of yeast brew at lower temperatures, therefore, they’ll produce less alcohol. 

The initial amount of sugar in tea also determines the alcohol content of kombucha. The more sugar you add to tea - the more alcohol the yeast will produce. However, it’s impossible to make kombucha without sugar or with minimum sugar as the yeast will starve, and fermentation will fail. It’s also worth noting that homemade kombucha often contains higher alcohol content. 

Acetic bacteria also need oxygen to convert the alcohol in kombucha into vinegar. In simple words, the more kombucha is exposed to the air, the lower the alcohol content it will contain. Sometimes, brewers reduce the alcohol content of kombucha with different techniques, but even then, kombucha will still contain some trace of alcohol.

Will Drinking Kombucha Get You Drunk?

You won’t get drunk by drinking kombucha because it has a minimal alcohol content.

Many people who are trying to cut back on alcohol prefer kombucha to alcoholic drinks since it gives a delicious taste without making you intoxicated. 

Is Kombucha Safe For Everyone?

For people who are particularly sensitive to alcohol or want to avoid it completely for religious and other reasons, kombucha is not the perfect drink. People who have concerns about consuming alcohol should either talk with their doctor or choose alcohol-free fizzy drinks.

You may want to dilute kombucha with juice or ice cubes before giving it to children. Pregnant or nursing women should avoid drinking kombucha.

FUL® Sparkling Spirulina Drinks - Alcohol-Free Kombucha Alternative

If you’re looking for a healthy and delicious drink that doesn’t contain alcohol, try FUL® sparkling spirulina drinks. Spirulina is the most nutrient-dense product in the world that has been used in traditional medicine for centuries due to its impressive health benefits. For instance, spirulina has potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. 

Try Sparkling Spirulina Drink

FUL® sparkling spirulina drinks are an excellent and delicious alternative to traditional kombucha. In addition to being sugar-free, they also help control blood sugar levels and cholesterol levels as well as improve the digestive system functioning. 

FUL® drinks are delicious and deliver all the benefits of spirulina extract without exposing you to the unpleasant taste and smell of this algae. These beverages are also a great source of protein, and one FUL® drink has as much protein as 20g of broccoli. Our beverages come in different flavours and suit all tastes and preferences. Choose a pack of white peach, lime & mint, or lemon & ginger drinks or go with a mix pack and try all of these flavours! 


How much alcohol is in kombucha?

All fermented foods naturally contain minimal traces of alcohol. The same applies to kombucha; it’s unavoidable for it to have a small amount of alcohol. While alcohol content varies from brand to brand, most commercially available kombucha contains no more than 0.5% ABV. Homemade kombucha may have slightly higher alcohol content.

How to lower alcohol in kombucha?

The amount of alcohol in kombucha depends on various factors. First, is how long the drink is fermented: the longer the fermentation - the higher the alcohol content. It also depends on the type of yeast the brewer uses, how much sugar they put in the tea, and whether kombucha is exposed to the air.

Is there alcohol-free kombucha?

No, there’s no alcohol-free kombucha, as alcohol is an unavoidable fermentation byproduct. For people who’re sensitive to alcohol or try to avoid it, it’s recommended to opt for alcohol-free kombucha alternatives such as FUL® sparkling spirulina drinks. These drinks deliver even more benefits than kombucha, including potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects.

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