Kombucha alcohol content
It seems not a day goes by that we don’t get questions regarding kombucha alcohol content. This is a valid concern for many people but is especially common with pregnant women, recovering alcoholics, and parents concerned with their kids drinking kombucha. Before diving in, essentially, we can divide kombucha into three categories – store-bought, homemade, and hard. Hard kombucha is becoming more and more common in bars, restaurants, and grocery stores. These are obviously alcoholic, so I’m not going to patronize you and explain any further. So let’s discuss kombucha.
Is kombucha Alcoholic?
Yes, kombucha does contain trace amounts of alcohol, as with all fermented beverages, but it’s nearly always considered non-alcoholic by definition. So, in short, the alcohol content of kombucha is low enough not to have any intoxicating effects like alcoholic drinks; it’s similar to a non-alcoholic beer.
How much alcohol is in kombucha?
The alcohol percentage of kombucha typically ranges between 0.25%-1.00% A.B.V., sometimes a bit higher. This range is typical of homemade kombucha. Store-bought kombucha in the U.S. must be 0.5% A.B.V. or lower. In fact, here in the states – all drinks, including store-bought kombucha, are required by federal law to be at or below 0.5% A.B.V. to be considered non-alcoholic. For example, non-alcoholic beers like O’Doul’s contain 0.5% A.B.V. Anything higher than this, 0.6% A.B.V. and above, are considered alcoholic, and regulations come into play. Commercial kombucha breweries in the U.S. take great care to ensure the alcohol content of their kombucha is below this threshold. In fact, the law requires that it not go above this threshold at any point during the entire shelf life of the product and is subject to testing at any given time.
Can Kombucha Get You Drunk?
No, but that’s not to say that people haven’t tried. Well, to my knowledge, not exactly with kombucha but with non-alcoholic beer, which, as noted earlier, can contain similar alcohol levels. So, what happened? Well, a gentleman by the name of Tim Janus attempted to reach a blood alcohol content (B.A.C.) of 0.08%, legally intoxicated, by rapidly drinking non-alcoholic beers. Based on his calculation, he needed to drink thirty O’Doul’s in under an hour’s time. The results? He didn’t quite make it to thirty. But he did, however, manage to drink twenty-eight of them, blew a 0.02%, and puked it up. You can find the whole story and video here. Can you get drunk from non-alcoholic beer?
So let’s break this down;
- In the U.S., the blood alcohol limit when operating a vehicle is 0.08% (except in Utah, 0.05%).
- A 160 LBS man will blow a 0.02% after drinking one twelve-ounce beer.
- Tim Janus needed to drink twenty-eight twelve-ounce bottles of non-alcoholic beer (similar to kombucha) to blow a 0.02%.
If you’re trying to get drunk off kombucha, you’re going to need to add liquor. No worries; we have a few hard kombucha recipes to get you started.
Kombucha Cocktail Recipes
Kombucha Bloody Mary and Kombucha Margaritas