I stumbled on this at my local Whole Foods Market: Flying Embers Hard Kombucha, i.e., an alcoholic kombucha.
Because kombuchas are fermented by a combination of bacteria and fungi, alcoholic fermentation has been a problem with many commercial kombuchas in the past, as fungi ferment to alcohol. (Most fermenting bacterial species ferment to lactic acid and other compounds.) The presence of alcohol has caused some manufacturers to tangle with the authorities, as these products were not being sold as alcoholic beverages yet had something like 2.5-3.0% alcohol. Commercial kombuchas have since altered the fungal species used and modified the fermenting process to keep alcohol at 0.5% or less.
However, the Flying Embers people have turned this around and released a kombucha that purposely has higher alcohol content of 4.5%, similar to many light beers, and it is sold as an alcoholic beverage. The products are organic and also contain an “adaptogen root blend” of ashwagandha, turmeric, ginger, and astragalus. Each 12 ounce serving contains 2.5 grams carbs, zero sugars, and is lightly sweetened with erythritol, so is safe from a Wheat Belly viewpoint. I tasted the three flavors shown: Lemon Orchard, Grapefruit Thyme, and Ancient Berry. Whole Foods also had the Lemon Orchard version on tap at their little bar. All were tasty, but I especially liked the Grapefruit Thyme. The California company has an interesting past, having survived a California wildfire in 2017 that provided the inspiration for their name. Read their story here.
I’ve contacted the company to find out whether any analyses have been performed to identify the bacterial and fungal species and counts present; I will update with their response.
I have no relationship with Flying Embers; I just think it’s a cool product, a fun and tasty way to add some more probiotic bacteria and fungi to your life. Find your nearest retailer on the Flying Embers website.