Serious Question: Can Kombucha Make You Drunk?

Have you ever been carded when innocently buying a bottle of kombucha? Same. But wait, we thought kombucha was supposed to be good for you. Can it actually get you drunk? What gives? We headed to Whole Foods to investigate.

How much alcohol does kombucha actually have? After a close read of every kombucha label in the store, we discovered that most bottles contain less than .5 percent alcohol by volume, with a few reaching 2.5 percent…in other words, not enough to get you drunk, even if you drank a bunch of bottles. (For comparison, beer usually has around 5 percent ABV and wine contains about 12).

So why do I have to show my ID? That’s because the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau determines that any drink with .5 percent alcohol or higher must be sold like an alcoholic beverage. It won’t always happen, but don’t be shocked if it does.

And what about hard kombucha? We’ve been seeing new, “hard” kombuchas popping up in stores stores recently, like Kyla and Kombrewcha. These drinks can have grains added and go through a third fermentation process to reach ABV levels of about 4.5 percent. They’ll certainly help you get your buzz on, if that’s what you’re here for.

Phew, all this research is making us thirsty. Time for a kombucha break.

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Food Editor

From 2017 to 2019 Heath Goldman held the role of Food Editor covering food, booze and some recipe development, too. Tough job, eh?