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A New Kind Of Bubbly: Kombrewcha

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Kombrewcha is the first hard kombucha to launch in the United States.

Kombrewcha is the first hard kombucha to launch in the United States.

Courtesy of Kombrewcha

Courtesy of Kombrewcha

Kombrewcha is the first hard kombucha to launch in the United States.

By Anah Oozeerally, Contributing Writer

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Picture it: health and alcohol in one. Enter Kombrewcha — a boozy kombucha that provides a balance between the two. You reap the health benefits of kombucha and get a little added buzz, where can things go wrong? Sounds like a gym rat or fitness Instagrammer’s Saturday night pregame.

Regular kombucha contains trace amounts of alcohol but instead of trying to minimize the alcohol levels of the drink, Kombrewcha zeroed in on that aspect and expanded the health drink to a more recreational arena — increasing the alcohol content to 3.2 percent.

The product comes in four different flavors: The OG (Original), Berry Hibiscus, Lemongrass Lime and Royal Ginger. The kombucha tastes fairly similar to its original iteration, and the increased alcohol content is largely undetectable. Although it contains antioxidants, Marketing Director Kristina Marino warns that Kombrewcha’s natural ingredients shouldn’t be an excuse for excessive consumption.

The relatively new company has been around for only two years, but its popularity has been on the rise as people are becoming more conscious of what they are putting into their bodies.

Marino said that Kombrewcha was the best selling alcoholic beverage in the Whole Foods Market stores where the product was supplied.

Kombrewcha’s slogan is “socialize without compromise,” and the product does exactly that. For alcohol, it seems like one of the the healthiest alternatives compared to other beverages that leave you with cruel hangovers. If this is the case, why hasn’t everyone switched?

The biggest drawback is the price. At around $13 for a four-pack, the price tag is fairly steep in comparison to a six-pack of cider which is usually around $9. Kombucha is usually a pricey drink to begin with at around $24 for a six-pack, so from that perspective, Kombrewcha still seems pretty reasonable.

When asked if students would splurge on Kombrewcha, many weren’t totally against the idea of switching it up from their usual beverages.

Tisch senior Sai Konkala said he wouldn’t be opposed, but it depends on the weather.

“I drank kombucha in the summer a lot and alcoholic kombucha would be a brunch upgrade I guess,” Konkala said. “It would fulfill the alcohol need without feeling like an alcoholic.”

On the other hand, students, such as CAS junior Alexa Ornelas, who have actually tried the drink had much less positive reactions.

“I’ve had boozy kombucha, and I’m not a big fan. It tastes exactly like regular kombucha but is way more expensive,” she said.

Then there are the inbetweeners. CAS senior Yetunde Aremu does not like the taste of regular kombucha but was intrigued by the concept of its boozy sister.

“I’ve had kombucha before, and it tasted gross,” Aremu said. “But I’m interested in how adding alcohol would change it’s appeal to me.”

Although the price is somewhat steep in comparison to its competition, it’s important to keep in mind that Kombrewcha wasn’t formulated as a drink to get drunk. Rather, it’s a drink to sip on when you have priorities in the morning but still want to socialize while being relatively responsible. Whether you are a fan of kombucha or looking for a healthier alternative to cider, I would give Kombrewcha a try.

Additional reporting by Pamela Jew and Jemima McEvoy. Email Anah Oozeerally at [email protected]

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