A hub for both craft breweries and healthy living, San Diego is unsurprisingly at the forefront of the kombucha craze. An increasing number of brewers are specializing in making the fermented tea, and kombucha is now offered on tap in bars and restaurants throughout the city. One local company, Boochcraft, is appealing to both the health and happy hour crowd with its flavored, alcoholic kombucha.
“A big part of our incubation was being able to do it in a town that was such a big craft beer town,” says co-founder Adam Hiner. “The consumers here are very excited to try new things.”
Regular kombucha naturally has trace amounts of alcohol, but with an ABV of 7 percent, Boochcraft is as alcoholic as a typical IPA, San Diego’s classic craft beer. “Seven percent is a number that I think people are pretty accustomed to when they’re drinking craft beer,” says Hiner.
The carbonated beverage is naturally sweetened with cold-pressed juices and herbs, coming in unique flavors like “grapefruit-hibiscus-heather,” and “apple-lime-jasmine.”
Like regular kombucha, Boochcraft is also gluten free and contains probiotics. “All the same health benefits that you would find in regular kombucha are also present in our product,” says Hiner. But he is quick to warn against over-indulging: “Of course, drinking [excessive] amounts of alcohol is never good for you.”
Hiner first had the idea for a kombucha brewery while running his restaurant Local Habitat. He started making regular kombucha in small batches and serving it on tap. “I saw the demand for it,” he says. “I realized it would be potentially a good business idea to have a brewery, but didn’t have the resources at the time.”