Friday, August 31, 2012

Getting this started again with a kick: Ginger Kombucha Beer

Unity Vibration's Kombucha Beer - Ginger

This is kind of like the hippy version of a vodka Red Bull.  It has alcohol and caffeine (at lower levels than a vrb) and it also has nutritional aspects from the kombucha.

Unity Vibration makes two flavors of kombucha beer: ginger and raspberry.  I tried their ginger beer.  It tastes like a natural ginger ale with a slight twinge of funk/sourness, but hardly noticeable.  It had more sweetness than I was expecting, but not as much as a soda.  I was expecting it to be a sour beer.  Their beer doesn't taste like any kombucha I've ever had.  The ginger wasn't as spicy as a Bundaburg or Stewarts ginger beer (non-alcoholic, used for ginger flavor comparison only), but definitely more flavorful than a mainstream ginger ale.  It was more like a candied ginger than a spicy ginger.  If I hadn't read the label, I would have had no idea it was 8.0% alc./vol.  The beer tastes and has a mouth-feel more like a lambic or a cider than a typical beer.  This is probably because of the addition of ginger, residual sugar, and the open top fermentation in oak barrels.

There was a zero slime factor in my bottle with just a couple small clumps in the bottom of the bottle which is something that many people find off-putting about kombucha.

For those who haven't heard of kombucha, it is a fermented black tea that first appeared in either China or Japan with people dating it back as far as 200BCE.  The tea is fermented using a culture of yeasts and bacteria.  The yeast converts the sugar to ethanol (alcohol) and the bacteria converts the ethanol to acetic acid.  Most kombucha is under 0.5% alc/vol is is the level of non-alcoholic (boring) beer.  Most people drink it because it is thought to boost metabolism, reduce indigestion, alkalize the body, boost the immune system, improve liver function, and it contains probiotics.

Unity Vibration's Kombucha Beer - Ginger is vegan, organic, raw, and gluten-free.

P.S.  Given the unruly nature of kombucha cultures, I wouldn't be surprised if there is variability between batches.

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