Ontario’s first hard kombucha set to hit LCBO shelves this month | TasteToronto

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Ontario’s first hard kombucha set to hit LCBO shelves this month

Ontario’s first hard kombucha set to hit LCBO shelves this month

Ontario’s first hard kombucha set to hit LCBO shelves this month

Hamilton-based kombucha brewers expand into the canned cocktail scene.

Kombucha -- the fizzy, fermented drink popular among the health community has evolved into more than just a “hipster” trend. As more people look toward healthier lifestyle choices, VIBE Hard Kombucha company is hopping on the bandwagon and creating an alcoholic kombucha-first drink marketed to be enjoyed by all.

VIBE Hard Kombucha's popular Strawberry Basil Flavour

In 2019, Trevor Page, alongside his university friends, began experimenting with homemade kombucha cocktails.

“Back in school we liked having dinner parties and experimenting with cocktails. We found that the tanginess and effervescence of kombucha was really good at eliminating some of the more unpleasant aspects of spirits,” he says about how they invented the product.

Unlike other alcoholic kombucha drinks in stores, VIBE Hard Kombucha, whose brewery is located in Hamilton Ont., is dedicated to a kombucha-first approach. Page explains companies making similar products add kombucha as an ingredient in their drinks to create a kombucha cider or radler. VIBE is dedicated to keeping the integral aspects of kombucha, such as natural ingredients, the main focus of their company. Their goal is to create a “healthier” alcoholic beverage by providing all the benefits kombucha offers with a higher alcohol percentage to appeal to those who want cleaner drinking options.

“First and foremost, we're brewing the kombucha ourselves, and because of that, a lot of focus goes into the ingredients and the craft brewing process to create our kombucha,” says Page.

Although any cocktail containing alcohol cannot be considered a health drink, Page explains many of the benefits kombucha is known for such as vitamins, minerals and enzymes make drinking a kombucha cocktail somewhat of a healthier alternative than other ready to drink options.

“All the flavourings we use are organic, whole ingredients and we try to source them locally when we can. We find our product is popular amongst people who are active… it’s for people looking for a beverage with high quality ingredients that complements their lifestyle instead of retracting from it,” says Page.

VIBE Hard Kombucha is set to hit LCBO shelves this spring

When Kombucha is brewed, it goes through a fermentation process which naturally produces alcohol as a by-product. One way to increase the alcohol content of kombucha is to double ferment the batch, however, looking long-term, Page explains the best way to make the hard-kombucha drink they envisioned was to add spirits.

Their popular strawberry-basil flavour is made with a gluten-free vodka, but Page hopes to expand into more spirits.

“We have other flavour profiles in mind that we think would pair really well with tequila or gin and so we think spiking it with a spirit as opposed to double fermenting allows for a lot more creative beverages to come,” says Page.

According to a report from the IWSR, a drinks market analysis firm, kombucha has been on an upward trend and the natural progression into a higher alcohol content version is now in demand. “Hard Kombucha is appealing to today’s health-conscious consumers, who are looking for alternatives to beer and artificially flavoured ‘ready-to-drinks’ (RTD),” the report states.

Similar to a hard seltzer, a RTD hard kombucha appeals to those keen on a low calorie and low sugar option, but Page says unlike a hard seltzer, where flavours are quite limited, hard kombucha has the potential for more experimentation.

“We flavour with essentially a giant tea bag with real fruits and botanicals, and we brew it in oak barrels,” says Page about their process.

After growing the company almost entirely over the COVID-19 pandemic through online meetings and phone calls, VIBE Hard Kombucha is set to hit LCBO shelves this spring. After seeing success in local bottle shops and some open-minded restaurants, Page and his team are excited to bring this new “healthier” alcohol option to consumers.

“Our customers have told us this is great to enjoy at the beach or at the cottage, and I see it as an awesome picnic beverage if you’re having an afternoon at Trinity Bellwoods,” says Page.

“People who are health focused still like to unwind and we see a gap there where we think our product fits in… our product is for people living an active lifestyle who still like to let their hair down afterwards,” he says.

Tags:

Vibe Hard Kombucha

Kombucha Fermented Drink

Kombucha Set to Hit LCBO Shelves This May

Vibe Kombucha Canada

Ontario’s First Hard Kombucha

Ontario’s first hard kombucha set to hit LCBO shelves this month

News

9 months ago

Ontario’s first hard kombucha set to hit LCBO shelves this month

Kirsten Svitich
written by

Kirsten Svitich

Hamilton-based kombucha brewers expand into the canned cocktail scene.

Kombucha -- the fizzy, fermented drink popular among the health community has evolved into more than just a “hipster” trend. As more people look toward healthier lifestyle choices, VIBE Hard Kombucha company is hopping on the bandwagon and creating an alcoholic kombucha-first drink marketed to be enjoyed by all.

VIBE Hard Kombucha's popular Strawberry Basil Flavour

In 2019, Trevor Page, alongside his university friends, began experimenting with homemade kombucha cocktails.

“Back in school we liked having dinner parties and experimenting with cocktails. We found that the tanginess and effervescence of kombucha was really good at eliminating some of the more unpleasant aspects of spirits,” he says about how they invented the product.

Unlike other alcoholic kombucha drinks in stores, VIBE Hard Kombucha, whose brewery is located in Hamilton Ont., is dedicated to a kombucha-first approach. Page explains companies making similar products add kombucha as an ingredient in their drinks to create a kombucha cider or radler. VIBE is dedicated to keeping the integral aspects of kombucha, such as natural ingredients, the main focus of their company. Their goal is to create a “healthier” alcoholic beverage by providing all the benefits kombucha offers with a higher alcohol percentage to appeal to those who want cleaner drinking options.

“First and foremost, we're brewing the kombucha ourselves, and because of that, a lot of focus goes into the ingredients and the craft brewing process to create our kombucha,” says Page.

Although any cocktail containing alcohol cannot be considered a health drink, Page explains many of the benefits kombucha is known for such as vitamins, minerals and enzymes make drinking a kombucha cocktail somewhat of a healthier alternative than other ready to drink options.

“All the flavourings we use are organic, whole ingredients and we try to source them locally when we can. We find our product is popular amongst people who are active… it’s for people looking for a beverage with high quality ingredients that complements their lifestyle instead of retracting from it,” says Page.

VIBE Hard Kombucha is set to hit LCBO shelves this spring

When Kombucha is brewed, it goes through a fermentation process which naturally produces alcohol as a by-product. One way to increase the alcohol content of kombucha is to double ferment the batch, however, looking long-term, Page explains the best way to make the hard-kombucha drink they envisioned was to add spirits.

Their popular strawberry-basil flavour is made with a gluten-free vodka, but Page hopes to expand into more spirits.

“We have other flavour profiles in mind that we think would pair really well with tequila or gin and so we think spiking it with a spirit as opposed to double fermenting allows for a lot more creative beverages to come,” says Page.

According to a report from the IWSR, a drinks market analysis firm, kombucha has been on an upward trend and the natural progression into a higher alcohol content version is now in demand. “Hard Kombucha is appealing to today’s health-conscious consumers, who are looking for alternatives to beer and artificially flavoured ‘ready-to-drinks’ (RTD),” the report states.

Similar to a hard seltzer, a RTD hard kombucha appeals to those keen on a low calorie and low sugar option, but Page says unlike a hard seltzer, where flavours are quite limited, hard kombucha has the potential for more experimentation.

“We flavour with essentially a giant tea bag with real fruits and botanicals, and we brew it in oak barrels,” says Page about their process.

After growing the company almost entirely over the COVID-19 pandemic through online meetings and phone calls, VIBE Hard Kombucha is set to hit LCBO shelves this spring. After seeing success in local bottle shops and some open-minded restaurants, Page and his team are excited to bring this new “healthier” alcohol option to consumers.

“Our customers have told us this is great to enjoy at the beach or at the cottage, and I see it as an awesome picnic beverage if you’re having an afternoon at Trinity Bellwoods,” says Page.

“People who are health focused still like to unwind and we see a gap there where we think our product fits in… our product is for people living an active lifestyle who still like to let their hair down afterwards,” he says.

Tags:

Vibe Hard Kombucha

Kombucha Fermented Drink

Kombucha Set to Hit LCBO Shelves This May

Vibe Kombucha Canada

Ontario’s First Hard Kombucha