This month, we partnered with our friends JuneShine, the hard kombucha specialists, who’ve created several one-of-a-kind 6% ABV drinks from all-natural, organic ingredients. Started by a team of adventurers, artists and creatives who share a passion (and the desire to leave a positive impact on the environment), JuneShine’s mission is to brew the highest quality, healthiest jun kombucha - with love.
Unlike many of the pre-made drinks out there, JuneShine pride themselves on using no artificial coloring, GMOs, pesticides, or processed corn or rice syrup: making their drinks less taxing on both the body and the environment. Like traditional kombucha, JuneShine contains probiotics, antioxidants, vitamins, and - they promise - a good time.
We invited the team to pair up several of their hard kombuchas with our glassware, give you an introduction to what they’re all about, as well as to the world of hard kombucha!
What is JuneShine and how did the brand come about?
It all started as we were wandering the aisles of our local grocery store. We noticed there was a sustainable, transparent option in nearly every consumer category–except alcohol. This led us to ask: why do we know so much about the food we eat, but so little about the alcohol we drink? With no solid answers in sight, we grew frustrated by the lack of honest transparent alcohol brands catering to our healthy, active lifestyle. And so, we decided to start our own.
What’s unique about JuneShine?
JuneShine is the most delicious, refreshing, honest hard kombucha around. Our flavors span the spectrum—from tropical to hoppy, bright to bold. Everything we produce is brewed through a two-step organic fermentation process similar to craft beer brewing. We use only 100% organic ingredients—green tea, honey, SCOBY, organic cane sugar, brewers yeast, organic fruit juice and spices. Our brewers come from some of the best craft breweries in the country.
And after a myriad of trials, tastings and test batches, we found the perfect recipe to elevate the alcohol content. We use only organic honey and organic cane sugar in our fermentation and the residual sugar in our final product comes from organic fruit. Once complete, we add organic juices and spices to taste, creating unique and refreshingly smooth flavors without the junk found in other mass produced alcoholic beverages.
What is kombucha/hard kombucha?
Traditional kombucha is made by combining black or green tea with a symbiotic colony of bacteria and yeast (aka. SCOBY) and which causes the beverage to ferment. In the fermentation process, the SCOBY converts the sugar into CO2 and alcohol, in turn creating a bright, bubbly beverage. Traditional kombucha can clock in around 3 percent alcohol by volume (ABV), but anything listed as non-alcoholic will usually be less than 0.5 percent ABV.
Making Hard Kombucha takes that process further—intentionally fermented to be an alcoholic beverage. Its ABV is similar to that of beer. After the first fermentation, additional sugar and yeast in a secondary fermentation process that converts that sugar into more alcohol. The specific formula varies significantly from brand to brand.
Does glassware factor into what you create – and if so – how?
Absolutely! We take great pride in thoughtfully brewing and sharing our hard kombucha. There’s so much delight to be had with the details in every step of the process. Having gorgeous glassware - like NUDE’s - to enjoy the fruits of our labor is like placing the perfect punctuation at the end of a beautiful sentence. Great glassware is just as functional as it is fun. It’s a way to add even more personality to our final product—from the way it helps accentuate the sensory experience to the way it looks and feels in hand. There’s just something so satisfying about seeing something you’ve worked so hard on poured perfectly into a picturesque vessel.
Any advice for those looking to make more conscious choices when it comes to the drinks they choose?
Ask questions! We know so much about where the food we eat comes from and how/where the clothes we wear are made, but when it comes to alcohol there have always been so many more question marks. But that’s changing. We’ve set out to change the perception of what a beverage can be. Honest. Transparent. Sustainable. We encourage everyone to seek out brands that are transparent and thoughtful in their processes from start to finish.
Featured: NUDE Wayne SOF glass