KOMBUCHA Act Reintroduced in Congress

Kombucha is a tea-based beverage that is fermented at room temperature using a specific mix of yeast and bacteria.  Flavors or juices may also be added. Currently, the ABV (alcohol by volume) threshold at which kombucha is no longer classified as a non-alcoholic beverage and is re-classified to what is effectively “beer” for tax purposes is 0.5%.  The reintroduced KOMBUCHA Act (Keeping Our Manufacturers from Being Unfairly taxed while Championing Health Act) legislation seeks to raise that ABV threshold to 1.25%.  ABV is a standard measure used in the alcoholic beverage industry to quantify how much alcohol is contained in a given volume of an alcoholic beverage.  Because of the natural fermentation process used to make kombucha, the alcohol content may rise slightly above 0.5% especially during transport.  Of course, no one drinks kombucha for its insignificant alcohol content.  In fact, a person would need to consume 5 – 10 bottles of kombucha to equal the amount of alcohol in one beer.  Introduced by a congressman from Oregon, the act is described as a common-sense measure to eliminate an undue tax burden for what is a growing segment of the beverage industry.

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Picture Credit Susanne Kuehne

Posted on 30 March 2021