Types of Fermented Beverages

When talking about fermented drinks, they are those that can be made from fruit juices, herbal infusions, soaked grains, ver and black tea, which are left to grow or ferment for a certain period of time. Thanks to this process is that these drinks acquire a large number of probiotics, beneficial bacteria, and yeast.

Now, what are the various types of fermented beverages out there? The truth is that there are several options to choose from. It should not be forgotten that fermentation is one of the most ubiquitous methods of preservation used in a large number of cultures. Among the most popular fermented drinks we have sima, kombucha, alcohol, boza or Bouza, milk kefir and water kefir, etc.

That said, we are going to explain in detail, the various types of fermented drinks out there. As well as other details that are also relevant, such as its benefits and advantages.

Examples of fermented beverages

As we mentioned in the intro, there are many examples of fermented beverages, and therefore, in this section we will analyze a large part of them, but in a brief way.

Keep in mind that basically the list is made up of two types, basically they are probiotic drinks and alcoholic beverages.


Kombucha is a well-known fermented drink, specifically a sweetened, fermented and slightly alcoholic black tea drink. For a while it was called the Elixir of long life, for all the health benefits it has. This drink is made from live bacteria and yeast known as SCOBY «Symbiotic Colony of Bacteria and Yeast».

Root Beer

On the other hand, root beer is a fermented beverage that can be alcoholic or not. It is made with fermented sassafras bark or sarsaparilla. This drink is traditional North American, with a slightly sweet and spicy taste that can be adjusted depending on the taste of each person.


This is a fermented milk drink, and many would define it as the way between thick milk and yogurt. Its flavor is spicy and quite refreshing, although it can be further developed by doing a second fermentation and even adding various fruits.

Water kefir

In this drink kefir grains are the protagonists, however, in this case they are used to ferment water, sugar and different aromas. In this way a carbonated and refreshing drink can be produced.


Another type of fermented beverage is pulque, which is made with agave extract. It is a kind of thicker and whitish beer, with a bitter taste that can often be reduced with some fruit or vegetable juices.

Probiotic lemonade

This is not an ordinary lemonade but is lacto-fermented. It can be done in a few minutes by combining filtered water, lemons, sugar, and buttermilk. It is a perfect drink to nourish your immune system.


It is almost a fermented lemonade made with brown sugar and raisins. It is a traditional drink that is usually used enough to celebrate the arrival of spring. Sima is a quick and easy ferment, with a fairly short fermentation cycle, which reduces the amount of alcohol present.


It is a fermented drink made with water, yogurt, and salt, being quite widespread. In fact, it is very popular in all countries of the Middle East.


On the other hand, cider is another very popular fermented drink that has its origins in the United Kingdom. It is a type of fruit wine that is obtained thanks to the fermentation of the apple. It is a drink that can be taken as is or used as an ingredient for various preparations.

Ginger Ale or ginger wine

This is another fermented beverage, but it should not be confused with ginger beer. Ginger wine naturally has more alcohol than beer. It is a drink made by crushing ginger and adding a little tartaric acid, gum arabic, lemon oil, sugar, water, and yeast.


Wine is a fermented beverage, and its preparation can be done in two ways, one of them is in barrels or can be made in glass jars. Fermented wine can be made from berries or grapes.


On the other hand, we have beer which is a fermented beverage made from a cereal grain such as barley, hops, and yeast. Surely this is one of the most popular fermented beverages, since beer is brewed all over the world in a large number of colors, flavors, and alcoholic degrees.


It is a fermented yogurt-type drink originating in Russia and is quite common for breakfast where it is made by baking sour milk until it gets a golden-brown color. It is a fairly creamy cultivated drink with several benefits.


When talking about sake, it is a fermented rice wine from Japan, which releases enzymes that convert rice starch into sugars that can ferment. This drink can contain almost 20% alcohol, although it also exists without alcohol.

Boza or Bouza

This is another of many fermented drinks out there and is made mainly with millet or wheat.  For their preparation they are boiled in water and then poured into wide, shallow pans.

Jun or Yun

This fermented drink is quite similar to Kombucha, this is because it has a certain relationship, since both need a SCOBY (symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast). However, the difference here is that the Yun, has as ingredients green tea and honey and not black tea and cane sugar.

All fermented beverages have benefits.

Fermented beverages have several benefits, and this is because they provide minerals, vitamins, promote digestion, prevent the growth of pathogenic organisms, etc. All this makes them quite popular drinks. In fact, many people have included it in their diet.

We can place three examples of fermented beverages that have quite a lot of benefits. For example, Kombucha, which has several benefits that relate to all the probiotics it has. It promotes digestion, activates the immune system, and protects the heart and arteries.

On the other hand, we have fermented beer and other types of alcoholics, which consumed in moderation has several benefits for the body. With respect to its benefits, many studies have mentioned that in a moderate way it can be a health-promoting tool. [1] In fact, there is talk of its preventive properties, thanks to certain components, which are perfect for the prevention of bone and circulatory diseases, and even with cancer.

In the same way we have the Jun a drink quite similar to the Kombucha, to which a lot of benefits have been credited. Unfortunately, no health effects from this beverage have been conclusively investigated or corroborated.

Although it has been shown that some of its main ingredients especially honey and green tea have individual positive effects on the human body. [1]  [2]

For example, green tea has a greater range of antioxidants which have been shown to be effective in reducing the risk of heart disease. While honey, is composed of 30% glucose, 40% fructose and the remaining 30% is water, pollen and small amounts of water, pollen and small amounts of vitamins and minerals.

Reasons to consume fermented beverages.

Both alcoholic and non-alcoholic fermented beverages have a lot of benefits. For example, those containing alcohol are beneficial for cardiovascular health, but also improve gastrointestinal health.

But before we talk about its benefits, we should know that the main component of alcoholic fermented beverages is ethanol or ethyl alcohol. Depending on your brewing process, you may have a better or higher concentration of ethanol. These drinks have to be consumed in moderation, according to the WHO (World Health Organization) the limit of consumption in women is 20g in women and 30g in men.

As long as it is consumed within these limits it has its benefits, for example, beer is a drink rich in minerals, especially magnesium, phosphorus and potassium. In addition, they contain fewer calories than a soft drink and have a low sodium content. All this is perfect for preventing cardiovascular diseases, regulating cholesterol and has a diuretic effect. [3]

Non-alcoholic fermented beverages have been identified as containing a wide range of probiotics, depending on the cereal substrate and general production methods. [4] The Neurochemistry Group of the University of Castilla-La Mancha (UCLM) has proven in laboratory tests that various non-alcoholic beer extracts modulate adenosine receptors. [5]

In addition, the UCLM scientists observed the effects in cell cultures of two types of tumors of the nervous system, gliomas, and neuroblastomas. In conditions similar to those that occur in neurodegenerative diseases, cells are affected. However, in the presence of beer extract «the effects are reversed«. [5]

Do all fermented beverages have probiotics?

According to Ohio-based Ganeden Inc, not all fermented foods and beverages are full of probiotics. Before talking about this we should know that probiotics, according to the WHO are live microorganisms that when administered in adequate amounts have many health benefits.

For example, most beers do not have probiotics, as they lose their live cultures during the brewing process. So, for the most part, beer does not contain live active cultures of probiotics, even though the grains and hops are fermented to create the beer, the acids that are extracted from the hops in the process ultimately kill any live cultures before the bottle reaches the shelf.

However, some experts in the field suggest that some types of beer have broken this barrier. For example, traditional Belgian beers such as Hoegaarden, Westmalle Tripel and Echt Kriekenbier have live probiotic yeast cultures. This is largely because these beers are fermented a second time in the bottles themselves, thanks to this step they ensure that live cultures are present when the lid is opened. [6]

On the other hand, not all kombuchas contain probiotics. This is a product that many consumers assume is loaded with probiotics by definition, but the products vary drastically. [7] In the case of some brands such as market leader GT, they have added the better-known BC30 strain of probiotics to their products to ensure they contain probiotics.

However, you can’t make assumptions about what may be in many other kombucha brands unless the manufacturer explains what probiotic strains are at the end of shelf life. It also cannot be said that they pass through the digestive tract and if once there they provide health benefits.

What makes kombucha special from the others?

Kombucha has become known for having high levels of antioxidants and beneficial probiotics. It is a variety of fermented tea, which is made by fermenting sugary tea, using a culture of yeast and bacteria. The fermentation process occurs naturally when sugar comes into contact with certain varieties of yeast and bacteria.

It should be mentioned that at the time of fermentation not only sugar is transformed into alcohol (ethanol), but that alcohol is transformed into the food for probiotics. So the alcohol content is very low.

Now the reason kombucha is special, is because it is loaded with probiotics, which have a positive impact on health and well-being. So many research groups have shown the benefits they have for the body, for example, good intestinal health, improving the immune system and its response.

According to several research, all indications are that probiotics can help balance the gut microbiome. In addition, it can serve as prevention of coronary heart disease due to the reduction of serum cholesterol levels. In general, what makes kombucha special is that it is a great source of probiotics, which the body can use to stay healthy.