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Kombucha Disappears Amid Regulation Worries

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Retailers and distributors have pulled back on the production and sale of kombucha, a popular tea, as the government tests the drink to see if it meets alcohol regulation standards, the Associated Press July 15.

Some bottles of the drink, which contains live bacteria and yeast, could have as much as 2 to 3 percent alcohol, experts say — well above the federal limit of 0.5 percent to be classified as a non-alcoholic drink.

The federal Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau said it would treat each kombucha brand on a case-by-case basis in its review.

Kombucha has become something of a craze, with sales doubling every year for the last four years. According to Beverage Business Insights, the drink now pulls in $150 million a year in retail sales. 

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