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Jun 25, 2010 02:15 PM


I just found out that Whole Foods pulled Kombucha from their shelves because of supposed conflicts with alcohol regulations.

Is there anywhere I can buy GT's Kombucha by the case in the Chicago-area!?
Or, I guess I'll have to start brewing my own! Anyone have a mother SCOBY??

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  1. it's a national recall - you *shouldn't* be able to buy it anywhere until they reformulate and put it back on the market. try one of the other brands in the meantime - i like Kefira and Botanica.

    2 Replies
    1. re: goodhealthgourmet

      According to the sign up at my local Whole Foods, it seems like it's more than one brand affected, and it's not just WF; it's their distributor(s). I am also thinking of starting to brew it at home. I saw two culture packs online for about $40; not bad considering the price of a bottle.

      OP, please do report back if you see cases anywhere.

      1. re: bibi rose

        Synergy appears to be the one with the highest potential alcohol content, and it was the catalyst for all this and the first one to be pulled. WFM has removed all kombucha from their shelves as a cautionary measure, but other stores and restaurants are still selling some brands...just not Synergy/GT.

        i tried to convince the stock guy at a local natural grocery chain to sell me some of the Synergy they had yanked from the shelves, but he wouldn't budge.

    2. They sell it at Strack and Van Til on Elston. I bet you could call them and get a case.

      2 Replies
      1. re: rubinow

        Thanks! I'll try to give them a call. GT Dave's Kombucha is my favorite brand!

        1. re: LeChoiSauce

          Good luck, but I assume that the recall affects all stores.

      2. The problem is that raw kombucha can continue to ferment and raise the alcohol level above 0.5% maximum to not come under regulations for alcoholic beverages. From the NY Times story: "Industry publications have called the elevated alcohol content in some raw kombuchas a regulatory “ticking time bomb.” One brand, the top-selling Synergy line, might even continue to ‘cook,’ or ferment, in the bottle. That can bring the alcohol content from a legal 0.5 percent to as much as 3 percent, which is as high as some beers, the trade publication Beverage Business Insights wrote in a recent
        newsletter. "

        For full story with links go to

        1. I've found it in DC in the past week - I live right outside in Maryland and it's nowhere to be found there. Maybe this particular store just didn't pull their stock? It's the Synergy brand.

          1. treasure island on clybourn in lincoln park still has quite a few bottles. you will spend $4