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The Genuine Kvass: Benefits, Varieties and Comparison With Other Drinks

Updated on January 23, 2024

Genuine kvass, a 1,000-year-old traditional unfiltered and unpasteurised fermented beverage, is primarily made using rye and barley.  This non-alcoholic authentic drink is known for its naturally healthy properties, setting it apart from mass-produced alternatives.

Originating in Eastern European countries, genuine kvass is rapidly gaining popularity in the Western and Asian nations like the United Kingdom, the United States and China. Its unique flavour and nutritional benefits have attracted a loyal following.

Sourdough is the Source of Probiotics and Postbiotics in Kvass

sourdough in a glass jar

Thanks to the fermentation using sourdough starter culture, genuine kvass boasts a rich community of over 100 varieties of beneficial bacteria and yeast. These good microbes contribute to the many health benefits associated with this traditional Slavic and Eastern-European beverage. 

Packed with essential vitamins like B1, B3, B2, and B6, genuine kvass also fulfils key requirements for dietary fibres and microelements (zinc and copper) (Ignat et al., 2020).

Moreover, its production process yields a significant number of bioactive molecules and enzymes, also known as "postbiotics", making it a true nutritional powerhouse.

Postbiotics, together with the live bacteria, are responsible for functions that are unique to the benefits attributed to probiotic products (Chung and Kamal-Eldin, 2020):

  • fighting harmful bacteria in the gut
  • enhancement of metabolic activities and nutritional value
  • antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and immune-modulating effects
  • reduction of allergies and improvement of gut function
  • reduction of cardiovascular disease risk
  • reduction of cancer risk

Comparing Commercial Kvass to Traditional Kvass: What You Need to Know

bottles of commercial mass produced kvass

Commercial kvass found in stores is made by diluting concentrate, adding sugars and acidity regulators, and then artificially carbonating the mixture with carbon dioxide. Surprisingly, fermentation is often absent from the process! Some manufacturers might use baker's yeast for fermentation, but without probiotic bacteria. This yeast is then either filtered out or eliminated during pasteurisation. Since yeast doesn't produce organic acids, manufacturers add acidity regulators and preservatives to achieve the desired taste and shelf life.

content labels of kvass type drinks

Unfortunately, commercial kvass lacks the health benefits associated with traditional kvass. With a high sugar content comparable to a standard can of cola, it's not a healthy alternative. In contrast, genuine kvass typically contains around up to 4 g of sugar per 100 ml. This makes it a healthier option for those seeking natural low-sugar refreshment with no sweeteners.

To identify commercial kvass, check the best-before date on the packaging – it often extends to 12-36 months at room temperature, revealing the difference between this mass-produced beverage and its genuine, traditional counterpart.

Contains probiotics Shelf life Fermentation process Sugar per 100 mL Filtered / pasteurised Storage
Genuine kvass 4-6 weeks Sourdough 3-4g X Refrigerated
Commercial kvass X 12-36 months Not fermented or Baker’s yeast 8-12g Room temperature

What are the main types of kvass?

Kvass, a traditional fermented beverage, comes in a wide range of flavours and styles. To help you understand the differences, we've compiled a table outlining the key characteristics of various kvass types. Discover the base ingredients, additional ingredients, colours, and flavours of each unique kvass variety.

Fruit Kvass
Fruit Kvass
Honey Kvass
Honey Kvass
Dark Kvass
Dark Kvass
Birch Sap Kvass
Birch Sap Kvass
White Kvass
White Kvass
Beet Kvass
Beet Kvass
Type of kvass Base ingredient Additional ingredients Colour Flavour
Rye bread kvass Rye bread Sugar, herbs or fruits Dark Sour, malty
Wheat/white kvass White bread Sugar, herbs or fruits Light Mild, sweet
Beet kvass Beets Salt, sugar, herbs or fruits Deep red Earthy, tart
Fruit kvass Various fruits Sugar, herbs or spices Varies Fruity, sweet
Honey kvass Honey Sugar, herbs or fruits Light Sweet, floral
Birch sap kvass Birch sap Sugar, herbs or fruits Light Earthy, woody
Herb kvass Bread Sugar, herbs or fruits Light Herbal, mild
Spice kvass Bread Sugar, spices, herbs or fruits Light Spicy, mild

What is genuine kvass similar to?

To help you explore the fascinating world of fermented beverages, we've compiled a table comparing the key characteristics of kvass, kombucha, and kefir. Learn about the base ingredients, probiotic content, vegan status, origins, tastes, and textures of these popular drinks:

Base Probiotic Vegan Origin Taste Texture
Kvass Bread grains Yes Yes Eastern Europe Sweet and sour Smooth and refreshing
Kombucha Fermented tea Yes Yes China Tangy Viscous and refreshing
Kefir Fermented milk Yes No Russia Tangy and sour Creamy and smooth

What Makes Quas the Ultimate Authentic Kvass Experience?

a can of kvass with a full glass of kvass in the background and grains scattered around

Quas sets itself apart from other kvass brands by staying true to the traditional fermentation process. Using a sourdough starter culture, Quas nurtures a thriving community of over 100 types of beneficial bacteria and yeast. Unlike commercial alternatives, Quas is neither filtered nor pasteurised, ensuring that each can contains over 500 billion live bacteria for maximum health benefits.

At Quas, we take pride in avoiding preservatives, acidity regulators, and artificial or natural flavours. All organic acids, vitamins, and enzymes found in Quas are naturally produced by the bacteria present during fermentation. Plus, our kvass contains less than half the sugar of commercial varieties!

We are dedicated to quality and freshness, which is why we produce Quas in small batches on a weekly basis. To maintain its authentic flavour and nutritional value, Quas should always be stored in the refrigerator and consumed within 6 to 8 weeks of delivery.

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