Will alcoholic yerba mate be the new hard kombucha?

Yerbuzz, the world's first yerba mate hard seltzer
Yerbuzz, the world’s first yerba mate hard seltzer, was created by San Diego homebrewer Dan Nierman.
(Courtesy photo)

San Diego homebrewer launches Yerbuzz, the world’s first yerba mate hard seltzer


Leave it to San Diego to come up with a healthier, craft version of White Claw. Yerbuzz, the world’s first yerba mate hard seltzer, hit the market at the end of last year.

It should come as no surprise that the city is the home base for this new buzz. Known as the “capital of craft,” San Diego has a long history in brewing, serving as beloved beer destination for locals and tourists alike. In recent years, other craft beverages — like hard kombucha, cider, spirits and seltzer — have begun to boom in the region, but local homebrewer Dan Nierman is the first to the alcoholic yerba mate market.

READ MORE: A better craft? Spirits, seltzer, cider, kombucha and others take aim at craft beer

Yerbuzz was no simple task. Nierman, who previously worked in kombucha production, studied sugar production in wine for four months. He also interviewed numerous contract brewers, filtration companies and labs before releasing the seltzer. In total, he completed 25 trial batches and experimented with 160 flavor combinations.

Sold in six-packs, Yerbuzz is available in two flavors: guava and blueberry.
(Courtesy photo)

The final product is now available in two flavors: guava and blueberry. Like many of its competitors, the hard seltzer is gluten-free, vegan and low calorie (120 calories per can). Due to the properties of yerba mate, as well as Nierman’s fermenting process, Yerbuzz has a more earthy and bitter taste compared to its mainstream counterparts.

READ MORE: Heineken tests Bask seltzer in San Diego, now sold locally at Vons

“The great seltzer conundrum is balance,” Nierman said in a press release. “But similar to hops in beer, yerba mate acts as a bittering component that really assists in making a more rounded and enjoyable beverage.”

Native to South American countries, yerba mate is a caffeinated, herbal tea derived from holly tree leaves. It touts antioxidants and nutrients, and believed by some to have health benefits like increased energy, mental focus and physical performance, as well as possibly lowering risk of infections and diseases.

Yerbuzz, which has a 5.5% ABV, is sold in six-packs of 12-ounce cans for approximately $15. It is available to buy online at, as well as in person at various San Diego retailers. To find a location near you, visit