Kvass translates literally as "leavened". When you speak of kvass, most (who have ever heard of kvass) will think of kvass made from bread (which I have yet to try...but now that we're talking about it I might have to give it a go and provide a photo-how-to for everyone).
Kvass is a "leftover" for traditional bakers, but what a leftover it is! Kvasses are extremely beneficial to the gut, and the gut is the center of health for your whole body. Kvasses protect against infectious diseases, boost the immune system, are more hydrating to the body, and are all together fun and fizzy to drink.
Kombucha is a tea kvass. You know my thoughts on kombucha.
Beet Kvass is a tonic, more than a beverage (unlike a bread kvass, which, as I understand it, is quite tasty). That is because beets are so nutrient dense. Here is what Nourishing Traditions has to say about Beet Kvass (pg 610):
"This drink is valuable for its medicinal qualities and as a digestive aid. Beets are just loaded with nutrients. One 4-ounce glass, morning and night, is an excellent blood tonic, promotes regularity, aids digestion, alkalizes the blood, cleanses the liver and is a good treatment for kidney stones and other ailments. Beet Kvass may also be used in place of vinegar in salad dressings and as an addition to soups."
Additionally, beet kvass is being used as cancer therapy in Europe as it seems to have favorable effect on disturbed cellular function. Many studies have shown that beets have a regenerating effect on the body (paraphrasing Annelies Schoneck Des Crudites Toute L'Annee, from the side bar on the Beet Kvass Recipe page in N.T.)
The Weston A. Price Foundation (WAPF) provides a great article on Kvass and Kombucha here.
Why might I make such a beverage? My husband is a recovering Normal American, and at 40, like many others, he is experiencing the cost of all that "refined" eating. For him, it is ulcerative colitis (this article by wiki is obviously of the conventional medicine mindset as it doesn't think there is a connection to diet! Ha! But it explains well what the symptoms are, for a better analysis of digestive health and problems, see this WAPF article). Beet kvass is a part of his medicine, along with a "no refined foods allowed" policy that he likes to compromise on a weekly basis that sends us back into acute colitis issues. This cycle is slowly goading him toward permanent change. I am proud of my husband, he has done amazingly well at choosing health and making dramatic changes to his pre-marriage lifestyle and diet, but his body wants more, and I don't want to be a young widow!