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Festival explores making of beer, wine, kombucha, other products

Vendors display their fermented edibles and more during last year’s New Mexico Fermentation Festival. (Courtesy of Eric Parthum)

Learn, taste and explore the world of fermentation, through lectures, workshops and sampling at the New Mexico Fermentation Festival.

“The biggest thing is that we’re partnering up with the Gutierrez-Hubble House, and so that’s a nonprofit that works with a lot of agriculture, different things with the city and doing things along those natures and so we work with them on a couple events,” said Joshua Hinte, digital content manager for Edible Santa Fe, Albuquerque, Taos. “This is kind of our biggest event, and one of their largest fundraising events is our Fermentation Festival. Kind of the general vibe of it is just to educate the community in central-northern New Mexico about fermentation, whether it be kombucha, different alcoholic drinks, nonalcoholic drinks. … It’s also really great because it’s family-friendly. We’ll be having live music, there will be a petting zoo and there will be face painting for kids and things along that nature, which will be really fun.”

One of the highlights this year will be Sandor Ellix Katz, who’s known as the King of Fermentation, according to Hinte. Katz will hold a three-hour workshop on the art of fermentation for VIP ticket holders. Other national personalities coming out for the event are Kristen Shockey and Hannah Crum.

Shockey, of Ferment Works, will hold a Sauces and Fiery Ferments lecture, at which guests will learn how to ferment their own hot sauces.

Crum, founder of Kombucha Kamp, will hold a Kombucha 101 lecture and discuss the ins and outs of fermentation. Other lectures and workshops include topics on chocolate, beer and wine, cheese, sourdough and more.

Ticket prices include vendor samplings and an official tasting glass. Kraut Mob ticketholders also will get entry into the Kraut Mob area where they will receive a souvenir jar with ingredients and instructions on how to make sauerkraut. The VIP experience includes a hands-on workshop with Katz where attendees will create their own ferment to take home.

The festival, which is celebrating its second year, was inspired by Edible Santa Fe, Albuquerque, Taos publisher Stephanie Cameron.

“(Cameron) is very active in living a healthy lifestyle focusing on local and sustainable foods and kind of going back to that having fresh produce year round and one of the ways that traditionally that was done was through fermentation,” Hinte said. “I think a lot of people are going back to that route of using really healthy ways of keeping sustainable food year round, whether that be fermentation, canning and things of that nature. … This is a great way to educate our community on healthy ways of having produce year round.”

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