Knowledge is one of the pillars of our fermentation community. We have some amazing discussions and workshops to teach you a wide variety of subjects, from the human microbiome, to how fermentation is used to transform food, to how make the best probiotic foods and beverages at home! We are delighted at this year’s lineup, taking place on two different stages.

[12:00 Main] Keynote Presentation- Panel with Dr. Rob Knight, Prof. Rachel Dutton and Dr. Embriette Hyde

Presenter Panel: Dr. Rob Knight, UCSD and American Gut Project, Dr. Embriette Hyde, American Gut Project, and Rachel Dutton, UCSD

Dr. Knight will talk about how he and his team are mapping the human gut microbes at UCSD, everyone from the healthiest student athletes to the sickest cancer and cardiac patients.
We’ll give the latest on the American Gut project where you can add yourself to the microbiome map. Dr. Embriette Hyde, the project manager, will talk about the latest results with over 10,000 people.
Prof. Rachel Dutton will talk about her exciting work in cheese science, and how she’s using robots to make high-throughput cheese to study it as an ecosystem.
Finally, Dr. Knight will talk about the new initiative they’re launching at UCSD to combine food chemistry and microbiology, especially with fermented foods, to transform our understanding of how food can prevent and even cure disease. The goal is to find out what kinds of microbes can act like vitamins, except instead of curing rickets and scurvy like a century ago we’re talking about ways to fix obesity, inflammatory bowel disease, and maybe even autism and depression.

[11:00 Main] Discussion: Fermented Drinks: Nature’s Healthy “Sodas”

Presenter: Hannah Crum, Kombucha Kamp, Kombucha Brewers International

Hannah Crum The Kombucha Mamma of Kombucha Kamp (1)Sodas are a fad and they are fading fast. So what’s a 21st century bacteriosapien going to sip on? Why, fermented drinks of course! Milk Kefir, Water Kefir, Kombucha & Jun are covered in this demo and conversation about why our bodies thrill to the unique flavors and benefits of these tasty drinks that have been around as long as we have. Hannah Crum aka the Kombucha Mamma has been fermenting & educating for over a decade. Samples provided.

Hannah Crum is The Kombucha Mamma, founder of Kombucha Kamp, the most visited website in the world for Kombucha information, recipes and advice. Along with partner Alex LaGory, Hannah and Alex co-founded Kombucha Brewers International, a non-profit trade association dedicated to promoting bottled Kombucha around the world. Kombucha Kamp classes, advice and reporting have been featured in BevNet, Beverage Spectrum Magazine, Whole Life Times Magazine, Los Angeles Times, Elephant Journal, Vital Juice and many others while her instructional video series with E-How/Expert Village has racked up over 1 million views. Alex and Hannah have written their first book, The Big Book of Kombucha, which covers every aspect of brewing Kombucha including 400 recipes, history, research and more.  

[11:00 DemoDiscussion: The Why and the How of Coffee Fermentation

Presenter: Savannah Phillips, Cafe Virtuoso

In this discussion, Savannah will talk about the different ways in which coffee processing uses fermentation to improve quality, and ways it can depradate (spoil) it. To illustrate the effect that different processes have on the flavor of coffees, Savannah will also have brewing demonstrations and tastings of a fully washed coffee and a natural processed coffee.

Savannah Phillips has spent over 4 years as professional barista, and is now Quality Assurance manager for Cafe Virtuoso, a fine local coffee roaster based in San Diego. She is a passionate coffee professional who is dedicated to educating both professionals and laypeople about coffee. She believes that “knowledge (and experience) is power” when it come to understanding and enjoying coffee!

[1:00 Main] Discussion: Start a Food Product Business from Home

Presenters: Lisa Kivirist and John Ivanko, Homemade for Sale


Turn your bread or certain canned food products made in your home kitchen into a profitable enterprise. This workshop, based on their latest book, Homemade for Sale, covers the basics of getting your food product business up and running.

Lisa Kivirist and her husband and co-author-and-photographer, John Ivanko, are food-loving entrepreneurs, authoring thirteen books on sustainable agriculture, cottage food businesses, and children’s books. They’ve been featured in The New York Times, USA Today, Conde Nast Traveler, MSNBC and on various radio programs across the country, including Martha Stewart Radio, the Sirius Satellite Network and Good Food on KCRW. As freelance journalists, they’re contributors to Mother Earth News, Urban Farm, Mother Earth Living, Hobby Farms and Natural Awakenings, among many others.

[1:00 Demo] Discussion: Beer Making Ingredients & Process 101

Presenter: George  Thornton, The Homebrewer

This hands-on talk will explore the basic ingredients for making beer at home, and conclude with a simple walk through of the brewing process at home. We will taste common grains, and get our hands dirty with hops. We’ll learn how brewers of all skill-levels make subtle changes to those ingredients/processes to make the myriad of beer styles that enrich our daily lives – samples included!

George Thornton is Founder & owner of The Homebrewer, a resource center for homebrewers, and Home Brewing Co., a brewery and tasting lab, where guests can enjoy a pint or two while exploring the wonderful world of beer making. George is a certified Cicerone. George began brewing at the age of 19 so that he could have easier access to a wider variety of beer styles.

[2:00 Main] DiscussionThe “Kraut” to Success

Presenter: Catt Fields White, San Diego Markets

You’ve listened to your mother and the door is ajar: you’re ready to launch your business. Now where do you sell your kraut, kimchi or kombucha? How do you give your product an identity that will stand out from the rest? How will you tell its story? What categories are saturated, and what do market managers want? Grow your farmers’ market business here.

Catt Fields White is the Director of San Diego Markets, bringing farmers to the city and people to the table. They manage three weekly urban farmers’ markets, including San Diego County’s largest: the Little Italy Mercato. Since 2010, she has been teaching a monthly Vendor-101 class to people hoping to launch farmers’ market businesses and consulting with new markets and vendors. She also produces the annual InTents Conference. Both serve to develop and manage farmers’ markets and educate small farmers, food makers and market managers. Catt is on the steering committee of the California Alliance of Farmers’ Markets and is the immediate Past President of the Berry Good Food Foundation.  

[2:00 Demo] Discussion: Cider Gone Wild: Exploring Craft Cider

Presenter: Brian Trout, SD Craft Cider

Cider is one of the oldest fermented beverages around. Come learn about its wild past and thriving probiotic future as the apple travels around the globe to your glass. Wassail!

Brian Trout is a San Diego polymath, fueled by a contagious passion for handcrafted quality. He can often be found brewing beer, making cider, mead, kombucha, hot sauce, cheese, and mustard, roasting coffee, cold smoking edibles, and experimenting with wild fermented foods. Brian currently serves as Cider and Fermentation Educator in San Diego. Brian is a BJCP Beer and Mead judge, Certified Cider Professional, Cicerone, a member of United States Association Cider Makers, and the founder of SD Craft Cider.

 [3:00 Main] Discussion: The Amazing Honey Bee

Presenter: Hilary Kearney, Girl Next Door Honey

An overview of how honey bees live, why they matter and how to help them at home.

hilary kearney bee girlHilary Kearney is a full-time beekeeper in her home town of San Diego, California. Her business Girl Next Door Honey provides educational opportunities for hundreds of new beekeepers each year. Her beekeeping exploits and unique business model have inspired people all around the world. She is the author of the beekeeping blog Beekeeping Like A Girl and maintains a popular Instagram account. When she’s not rescuing bees, teaching about bees, photographing bees or managing one of her sixty colonies… she’s sleeping and dreaming of bees.



[3:00 Demo] Workshop: Kimchi Made Easy

Presenter: Austin Durant, Fermenters Club

Ever have a kimchi kraving, but then you realize all the ingredients and steps necessary to make it and you get psyched out? In this demo, Austin will show you how to make various styles of kimchi, a popular Korean fermented vegetable recipe. He will also show you some tips to prep kimchi ahead of time, enabling you to make (nearly) instant kimchi! Of course, you’ll still have to wait for it to ferment.

Austin Durant has been fermenting food for over six years. In 2011, he studied at Sandor Katz’  five-day Fermentation Residency Program in middle Tennessee, where he learned hands-on how to make over a dozen fermented foods. That same year, he founded Fermenters Club in his home town of North Park (San Diego) to create a way for fermented food enthusiasts to make and share food. He began teaching fermented food workshops in San Diego, around southern California, and eventually across the United States. In 2015, he produced the first-ever day-long fermentation festivals in San Diego and Portland (Oregon). He then took a leap and left his day job at a software company in order to pursue fermentation education full-time.

[4:00 Main] Discussion: Eat Real Food!

Presenter: Melissa Patruno, Integrative Nutrition Health Coach

Melissa discusses the importance of eating whole foods rather than packaged/industrial foods. This presentation focuses on popular foods consumed and what type of preservatives, chemicals and other “nasties” big food companies add to their foods to increase their shelf life, enhance flavor/texture and make them more appealing to the masses (and especially kids!) After sharing what common things to look out food in our foods, how to read a food label and not be duped by mass marketing, it’s then on to eating real foods (of which fermented foods are a major category!) and how to incorporate more fermented foods into your daily eating.

Melissa Patruno graduated from the Institute for Integrative Nutrition where she learned innovative coaching methods, practical lifestyle management techniques, and over 100 dietary theories. She has extensive, cutting-edge knowledge in holistic nutrition, health coaching and prevention, and works with clients to help them make lifestyle changes and choose health-promoting ways that produce real and lasting results. 

[4:00 Demo] Discussion: Brewers Yeast & Bacteria (Creating Consistency for Beverage and Food Production)

Presenter: Erik Fowler, White Labs

Fermentation is a part of our everyday lives, at times in some of the most unsuspecting products we consume. Whether it’s beer, bread or coffee, it is important for us to understand these products and the process needed to produce them. Working for White Labs, the leading manufacturer of brewers yeast, wild yeast and bacteria, Erik understands that history, consistency and production play a major role in proper fermentation and its resulting foods and beverages. Join Erik for a short presentation on culture selection and learn useful tips on maintaining a steady fermentation, regardless if it’s for your beer, wine, kombucha or vegetables.

Erik joined White Labs in 2014. Before working with the fermentation company, he worked for a prominent international beer company, a San Diego-based nano-brewery and several beer and wine centric retail outlets. For more than four years, Erik has led beverage education classes on history, pairings and proper serving techniques. He is Cicerone® Certified and holds a Business of Craft Beer Certificate from San Diego State University Extended Studies. Through his various endeavors, Erik use his knowledge and expertise to make fermentation and service education informative, accessible and engaging to professionals and hobbyists alike.

See Previous Years’ Lineups

2016 | 2015