When Jordan Aversman met Jen De Marco in 2007, she had just finished a degree in international business from UC after a year abroad in Linz, Austria, where she’d fallen hard for traditionally fermented sauerkraut. The next year the two launched Fab Ferments, working from an incubator kitchen in Madison, Indiana. Recently they relocated to a larger facility in Lockland, and while kraut and kimchi remain a big part of their business, the duo have been dedicated to kombucha—the slightly astringent, naturally effervescent fermented tea—from the get-go. Production began with SCOBYs (symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast) from an Oxford friend, combined with a sample (stashed in a suitcase) from fermentation fanatic Larry Wisch of Berkeley, California’s Three Stone Hearth Cooperative, as well as a commercial culture.
“We were aware of the benefits from the beginning and wanted to bring this food to the people,” explains De Marco. Fab Ferments has since gone from producing 10-gallon batches weekly to 100-gallon batches, still prepared in two-gallon glass jars. Aversman is emphatic about small batch control and the least amount of residual sugar. “A lot of intuition is needed,” he says. “This isn’t just about a recipe. Fermentation is a living process with multiple variables.”
The fruit of their labor can be found at Park + Vine and Whole Foods, where you can sample the brew on tap. Or pick up a bottle at Findlay’s DIRT market.
Fab Ferments, fabferments.com