Cocktail Corner: Fermentation Festival Kicks Off With a Mule of a Competition

A spirited toast to all things alcoholic! By Leslie Dinaberg

Fermentation Festival Moscow Mule CompetitionThe 6th annual Santa Barbara Fermentation Festival is coming up on Sept. 11, but first up is a pre-festival event called the Year of the Mule Cocktail Competition, from 5-8 p.m. on Aug. 30, at The Good Lion (1212 State St.).

In celebration of the 75th anniversary of the creation of the Moscow Mule, both professional and amateur cocktail enthusiasts will compete for a variety of fun prizes. Criteria include taste appeal, visual appeal, story/background and time management! The deadline to sign up is Aug. 26. Click here for more details and entry instructions.

In addition, tickets are now on sale for the Santa Barbara Fermentation Festival, which has proved to be a vibrant educational gathering of local and regional culinary alchemists, wild fermenters and health experts showcasing the history, benefits and preparation of fermented foods.  That includes fun beers and cocktails, as well as loads of other fermented concoctions. This annual event is at Rancho La Patera & Stow House (304 N. Los Carneros Rd., Goleta). The all-ages festival runs from 11 a.m.-5 p.m. with the 21+ Farm-to-Bar component from noon-4:30 p.m.


Courtesy Santa Barbara Fermentation Festival, which takes place this year on Sept. 11.

Courtesy Santa Barbara Fermentation Festival, which takes place this year on Sept. 11.

The 2016 Festival includes samples of 75+ artisan fermented foods from 50+ exhibitors, four stages featuring local and regional experts, and interactive hands-on activities. This all-ages experiential one-day festival celebrates the importance of traditionally fermented foods and beverages and empowers attendees to make these foods at home.

“… Fermentation is growing in reputation from a homespun preservation technique into the mainstream,” says Katie Hershfelt, co-founder of the festival along with her mother, Lynn Hartman.  “Renowned chefs from coast-to-coast are using fermentation as a culinary tool while health practitioners are recommending fermented foods as a key element in creating a healthy lifestyle.”

The festival’s 2016 theme, Nurture What Nature Gave You, puts the focus on consumers’ increased interest in fermented foods not only as taste and menu enhancers but as a key to a healthy lifestyle.  The Santa Barbara Fermentation Festival is part of a global grassroots movement that is changing the way consumers view their food, their connection to the earth and their ability to thrive.

Courtesy Santa Barbara Fermentation Festival.

Courtesy Santa Barbara Fermentation Festival.

Profits from the Santa Barbara Fermentation Festival support the Foodbank of Santa Barbara County and its mission to end hunger and transform health through good nutrition. For more information or to purchase tickets click here.

Cheers! Click here for more cocktail corner columns.

Originally published in Santa Barbara Seasons Magazine on August 26, 2016.

Leslie Dinaberg

When she’s not busy working as the editor of Santa Barbara SEASONS, Cocktail Corner author Leslie Dinaberg writes magazine articles, newspaper columns and grocery lists. When it comes to cocktails, Leslie considers herself a “goal-oriented drinker.”