Meaghan & Shane Carpenter, Hex Ferments, Baltimore, MD, USA

Q: When did you first discover kombucha?

While studying art in Ireland, a friend had some brewing on his counter in Galway and Meaghan was intrigued by the “blob” and the smell, but mainly sold on the hangover cure that he purported. Upon returning home she immediately put up a want ad for a kombucha mother on the local food co-ops community board and a lovely woman in her 80s brought one to her along with very simple care and instructions. That was about 20 years ago and she has been hooked since!

Q: Why did you start your own kombucha company?

Meaghan started brewing out of her apartment and supplying her friends and neighbors in the early 2000s. Shane WWOOF’d through Europe, cavorting with people who had Kombucha SCOBYs in their kitchens, and felt an attraction to the community of both microbes and people. In 2008 we started experimenting with fresh ingredients that we or our farmer friends grew for our kombucha and our vegetable ferments. After much prodding from our community we decided to start HEX Ferments, based off our desire to put more nourishing foods in the world and a performance art piece that we collaborated on called HEXEN. In 2013 we became an official business.

Q: What is your favorite flavor of kombucha? 

Cultured in Berkeley California makes the best kombucha hands down – their fennel and celery flavors rock our microbial world (along with everything else they make). Also, this past spring we attended our first KBI Conference and tried Kombucha Towns Ginger…AMAZING!

Q: What is your former/current other life or career?

Meaghan is an artist, Painter and Performance Art and former Art Professor. Shane is a Photographer and Drummer and perpetual seeker.

Q: What is a saying that you live by?

Go With Your Gut! And … You are what you eat!