Mindscape Fermentations 

Mindscape Fermentations co-owners Charlotte Crott, Lauren Price, and Lauren Houston. Photo by Chris Floyd.
Mindscape Fermentations co-owners Charlotte Crott, Lauren Price, and Lauren Houston. Photo by Chris Floyd.

Fermentation is an integral part of culinary traditions around the globe, including Ethiopian injera (thin, soft bread), Polynesianpoi (a pudding like dish), and Persian torshi (pickled vegetables). Now, three local entrepreneurs are together looking to bring attention to this rich heritage in their own corner of the world: Placer County.

Mindscape Fermentations is a Rocklin-based brewhouse that specializes in not just the obvious beer — but all things fermented. Its beverages include kombucha, hard seltzer, and non-alcoholic probiotic soda. 

A craft brewery at heart, it is owned and operated by Lauren Houston, Lauren Price, and Charlotte Crott. Price and Crott handle the brewing and fermenting, while Houston manages operations and the business side of things. 

The background of the three, who opened the business in May of 2022, is in brewing, but their shared vision for Mindscape Fermentations extended beyond beer. The business name represents all the endless possibilities. “We thought ‘brewery’ or ‘brewing company’ was too limiting since we wanted to explore all types of fermentations,” Houston says. “We also thought [the name] would encourage people to ask what we’re all about, which we wanted.”

Local, seasonal ingredients are the hallmarks of Mindscape Fermentations’ drinks. Kombucha and seltzer are infused with fresh fruits such as blackberries, cherries, and nectarines. Regular customers often donate backyard fruits such as pears, peaches, and cherry plums for seasonal variations. Price and Crott even forage for wild ingredients to use in their concoctions, everything from elderberry and chamomile to rose hips and Douglas fir tips. 

Mindscape Fermentation’s product lineup isn’t limited to beverages. It also serves various fermented foods from a small kitchen. Led by Crott, the menu includes charcuterie boards adorned with fermented veggies, a panini dressed in a fermented garlic spread, fermented salsa, and kimchi. Also on offer are pre-packaged fermented seasoning salts and fermented hot sauces for use at home. 

The group says fermentation really is an art form, an alchemy of sorts. It’s an ancient practice that dates back thousands of years. Although just as common today, the general public isn’t always familiar with the science behind it. That’s something they hope to change. “We try to educate our customers,” Price says. “We’re confident in our ability to connect with our community.”

Mindscape’s owners are focused on sustainability, too. Price takes leftover bread home to feed the animals on the farm where she lives. Crott composts food scraps to use in her home garden. The partners hope to eventually add bokashi composting of spent grain, an anaerobic process using fermentation. “We try to be as ecofriendly as possible,” Houston says. “We’re always looking for ways to be environmentally conscious.”

As for the future, the three businesswomen plan to continue experimenting with different fermented beverages and foods; ginger beer, kefir water, pickles, and perhaps tepache (a fermented pineapple-based drink from Mexico) are all possibilities. They also hope to incorporate koji, an umami-forward Japanese culture used for miso, soy sauce, and sake. The applications and flavors of fermentation are endless.