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Our newest Austin-based Bitch Beer contributor, Jessica Deahl, recently returned to her old stompin’ ground of Los Angeles for the LA Vegan Beer Fest. Read about the herbivorous heaven she encountered…
Los Angeles, CA might be the only city around that could support a (sold out!) festival for vegan craft beer enthusiasts. Hosted by the popular-now-defunct LA vegan food blog quarrygirl.com, Tony’s Darts Away, and Nic Adler of The Roxy, the 5th annual Los Angeles Vegan Beer Fest was evidence that “cruelty-free” doesn’t have to mean “booze-free.”
Despite the often negative perception of vegans as preachy animal rights activists, the LAVBF was all about the good vibes, brews, live music, and great food – suitable for vegans and carnivores alike.
After navigating LA traffic (via public transportation, Uber, Lyft, or designated driver) to a transformed parking lot in the heart of West Hollywood, festival-goers received a LAVBF tasting glass, and unlimited pours from more than 40 breweries.
Some Southern California highlights included Monkish, El Segundo, Smog City, Modern Times, Speakeasy, Ballast Point, Firestone Walker, Saint Archer, and Golden Road Brewing, who brought an especially impressive Almond Milk Stout (a vegan-friendly take on the style).
The food was just as enjoyable, with more than 30 of the best food trucks and brick-and-mortar restaurants with vegan faire in the area. With a Grilled Cheese Truck vegan mac-n-cheese grilled “cheese” in one hand and a Modern Time’s Lomaland Saison in the other, you can’t really go wrong.
While most craft beer is a pretty safe bet, to constitute as “vegan,” it must be free of any animal-derived ingredients in the making or filtering of the product. That includes ingredients like isinglass from fish bladder, gelatin, or lactose.
There are handy sites like www.barnivore.com for those interested in looking up animal-free beer, wine, and liquor.