What is the 5th Annual LA Vegan Beerfest? It’s a different festival than Mr. Beerman and I are used to going to. This one has so much more than just beer. It’s a festival with over 40 breweries and just as many Vegan Food Truck/ booths and if that wasn’t enough why not throw in some incredible live music!
I love that a festival that has become so popular was really just the idea between 3 buddies, Nic Adler of the Roxy, Tony Yanow of Tony’s Darts Away and Quarry Girl, an infamous blogger who is one of Southern California’s most famous sources of information on vegan food. So they thought, huh we love beer, music and vegan food..I have an idea…and five festivals later here we are.
I went to this festival last year and had a great time. This year I wondered if it could match the greatness. I saw the fest sold out much quicker than before. Word was out..this was the place to be if you are Vegan…or love beer…or Both!
Initially yes it was more crowded. I did wait in line about a half hour to get in the doors. But the thing is from a beer standpoint this festival is different than the others I attend. There isn’t that ticking clock on your head like you have to get in there when it starts cause you only have 180 minutes to make it through hoards of people to taste new beers. This beerfest is far more mellow. There was never a line for a beer (well one but that’s coming up in my review)..you just sort of hung out got a beer when yours was empty. You could bring chairs and blankets to sit on to enjoy the bands. It was more of an all around festival as opposed to a race to drink.
As the day wore in it got more and more crowded for sure. But I have to say I never ever felt uncomfortable. The crowds were there, but I always had a beer in hand. I got the food I wanted. I could hear the bands from everywhere. Looking back on our pictures I think “dude there was a crap load of people there”. But just never felt that way at all.
Now I must be forthcoming in the fact that I am not Vegan, I do have many Vegan friends and was even with one at the fest. So I can’t talk too much about the food. But I will say my friend John who is Vegan and my friend Jason who is a vegetarian were over run with glee over the sheer amount of choices. I mean in ONE place you could get food from:
Beyond Meat Truck | fb.com/beyondmeat | @beyondmeat | IG: beyondmeat
Amanda’s Bakery | Facebook | @AmandasBakeCafe
Azla Vegan | fb.com/AzlaEthiopianVegan | @AZLAvegan | IG: azlavegan
Bramble Bake Shop | fb.com/bramblebakeshop | @mielmonster | IG: mielbramble
Cafe Gratitude | fb.com/cafegratitudela | @cafegratitudela | @cafegratitudeVB
Chicago Vegan Foods | fb.com/ChicagoVeganFoods | @ChiVeganFoods | IG: chicagoveganfoods
Crossroads Kitchen | fb.com/crossroadskitchen | @crossroads8284 | IG: crossroads8284
Doomies | fb.com/doomieshomecookin | @Doomies | IG: doomies
Follow Your Heart | fb.com/FYHProducts | @FollowYourHeart | IG: fyhproducts
Golden Road Pub | fb.com/goldenroadbrew | @goldenroadpub | IG: goldenroadpub
Gracias Madre | fb.com/GraciasMadreWeHo | @GMWeHo | IG: gmweho
Grilled Cheese Truck | fb.com/grilledcheesetruck | @grlldcheesetruk
Guru Tacos | Facebook | @gurutacos
Ihsan’s Falafel | fb.com/ihsansfalafel | IG: ihsansfalafel
Kind Kreme | fb.com/kindkreme | @kindkreme | IG: kindkreme
M Cafe de Chaya | fb.com/welovemcafe | @WeLoveMCafe
Mamas Hot Tamales | @MamasHotTamales
Mandoline Grill | fb.com/MandolineGrill | @MandolineGrill | IG: MandolineGrill
Mohawk Bend | fb.com/mohawkLA | @MohawkLA | IG: mohawkla
Pepples Donuts | Facebook | @vegan_donuts
Plant Food For People | Facebook | @plantfoodforppl
Rabbit Hole Cafe | fb.com/rabbitholecafe | IG: TheRabbitHoleOfficial
Real Food Daily | fb.com/realfooddaily | @realfooddaily | IG: officialRFD
Sage Vegan Bistro | fb.com/sagevegan | @SageVegan | IG: thekindsage
Seabirds Truck | fb.com/SeabirdsTruck | @SeabirdsTruck
Shojin | fb.com/theshojin | @shojinlove
Southern Fried Vegan BBQ | fb.com/SouthernFriedVegan | @sfvbbq
The Frankenstand | fb.com/TheFrankenstand | @TheFrankenStand
Tony’s Darts Away | fb.com/tonysdartsaway | @tonysdartsaway
Tuning Fork Gastropub | fb.com/tuningforkgastropub | @TuningForkLA
Waiakea | fb.com/waiakea | @waiakea | IG: waiakea
And I am surely not opposed to Vegan food so when in Rome….I tried a Doughnut from Pebbles Donuts…Blueberry goodness! Mr. Beerman had chocolate chocolate our friends had the caramel apple….really good stuff!
I also stopped at the Mohawk Bend Booth http://mohawk.la/ cause dammit if you haven’t had Tony’s Darts Away http://tonysda.com/or Mowhawk Bend Potato Chips, just seriously stop what you are doing right now…I’ll wait…go get them. Seriously I don’t know what they do to create these chips but every time I am at those bars I get them, so I couldn’t walk past the booth without some!
Someone in line behind me had a Vegan “Big Mac” and I apologize for not knowing who was serving those but damn it was the best smelling plate of food of the day! WOW!
And Sage Vegan Bistro created these vegan nachos and buffalo cauliflower.
Okay now on to what I know! Beer! So being the Self Proclaimed Queen of Session Beers I was so happy to see that the breweries brought their best sessions. Even the IPAS were low in ABV.
There were a few out there that were higher and I need to take a moment to call out Bravery Brewing who in my mind had the best NON SESSION there. Old Rat: english style old ale 9.0% abv/55 ibu. http://www.braverybrewing.com/beers.html This was a smooth smooth beer, this beer could get you in some trouble, you just couldn’t tell it was stronger than a 5%. Well done!
Some other call outs of the festival:
First and foremost hands down the LONGEST line at the fest was ACE CIDER. Granted it was a Vegan fest and this was the only cider there, but I don’t think that was it. http://www.acecider.com/ I think it was their new cider, PINEAPPLE. Oh man. I have been chasing this one down. I love pineapple in any form. Bucket List checked when I went to the Dole Plantation last November. And some other alcohols have attempted the flavor. Hey I love flavored vodkas I always order my lucky Blueberry Stoli and Tonic at a blackjack table in Vegas. Okay it was lucky once a night I won $900 and I have been chasing that dream ever since with that drink. (The first step is admitting you have a problem)…but usually the flavored vodkas miss the mark with actually tasting like the fruit. They are almost synthetic tasting. Which explains why Fruit Loop Vodka from Three Olives tastes exactly like Fruit Loops. True story. I was at a wrap party for a TV show being sponsored by Three Olives it was there, I tried it, I liked it, stop judging.
Back to the Ace Cider, the pineapple was so good that the entire group I was with all looked at one another and said “well we are going to need some backyard pitchers of this, this summer”. Just back up a palette of bottles into my car.
They also had their Pear. A very refreshing cider as well. Some ciders are just too sweet, but the Pear was great. The Pineapple however, rated my very first FIVE STARS on Untappd. And I wasn’t alone. This line was off the hook but we stood in it three times. It was that good. They are slowly releasing these bottles of summer goodness. So keep an eye out.
My favorite Figueroa Mountain Brewing was there! Oh Figmtn http://www.figmtnbrew.com/ you never let me down. I have since this weekend become a big fan of their BIG CONE, it’s a Black Ale, and 6.8%. Normally Black Lagers and Ales sort of mess with me. I don’t know if it’s color. Not that I don’t love a good stout or porter, but that’s it. My mind is expecting a thicker, creamer taste. And to be honest most are just “meh” to me. But this is a great beer! Well done again Fig Mtn! Keep making beers….we’ll keep drinking them!!
Another brewery that never lets you down is Firestone.http://www.firestonebeer.com/home.php How freaking smart were they to bring not one but TWO kegs of their 805 Blonde.
I have spoke of this beer before. Its light but super tasty. You drink Bud or Coors, but want a better tasting craft brew? Its your session beer this summer. And I kinda loved the man serving the beer who told me he hit 1000 beers on Untappd in 6 months. (I need to go to more festivals).
Eagle Rock Brewery, http://eaglerockbrewery.com/main said it once I will say it over and over. They know what they are doing. They brought my favorite XPA Revolution. If you want to start drinking IPAS but they are still too “strong” or “hoppy” for you…let this be your gateway beer.
Angel City Brewery http://angelcitybrewery.com/ brought their Goldline Pilsner 5.6% and Angeleno IPA, 6.1% both super good, session and they win for having the nicest server at the fest!
Golden Road Brewery http://www.goldenroad.la/ didn’t forget how much we LOVED the Almond Milk Stout 5.6% from last year so they brought it back again! Yay!! Thank you!
So my two call outs for this festival were
Bootleggers Brewery http://www.bootleggersbrewery.com/?page_id=32.
Palomino Pale Ale – 5.5% ABV, 19.5 IBU
Borrowing from their website:
“Palomino Pale Ale is our interpretation of an American style Pale Ale. We brew this beer using only the finest American barley and hops and add even more hops as it ages to give it a great balanced citrusy taste and aroma. This beer is sure to please anyone who enjoys the refreshing taste of American hops without the bite of an IPA.”
Rustic Rye IPA – 6.2% ABV, 90.9 IBU
“Our Rustic Rye IPA balances the malted barley and spicy rye grains with a floral and earthy hop flavor and aroma. The maltiness of this beer is balanced with its finish of a crisp, clean hop bite. The combination makes for a truly memorable and refreshing beer.”
Both of these beers have been around a few years now but I have somehow missed them. Both score high points on my tasty and very session. I lean toward the Pale Ale as I love a good 19.5 units of bitter (remember from my last blog) but both were great finds!
And my favorite Brewery of the fest, while I must admit I had a head start on this one as they had a week prior done a Tap Take Over at Story Tavern, http://www.storytavernburbank.com/ is Speakeasy Ales & Lagers out of San Fran. fb.com/speakeasybeer I sort of fell in LOVE with their Scarlett Red Rye. But they had like 8 beers at Story and they were all the MOST DRINKABLE beers I have had. All session, all great. At the festival they had Betrayal an American Strong Ale 8.2% but really smooth and tasty not a session but would be fantastic with dinner and Big Daddy an IPA at 6.5% also super drinkable. Find Speakeasy you will thank me later.
Breweries at the Fest included
Abigaile | fb.com/TheBreweryatAbigaile | @abigaile
Ace Cider | fb.com/AceCider | @AceCider | IG: acecider
Anchor | fb.com/anchorbrewing | @anchorbrewing | IG: anchorbrewing
Angel City Brewery | fb.com/AngelCityBrewery | @AngelCityBrewery | IG: angelcitybeer
Automatic Brewing Co. | Facebook | @AutomaticBrewCo
Anderson Valley Brewing Co. | fb.com/AndersonValleyBrewingCompany | @avbc | IG: andersonvalleybrewing
Ballast Point | fb.com/BallastPoint | @BPbrewing | IG: ballastpointbrewing
Bison | fb.com/Bison | @bisonbrew | IG: bisonbrew
Bootleggers Brewery | fb.com/bootleggersbrewery | @BootleggersBrew | IG: bootleggersbrew
Bravery Brewing | fb.com/braverybrewing | @braverybrewing | IG: braverybrewing
Deschutes Brewery | fb.com/deschutesbrewery | @DeschutesBeer | IG: deschutesbeer
Drake’s | fb.com/drakesbrewing | @drakesbrewery | IG: drakesbrewery
Eagle Rock | fb.com/eaglerockbrewery | @eaglerockbrew | IG: eaglerockbrew
El Segundo Brewing Co. | fb.com/ElSegundoBrewingCo | @ESBCBrews
Epic Brewing | fb.com/epicbrewingco | @epicbrewing
Faction | fb.com/factionbrewing | @factionbrewing | IG: factionbrewing
Figueroa Mountain | fb.com/figueroamountainbrewing | @figmtnbrew | IG: figmtnbrew
Fireman’s Brew | fb.com/firemansbrew | @firemansbrew | IG: firemansbrew
Firestone Walker Brewing Co. | fb.com/firestone.walker | @firestonewalker | IG: firestonewalker
Golden Road | fb.com/goldenroadbrew | @goldenroadbrew | IG: goldenroadbrew
Hangar 24 | fb.com/hangar24brewery | @hangar24brewery | IG: hangar24brewery
Karl Strauss | fb.com/KarlStraussBrewingCompany | @karl_strauss | IG: karl_strauss
Lagunitas | fb.com/lagunitasbrewingco | @lagunitasbeer | IG: lagunitasbeer
Kinetic | fb.com/kineticbrewing | @kineticbrewing | IG: kineticbrewing
Modern Times | fb.com/ModernTimesIsYourFriend | @moderntimesbeer | IG: moderntimesbeer
Monkish Brewing | fb.com/monkishbrewing | @monkishbrewing | IG: monkishbrewing
New Belgium | fb.com/newbelgium | @newbelgium | IG: newbelgium
Noble Ale Works | fb.com/noblealeworks | @noblealeworks | IG: noblealeworks
North Coast Brewing | fb.com/northcoastbrewingcompany | @NoCoastBrewCo
Ohana | fb.com/ohanabrew | @ohanabrew | IG: ohanabrew
Omission | fb.com/omissionbeer | @omissionbeer
Oskar Blues | fb.com/oskarbluesCANS | @oskarblues | IG: oskarblues
Pizza Port | fb.com/pizzaportOB | @pizzaportOB | IG: pizzaport
Saint Archer | Facebook | @saintarcherbrew | IG: saintarcherbrew
Sierra Nevada | fb.com/sierranevadabeer | @sierranevada
Smog City Brewing | fb.com/smogcitybrewing | @smogcitybeer | IG: smogcitybeer
Speakeasy | fb.com/speakeasybeer | @speakeasybeer | IG: speakeasybeer
Surf Brewery | fb.com/surfbrewery | @surfbrewery | IG: surfbrewery
Wolf Creek | fb.com/wolfcreekbrewery | @wolfcreekbrew | IG: wolfcreekbrewery
All the bands were so fantastic! What a great addition to any Beerfest!
He’s My Brother, She’s My Sister | fb.com/hesmybrothershesmysister | @HMBSMS | YouTube | Myspace | Soundcloud
Fathers & Suns | fb.com/fathersandsuns | IG: sunfat | Soundcloud
Heaps n’ Heaps | fb.com/heapsnheapsmusic | @heapsnheaps | IG: heapsnheaps | SoundCloud
Megan Jacobs | fb.com/meganjmusic | @megan_jacobs | IG: oldsol | Soundcloud
The Battlefield | fb.com/wearethebattlefield | @_thebattlefield | IG: wearethebattlefield
Look I take cabs everywhere we are drinking. Sure I am more responsible now in my …ahem not 20s then I was when I was in my 20s. But Im guessing if there was a DUI Breathalyzer test at some of the bars I frequented early on in my drinking life I may not have driven home EVER.
Granted the technology is not always 100%. If I had a big gulp of a 9% IPA and blew I would blow off the charts. But in general it’s pretty accurate. We visited their booth pretty early on after just a few of the tasters and I blew a 0.089 Not crazy. Not tragic. Not even feeling drunk. But you know what? That is above the LEGAL limit to drink and drive. And I wouldn’t have known that.
End of day a $20-40 cab ride to an all day festival is a small price to pay in comparison to a $12000 DUI. And the $12k you will end up spending is the best case scenario. That’s if you don’t hurt anyone. You probably paid for parking somewhere anyway. Be safe just don’t ever ever drink and drive.
There are so many options out there. Taxis which we use all the time Thank you Taxi Magic LA https://taximagic.com/en_US (Taxi Magic app makes it absurdly easy to get a cab get home and click to pay. Um…its an app for the drunkest of fest goers), Uber, https://www.uber.com/ or Side Car http://www.side.cr/.
When we were waiting in line to get in I saw so many of these cars and cabs dropping off fest goers. I was so happy. So thanks Wreck Check for making everyone more aware that a few of those little tasters is a few too many to drive home! https://www.facebook.com/WreckCheck
There was also fun chalk art, and the snap it booth, and they were selling great merch this year. So many things were there I didn’t even get a chance to take pictures of all of it. But the good news is you can follow them on twitter @veganbeerfest and #veganbeerfest and see pictures from everyone who was there!
My final call out was to maybe the greatest part of the festival…the Fans that blew water. No I mean literally the fans that provided spritzing and cooling off to those of us coming off a 100 degree week in LA. Mother Nature was kind enough to cool it down a bit, but still 80 degrees in a big lot in the middle of Hollywood gets hot. So thank you fans. Thank you for being there.
Another most successful LA VEGAN BEERFEST for sure! Thank you Nic, Tony, and Quarry Girl for coming up with this brain child. Its pretty genius!