LA VEGAN BEERFEST 2015

IMG_2987The LA Vegan beerfest is one of my favorite days of the year. Its always right when May is just inching toward full blown summer. I feel the folks who run the show, Nic Adler, Quarry Girl, and Tony Yanow (Tony’s Darts Away) are just good people. Three Vegan friends who had this great idea. Six years later it’s a really really great idea. http://www.veganbeerfest.com/
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I have mentioned this in past blogs about this event, the beer is not Vegan, the food is. So if you are looking for a new BEERFEST to enjoy, don’t be confused and continue reading…
Full disclosure, I am not Vegan, but when in Rome…I enjoy the food from the one zillion trucks that come to this event. I also enjoy the great bands. But what I come for is the beer….So that’s what this blog is about. I didn’t want you to be looking for a review on the awesome cauliflower everyone was talking about in the beer lines. I don’t have that. But I will tell you what new beers I found!
First though, I need to mention this:
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What? LA Vegan BeerFest was at the Rosebowl this year? Yah it was! And WHAT A SMART idea that was. I have to say before I even talk about the greatness that was our day that the location change was the best idea ever. From the minute we arrived and saw the enormously long line (expected, we weren’t stressed) to 1:03pm, three minutes after the gates opened we were in the venue with glass in hand… it was smooth sailing. IMG_2978

Are you kidding me? 3 minutes from parking lot line to the glass table? The staff at the Rosebowl knows their stuff.
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Quite frankly I was just giddy to be in the Rosebowl. Thinking of all the games played there. And here we were feet on the 50 yard line drinking our first beer. The set up was great. There were food vendors all in a circle surrounding the beers that were lined up in the middle. Once again there was never more than a 2-5 min wait for a beer, and that was a few hours in. The first hour we were there I don’t think we waited 2-5 seconds for our beer.
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We have started a collection of these 4 oz beauties…but was interested to see you could have purchased a full pint glass for $10 and the beer vendors would fill you up! I think or hope that was for the folks who were there not so much like me looking for my next greatest beer find, but for the folks who just wanted a brew to enjoy while eating and watching bands. However, I did see the teeny tinest girl fill up a full pint of a 9.7% beer and thought “oh dear”. I wonder how she did later in the day?

When we got there

When we got there


I could talk about the food, MAN there was a LOT of choices this year, but I feel there will be enough Vegan food authorities writing about that and posting. I am no authority, but I did have a fantastic avocado sandwich while there. And noted the line for the pizza was insane. So guessing that was a BIG hit.
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Having done this for a few years now, and now that beer fests are ubiquitous. (No more just the 2-3 in Spring/Summer, now you can find one nearly every weekend) and the fact that we frequent bars like Tony’s and Story and Mohawk, and Boneyard Bistro. I have to say Mr Beerman and I have tried nearly every thing they are going to bring. SO when we find a new beer from an old favorite brewery or a new brewery all together that is the best part of the day.IMG_3028

So lets talk beer!
Breweries
There were over 60 Breweries there. And they all brought 2-5 beers each.

Of course we ran to our favorites, Figueroa Mountain, Angel City (If you haven’t tried their IPA you are missing out)IMG_3060
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And its not a LA VEGAN BEERFEST without Golden Roads,http://www.goldenroad.la/ Almond Milk Stout.IMG_3022

Okay now on to some others…Here were our top finds of the day. In no order. They are all over the board, from the super hoppy to the sweet…

Here we go….

If you are a craft beer drinker you know, Ballast Points Sculpin. IMG_3033http://www.ballastpoint.com/beer/sculpin/ You just do. It’s a great beer. But have you tried their Grapefruit Sculpin?? Its better. This had to be one of our favorites of the fest. Such a great twist on a great beer. My husband who doesn’t even like Grapefruit put this on the top of his list. http://www.ballastpoint.com/beer/grapefruit-sculpin/

IMG_3019New Belgium. I bet you know them, cause I bet you have drank a Fat Tire http://www.newbelgium.com/beer/detail.aspx?id=7c5b394b-d7b7-486a-ac9a-316256a7b0ee …that’s their amber. Strong choice. I am a big fan of their Blue Paddle Pilsner. http://www.newbelgium.com/beer/detail.aspx?id=5aec31cf-c34f-4344-8dbe-91a0a5db67ca

But today I was blown away by their Lips of Faith, Pear Ginger Beer. IMG_3020 http://www.newbelgium.com/beer/detail.aspx?id=68377164-e9f3-4681-b3d0-150a28284564 This would make the BEST Moscow Mule ever. It was just a nice change from “beer” beer and it wasn’t sweet…. If you like ginger taste in anything this is a MUST try.

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Hoparillio from Knee Deep Brewing, https://kneedeepbrewing.com/beers/ Okay generally this would scare me, 11% and 122 IBU…but dang it if this wasn’t one of the most well balanced perfect IPAs I have ever had. A TRIPLE IPA and I would totally order this and then another. Big Thumbs up guys. You are new to me…keep doing what you are doing and I’ll be purchasing you often.

IMG_3009SpeakEasy Metropolis Lager, http://www.goodbeer.com/theusualsuspects/ I have to admit this wasn’t a new find for me. I buy this quite often from my local Bev Mo. Not the cheapest 6 pk on the block, but this is a great outdoors drinking beer, and I really am a fan of all their beers so I want to support them. Even with the higher price tag I encourage you to try any of their beers, but this one particularly for folks who aren’t into super bitter, or hoppy but just looking for something that tastes like a really well made beer. http://www.goodbeer.com/

Another new Brewery for me (just opened in February) Solarc Brewing. IMG_3046http://www.solarcbrewing.com/ Both their beers they brought were really awesome. I hate to sound like “that guy” but they were really complex but most importantly tasty. IMG_3048My favorite was their Night Capsicum a Black IPA, but also their Dunes, a Gruit (ale ) was really great. Im not a fan of the Belgium style so for me to like you, you know you are doing something great (for me anyway). Awesome new find! Support them if you see them, they are new and I can see great things coming.

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Noble Ale Works, http://www.noblealeworks.com/ I Love It, IPA was also in my 4-5 star range on Untappd this weekend. I love finding IPAS that aren’t overly hoppy and don’t knock me over with crazy flavors. This was a solid delicious beer.
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Speaking of IPAs you can’t forget the session IPAs, (which mean less ABV or less alchohol), Oskar Blues had Pinner Throwback IPA http://brew.oskarblues.com/ob-beers/year-round/pinner-throwback-ipa/ that’s new to me at least and as per Oskar Blues usual it was delicious. I will add it to my cooler with my Dales Pale Ale, Mama’s Little Yella Pils and Old Chub.

One of the best parts of the day were the giant screens around the stadium showing the tweets we were all sending throughout the day. What’s not fun about a Jumbo Tron?
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Also I have to say I love meeting people at the fest. Everyone is so nice. I don’t know if its beer people or the Vegan community or both, but we always make friends. Mr Beerman and I always wear pretzel necklaces IMG_3053,sometimes cause we get hungry but really mostly to palette cleanse so the beers don’t run into one another. Many folks asked us about them. So we shared! Here are a few new buddies we toasted while sharing our pretzels.
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And this group was celebrating Cynthia’s birthday.IMG_3058 I mean come on a day at the Vegan Beerfest? That’s a gift that keeps on giving!

End of my day I stopped at my good friends at WRECK CHECK IMG_3079http://wreckcheck.me/ to once again point out to never ever drink and drive.IMG_3081 I was tasting (like honestly tasting I asked for half pours most every time) and I ate a good lunch and dessert and I still blew nearly twice the legal limit. I was walking, talking, even using my phone to call CURB just fine. But way above the legal limit.IMG_3087

My only wish was for better taxi situations. On the way in there wasn’t really a clear path for our taxi to drop us off, and end of day there were a ton of us outside trying to call Uber and Taxis and all of our phones were nearly out of juice, between tweeting to get on the Jumbo tron, and Facebooking for Friends to see all the fun, logging beers into Untappd there was little or no battery power for taxi calling. SO maybe next year they could have some waiting toward the end of the day? Just a thought.

When we left

When we left


Overall I can’t speak highly enough about this fest. It has grown from a small grass roots kind of affair to the freaking Rosebowl, yet nothing has changed. Its still great people, great food, great bands and great beers. Its just a fantastic way to spend the day. If you haven’t been you have to go next year, and if you did go then you know what Im talking about! See you next year!!IMG_3036

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5th Annual LA Vegan Beerfest

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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!
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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. IMG_4958

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!

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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.IMG_4987 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.

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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:

Food Vendors
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….IMG_5035I tried a Doughnut from Pebbles Donuts…Blueberry goodness! Mr. Beerman had chocolate chocolate our friends had the caramel apple….really good stuff!IMG_5036

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.
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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:

IMG_4966First 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.Untappd_logo 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.

IMG_5008My 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!!IMG_5009

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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. IMG_4968(I need to go to more festivals).

Eagle Rock BreweryIMG_5064, 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.

IMG_5051Angel 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! IMG_5053

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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 good.IMG_5038

So my two call outs for this festival were

IMG_4978 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.”
IMG_4979And their
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/ isIMG_5056 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

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All the bands were so fantastic! What a great addition to any Beerfest!

Bands
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
Jimmy Lovato

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One of my favorite booths ever was present at the festival! WRECK CHECK. They were there to provide “free blows” to anyone who wanted to see how much they have had to drink.

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.IMG_5022

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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,IMG_5049 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.IMG_4992 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.IMG_4994

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!

IMG_4975Until next year!

PS you all saw this right? I know I was drinking so just making sure….IMG_5054

LOS ANGELES VEGAN BEER FEST

Sorry the blog on the LA Vegan Beerfest took a few days to come out. Let’s just say it was a rough weekend of recouping. Remember when we were 22 and could go out til 4am come home sleep 2 hours get up shower and go to work then roll it all again the following night. Yah well at 42 you go to a 5 hour beerfest on Saturday and an ABC wrap party (open bar) Sunday and you aren’t ready to sit down and write about drinking for at least three days. So I apologize. Here we go….

The Fest!

The Fest!

On Saturday May 4th I attended the LOS ANGELES VEGAN BEERFEST brought to you by Tony Darts Away, Quarry Girl and The Roxy in Hollywood, CA tickets were $40 for all the beer samples you like from 1-6pm. Also included were bands and food trucks (food was at an added cost). If you wanted to go in an hour early at noon VIP tix were on sale for $50 and they also had a VIP seating area. I went with my friends Tricia and John, (they have done prior beer fests with me and Johns a Vegan so we blended).

First let me point out that the Vegan part of this mostly was the food. YES there were Vegan beers there and yes they were served, but some there were not…the Vegan part was mostly the food. I point this out as I have had several people ask me the question “Aren’t all beers Vegan?” You would think. No dairy, no meat, BUT some beers do use gelatin for color, and some even use fish bladders. Isinglass is used as to stabilize the foam or head and clarify beer. It comes from the bladders of fish that are harvested for food. Collagen is the active ingredient that is gained from the bladders. This is more common in European beers than American brews (Guiness uses isinglass)

I thought the booths were super aware of their audience. At the Crispin Cider booth one of the ciders they were sampling was a Honey apple and they were quick to point out that there was honey in it and asked if I was okay with that. Considering I had a giant tri tip steak sandwich before heading out to the fest I smiled and said “that’s fine, thank you for asking”.

They even had sidewalk chalk fun!

They even had sidewalk chalk fun!


I should really begin with this Festival was awesome! So fun. So well done. So mellow. No one was rushing. No one was pushy. Just so fun. Just a giant thumbs up! And some of the nicest people ever were running this show. I can’t tell you how Twitter friendly they were. Whoever was running their social media was on it. Answering questions, tweeting, retweeting, just being so friendly, and dammit I loved these guys!

Ok back to the actual festival.. First it was smaller than the last fest I attended. About half as many breweries I think 40 were there,IMG_5765 but literally no lines. For good or bad I think I drank from well over 24 with multiple tastes (wait til you hear how my day ended) I never ever waited for a beer. There were a lot of people but it wasn’t crowded it all. IMG_5661 The longest line I was in was to get Vietnamese Vegan Nachos. Im guessing maybe most of the folks were there for the Vegan food trucks (there were lots) and the bands.
Borrowed from their own website the food included:
Chicago Vegan Foods |Mandoline Grill | STREET | Seabirds Truck | The Frankenstand | TheFrankenStand | Mohawk Bend | Fresh Fries Truck |Gracias Madre | Sage Vegan Bistro | Kind Kreme Cafe Gratitude | M Cafe | Madeleine Bistro | Food For Lovers | Amanda’s Bakery & Cafe | Green Truck | LA Vegan Crepe | Tony’s Darts Away | Golden Road Pub | Southern Fried Vegan BBQ | Follow Your Heart | San Diego Pretzel Company | Sweet Crush Ice Bar |Doomie’s Home Cookin’ | Guru Tacos

BANDS: Saint Motel http://www.saintmotel.com/ Terraplane Sun http://www.terraplanesun.com/ Branches http://branchesmusic.com/ The Janks http://thejanksmusic.com Casey Wickstromhttp://facebook.com/caseywickstrommusic Vegan Boss http://facebook.com/veganboss

The bands were a fantastic soundtrack for the day. All of them were amazing!

But I’m here to talk about the beers.

BREWERIES:
GoldenRoadhttp://goldenroad.la , Hangar 24 http://hangar24brewery.com, Anchor -http://anchorbrewing.com, Noble http://NobleAleWorks.com, Anderson Valley Brewing Company http://avbc.com, Sierra Nevada – @SierraNevada http://sierranevada.com, Triple Voo Doohttp://triplevoodoobrewing.com , Firestone Walkerhttp://firestonebeer.com, Deschutes -http://deschutesbrewery.com, North Coasthttp://northcoastbrewing.com , Figueroa Mountainhttp://figmtnbrew.com , Stonehttp://stonebrewing.com, Eel Riverhttp://eelriverbrewing.com, Maui -http://mauibrewingco.com, Oskar Blueshttp://oskarblues.com, Bootlegger’shttp://bootleggersbrewery.com, Epichttp://epicbeer.com, Monkish -http://monkishbrewing.com , Lagunitas http://lagunitas.com, Speakeasyhttp://goodbeer.com, Cismontane http://cismontanebrewing.com, TAPS http://tapsfishhouse.com, Bison http://bisonbrew.com, Drake’shttp://drinkdrakes.com , New Belgiumhttp://newbelgium.com, Automatichttp://automaticbrewingco.com, Surf Breweryhttp://surfbrewery.com, Karl Strauss http://karlstrauss.com, Dogfish Headhttp://dogfish.com, Crispin Ciderhttp://crispincider.com, El Segundohttp://elsegundobrewing.com, Wolf Creek http://wolfcreekbrewingco.com, Ninkasi –http://ninkasibrewing.com, Ballast Point http://ballastpoint.com Monks’ -http://christdesert.org/Abbey_Beverage_Company/, Kinetic http://kineticbrewing.com, Tap It http://tapitbrewing.com, Fireman’s Brew http://firemansbrew.com , Ohana Brewing Company http://ohanabrew.com, Kombucha Beer fb.com/unityvibration

Many of these breweries I have tried. Many I love. Can’t deny I love Firestones Pils I found at the last fest and I’m a big fan of their Velvet Merlin Stout, but I have to say my big favorites of this fest included Golden Road’s Almond Milk Stout, Oskar Blues Mamas Little Yella Pils (Had that one on Mr Beermans birthday but its so clean I had to have a few at the fest), Surf Brewery’s Mondo’s Cream Ale, Kinetics Rusted Coffee, Fireman’s Brew Redhead and I can’t tell you how many samples I had of Crispin Ciders Bird on a Wire Lets talk about these finds.

Golden Road http://goldenroad.la is one of my favorite places in LA. Its really close to my house and as I have mentioned in previous blogs, their Pub is outstanding. So for this fest they created a Vegan Stout with Almond Milk.IMG_5664 SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO yummy. It was about 5% give or take a point (forgive I really need to take better notes when Im drinking). And this was maybe the 3rd beer I tried and went back multiple times during my five hours to try it again. IMG_5665

Oskar Blues http://oskarblues.com just doesn’t let me down. Mamas Little Yella Pils is so good. I love this beer and my friend John was looking for a clean crisp golden beer. IMG_5652This was it. I think he may have had samples of this one more than any of the other beers combined. If you want a good pilsner for outside drinking this summer. Get this one.IMG_5653

Surf Brewery – http://surfbrewery.com is one of my new favorite breweries! Out of Ventura, I really need to make it up there to their tasting room. Lately Mr Beerman and I have been enjoying their Mondo’s Cream Ale with our Sunday Grilling tradition. Its like a Boddingtons but I think lighter and less carbonated. I was eager to find them at the fest since we were drinking their bottles from Bev Mo. The draft version was even better. I also tried their ale, and their strawberry wheat (which ran out fast must have been a crowd pleaser). My favorite is still the Cream Ale, but I encourage you to grab a bottle if you see them in your store. Good stuff! IMG_5673 IMG_5672

Kinetic http://kineticbrewing.com is a sneaky find. I almost am sad to mention that they told me they are not bottled yet. SO I think you need to find them in a local bar. Their Rusted Coffee was just that. It was SO coffee. But not in a dark stout, or even porter way. This was an amber in color lighter than expected beer that to your nose was 100% a pot of coffee. It was nuts. I loved it. Smelled like Coffeebean tasted like a delicious ale! Find it! IMG_5659

Fireman’s Brew Redhead http://firemansbrew.com Ok those who know me may think I like this beer just cause of its name (The Bierlady is one… a red head not a fireman, but Mr. Beerman is…, a fireman not a red head), but it was a good red ale. Its found in your local grocery store. Not particularly a craft beer. But it was a nice change toward the end of my day.IMG_5666

Okay so my last BIG find was Crispins – http://crispincider.com Bird on a Wire.IMG_5684 Its no secret that as of late I have become a cider person. When did that happen? Twenty years of drinking and I never had more than 3 ciders til this year. Now its my big find of a Beerfest. Well I can honestly say Tricia and I got our lil 4 oz glass filled up more than I can remember of this delicious, delicious, treat. http://www.crispincider.com/cider/products/barrel-aged/bird-on-a-wire/ This cider is blended right in whiskey barrels and at 6.9% its no apple juice. It has this aroma of apple with a slight smell of bourbon and although Tricia is a bourbon drinker I am not. SO don’t let that scare you. It was just the right balance. So far I have liked every cider Crispin does. And I put them heads and tails above Ace, Strongbow and any other Cider Ive tried. They even have a brochure online for Cider Cocktails. How fun is that! Try them all. But for sure try this one!IMG_5685

So at the end of the fest I wanted to do a breathalyzer. Just to see what those little sips add up to. Wreck Check http://www.wreckcheck.me was a group encouraging folks to try a breathalyzer and see how the beer was affecting them.IMG_5667

I spoke to them for a while. Suggesting things like Tony Darts Away who is a bar by my house in Burbank and one of the hosts of the festival maybe have a shuttle or bus running from the bar to the festival next year. Since so many fest go’ers were patrons of Tony’s I’m guessing we all lived in the same hood. Which was about a $45 cab ride. I was lucky enough to have Mr. Beerman drop me and I took the Festival suggested SideCAR ride home http://www.side.cr

Side car is a great idea. It’s a ride share program of sorts. Folks in LA looking to make money can apply and as long as they have a clean driving record, go through a background check, etc they can drive you home in their own cars. I was worried at first but SideCar has a GPS on the driver and you can send your location and GPS to say your loving husband waiting for you at home. I tried it! A nice man picked us up, dropped off Tricia and John then carted me back to Burbank. For less than a cost of a cab. You have a record of this person on your phone and can even request them for future rides.

And so we blew…When Tricia did it she clocked a .119. They wrote “Solid DUI” Now we weren’t driving so this was just for fun. So don’t panic. Now it was my turn. I wasn’t worried…I just drank beer, yes a few hours worth, but I was feeling tipsy at best. Not sick, not slurring, not walking funny, just feeling happy. I clocked .241 IMG_5764on a Festival breathalyzer. That’s triple the legal limit to drive. And I showed no real signs of being super drunk. Hmm…that says to me no matter what you drink. No matter how tiny your samples are. No matter how good you feel. Be careful. Be smart. Call a cab. Or if you are in LA call Uber. Use the SideCar App…you have choices.

Overall I have to HIGHLY recommend this Festival to anyone who loves beer. And if you are Vegan or like great bands BONUS. It really was a great day.
See you all at the 5th Annual!!
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