I recently had the pleasure of partaking in the fun and shennanigans that is the LA Vegan Beer & Food Festival. This year was the fourth edition of the event, and the largest by far. Having formally taken place in the parking lot of the Roxy Theatre, the fest overtook an entire empty lot directly across the street.
Even with the huge increase in capacity, this festival was completely sold out, showing the ever growing interest in vegan culture as well as LA’s ever growing craft beer scene. There was a wide array of food for both vegans and their carnivore friends, keeping everyone happy. The biggest surprise I found was that people did not know beers are not always vegan. Finings, or compounds used to make your beer crystal clear, are often made of gelatin (various animal fats) and Isinglass (fish bladder), just to name a couple. This festival showcased nothing but beers that used no animal fining agents or ingredients. Golden Road Brewing Co.’s Almond Milk Stout was an amazing twist on the traditional use of lactose, or milk sugars, that are generally found in milk stouts. This beer was a definite highlight of the day, along with their new IPA Heal The Bay, which benefits Heal The Bay!, and their environmental cause. Ohana Brewing Co.’s Rhino Redemption DIPA was also one of the top beers of the day, keep an eye out for these guys and more great beers coming from them in the future.
The festival was a huge success, with no problems seen and everyone in attendance having said they had a great time. The beautiful sunny weather made it only that much better. I myself had a blast and will definitely be attending next year’s event.