Secret Vegan Breweries and other News from the Great American Beer Festival »
The Great American Beer Festival wrapped up on Saturday, but I’m just crawling out from under my hangover to report on the amazing things I found there. With over 3,500 beers from 700 breweries, there’s a lot to discover, and it turns out that walking around in a Vegansaurus t-shirt with a badge that says “vegan blogger” is a good way to discover the secret vegan levels in the beer-tasting game. Here are some of the best things I spotted in that cavernous, booze-infused hall.
Modern Times Brewery, San Diego, CA
Modern Times Brewery in San Diego might be the coolest.
One of the cofounders of this place is vegan. He doesn’t want to sell anything he wouldn’t eat. So they don’t, and they bother to tell you about it on the can!
In addition, the beer was delicious—and that’s my sober opinion, as this was one of the first things I tasted on Saturday. They’re the only brewery around that roasts their own coffee to put into an oatmeal coffee stout, and it’s hella creamy, basically beer dessert. I want a scoop of vanilla coconut ice cream floating in that, aww yeah.
The bad news: You can only get this beer in southern California. The good news: You can buy their coffee online! And t-shirts. I want one.
Kamala Brewing, Austin, TX
Kamala used to be called Namaste, but apparently another brewery owns the trademark on that name so made these guys change it. Namaste as fuck, right?
Who cares, because this was definitely the most interesting and mind-blowing beer I tried. My fave is one called Bitterama, an ESB brewed with wild rice and bergamot. That’s like EARL GRAY BEER, yo! They also had a rad one called the Smoked Austoner, that my notes say tasted “like Scotch yogurt.” But in a good way. I may have been drunk.
They’re based in a former gas station in Austin that’s also an Indian restaurant and you can bet it’s first on my list of places to hit when and if I ever make it to that great city. And speaking of road trips…
Infusion Brewing Company, Benson, NE
You’ve got your trip to Omaha all planned out, right? You know, to eat at Modern Love, Isa’s new restaurant? Well, I found you the beer to drink while you’re there: Infusion Brewing Company. It’s a tiny place, and you can only find the beer right there, so it’s perfect. The Vanilla Bean Blonde is one of their most popular, but they’ve got the regular assortment. Go to Omaha, vegans!
Still looking for more delicious ideas? I suggest you cross-reference the list of 283 GABF medal winners with the fine list at Barnivore.com and have a little festival of your own! Just don’t forget the pretzel necklaces, those are important.
Vegans represent on Dear Abby! »
A few weeks ago, Dear Abby published a question from a reader with an obnoxious brother who insisted that an entire holiday meal for 13 people be vegan because he has two vegan daughters. Dear Abby was horrified and told the dude to tell his bro and his daughters to stuff it and if they want something vegan at the meal, they should bring it them damn selves or just not come, i.e., MERRY CHRISTMAS, MOTHERFUCKERS. Fine, but Imma tell you something: Obviously those brothers have some other issues between them that stem far beyond the vegan meal. I can’t think of any vegan I know (and I know me some vegans) who would ever EVER insist that a holiday meal be entirely vegan. Some vegans have families who are ultra-accommodating and prepare an entirely vegan meal out of choice, some have awesome families who make sure there are plenty of vegan dishes, and some have to bring the vegan deliciousness with them, but I don’t know one vegan who is all, “MAKE THIS SHIT ENTIRELY VEGAN OR I AIN’T COMING AND YOU CAN EAT A DICK!” Letters like this perpetuate the mostly false stereotype of the “Difficult Vegan” AND in this case, it wasn’t even the vegans who were being difficult, it was their weirdo dad! If it even went down exactly how the poor victim brother who wrote the letter says it did, and I have my doubts. Can I get a witness?? Literally!
Anyway, I fumed about this for several days BUT TODAY, I saw that Abby (who is really named Jeanne now, that’s gotta cause some identity issues!) published some letters from awesome vegans who were all, “Hey! I’m not like that! And my eating choices are valid!” and so, that’s rad and all is well in the world and I don’t have to go ‘Mel Gibson in Falling Down" on your asses. Or "Mel Gibson drunk on a police officer." Or "Mel Gibson sober on his wife."
FINALLY, if you ever need any vegan advice, hit me up at Ask Laura (my advice column in VegNews!) and I’ll solve all your worldly problems and then some. And by and then some, I mean, I’ll also make fun of you and if you include your address, send you a coupon for a 50 cents off your next Wildwood tofu purchase, I’ve got a million! Ask away!