The fourth annual LA Vegan Beer Fest is just around the corner, and attendees will have the opportunity to sample vegan brews from more than 15 breweries and vegan eats from a variety of LA-area restaurants and food trucks.
Regardless of whether you keep vegan, vegetarian, or you’re a dedicated omnivore, the LA Vegan Beer Fest is one of the better beer festivals in Los Angeles. Held in the Roxy Theatre and co-hosted by the folks behind Tony’s Darts Away and vegan food-blogger Quarry Girl, The Vegan Beer Fest is a great way to kick-off a Spring and Summer filled with beer festivals.
The festival is on May 4th at 1pm, and tickets can be purchased online for $40 ($50 for VIP admission).
You might think that all beer -- being principally brewed with grain, yeast, and hops -- is vegan, but the truth is brewers have long turned to animal products to help produce a superior beer.
Some beers are obviously non-vegan and are defined by the animal ingredients used to brew them, like milk stouts -- which use unfermentable milk sugars to retain sweetness -- ales brewed with honey, and oyster stouts (or the more experimental Rocky Mountain oyster stout from Wynkoop -- yeah, that’s a thing). Many other brews are more subtle in their use of animal products.
Most non-vegan ingredients that find their way into beer are used to help clarify and filter the final product. Things like animal-based gelatin, egg shells, and a traditional brewing ingredient -- made from the swim bladders of fish -- called isinglass help produce a beer that appears crystal-clear in your glass.
There are a handful of online resources for checking which beers are vegan-safe, including an exhaustive list assembled by PETA, but if you’re concerned and unsure about a beer’s ingredients the best options may be to ask the brewery directly.