The good folks at Venice Duck Brewing pouring some beer
The good folks at Venice Duck Brewing pouring some beer

When asked if I wanted to attend Vegan Okobterfest in Downtown LA, I jumped at the chance. The event was all around fun with great food, beer and music. For an event only in its second year, everything was extremely well organized. There were plenty of people, but I never felt crowded and there were plenty of tables and shaded areas for people to congregate in and enjoy their beer. And boy did this festival deliver on the beer and food front! A $45 ticket gets you unlimited tastes, three full pours, and access to all the food vendors- a great deal when you consider the event is from 1pm-5pm (so you can drink a lot of beer!). The festival boasts over 50 different beers on tap and 30 different food vendors, and there’s a spectacular variety so there’s a little something for everyone!

Representing to Figueroa Mountain Brewing
Representing to Figueroa Mountain Brewing

As a disclaimer, none of my friends who came with me nor myself are vegan. That being said I love good vegan food and this festival delivered. I tried the Green Truck’s Mother Trucker Vegan Burger and it was delicious. The house made hot pink sauce they top it with really sold me on it- make sure you track these guys down! My boyfriend went ahead and tried Southern Fried Vegan’s brat on a pretzel bun with collard greens and loved it as well. It was also a pleasure to see the folks who craft my favorite Vegan Cheese, Nary Dairy, at the festival. They had a cheese made with Golden Road’s Wolf Among Weeds DIPA and it was perfect for snacking on in line with pretzels.

Cheers!
Prost! Just sipping on some Imperial Pils from Lagunitas.

So the food was great, but let’s be honest, if you’re going to Oktoberfest you plan on drinking lots and lots of beer- and that we did. There we tons of different breweries, from old favorites like Lagunitas to small ones I had never heard of like Bravery Brewing. They also had quite a few tasty cider options for the gluten free among us, including Ace Cider and Anthem Cider– both which I highly recommend. I tried so much good beer there it would be hard to say what was the best, but there were for sure some standouts in the bunch. Solarc Brewing caught my attention with their gruit beers, aka beers brewed with other herbs and spices in place of hops. Both their Belgian style and Saison were delicious and great if you to see what beer was like before hops entered the recipe. Coronado Island Brewing was there with their Senor Saison, brewed with jalapenos and agave- you have to trust me on this one, just try it.

The guys at Solarc serving up their gruit.
The guys at Solarc serving up their gruit.

One of the stand out breweries we found there was Venice Duck. The agave blonde was so refreshing on a hot day and the hemp brown was possible the best hemp ale I’ve ever had. I’m looking forward to discovering more of their beers very soon! Figueroa Mountain Brewing was there as well, and has been a favorite of mine since I moved to the area in 2011 (only about a year after they opened). The festival did a great job letting me revisit my old favorites (looking at you Modern Times) while exploring tons of new beers. There was also a live polka band that did covers of various rock songs, which kept the atmosphere fun. There was definitely some dancing on my part by the end of the festival after a few beers had been consumed!

Overall, we had a blast at Vegan Oktoberfest. The best part is proceeds also go towards Expand Animal Rights Now so you can feel good about all those beers and vegan brats you’re about to consume. But make sure you add this to your list of beer festival to visit in LA- you won’t be disappointed!

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Polka band complete with lederhosen

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