LA Vegan Beer Fest

By: Brent X Mendoza

TOMORROW: Get your beer tasting on at The Roxy’s 2nd Annual Vegan Beer Festival. With over 40 craft beers, a half-dozen food trucks, and four kick ass bands, there will be enough excitement to send your vegan head spinning.

Helping us pre-game before tomorrow’s big day, we spoke with members of The Stripminers, The Silent Comedy, and The Mowgli’s, testing their knowledge of vegan beer, and testing their sampling memories. Here are the facts…

Any vegan band members? If so, how strict are you with your veganism?

Joshua Zimmerman (The Silent Comedy): My brother (Jeremiah Zimmerman) and I have been vegetarian for seventeen years, and vegan on-and-off for different sections of that time. Our parents are raw food vegans.

Matt Di Panni (The Mowgli’s): I tried going veggie once…I figured it wasn’t going to work out when I realized I wanted a cheeseburger tattooed on me.

Katie Earl (The Mowgli’s): No vegans… we probably would be, but there are no McVegan options on the McValue menu. This event is actually a great way to explore vegan options though, and it makes me realize that there are plenty of awesome alternatives.

What do you know about vegan beer? What kind of animal product would you imagine they put in beer?

Brett Anderson (The Stripminers): Hops come from bunnies, right?

Holland Greco (The Stripminers): I think most breweries put fish farts in beer. That’s an animal product, right? Thank goodness for vegan beer!

Paul Stinson (The Stripminers): I’m probably one of those people who thought that all beer was vegan before. I can’t really imagine what sort of animal might end up in beer, ick! Unless it’s deer; is there deer beer?

Joshua Zimmerman (The Silent Comedy): I know that some fish-derived products can be used in the filtration process of certain beers, but I am not exactly sure which beer companies are making vegan, or non-vegan, products. I have also heard that they add pink elephants to beer in volume, which seems to be a clear violation of veganism.

Most looking forward to sampling: Firestone Hemp Ale, Lagunitas Hairy Eyeball, Woodchuck Granny Apple Cider, or Dogfish Head’s Festina Peche (fermented with peaches)?

Holland Greco (The Stripminers): Lagunitas Hairy Eyeball, because Lagunitas made a few varieties of delicious Frank Zappa beer that I loved.

Joshua Zimmerman (The Silent Comedy): Dogfish Head always has interesting beers, so I am curious about the Festina Peche.

Mike Vincze (The Mowgli’s): I love the smell of fermented peaches in the morning!

Any good “beer goggles” stories?

Brett Anderson (The Stripminers): Doing dishes wasted is fun, but frequently they don’t look as shiny in the morning, much like people.

Paul Stinson (The Stripminers): I’ve actually had “beer contacts” specially made so I can keep them in all the time.

Joshua Zimmerman (The Silent Comedy): We have many, but probably none we should share in public.

Matt Di Panni (The Mowgli’s): I don’t go to Mexico anymore. That’s as much as I am willing to divulge.

Katie Earl (The Mowgli’s): Yeah, one time I was drunk and a bunch of boys asked me to join their band. Over a year later, here I am. Le sigh…

Most anxious to stuff your vegan face at: the Seabirds Truck (“O.C.’s Original Veggie Truck”), Fresh Fries Truck, Mandoline Grill Truck (Vietnamese cuisine), Dosa Truck (South Indian street food), Doomie’s (vegan taqueria), The Frankenstand (vegan sausage and franks), or Luscious Vegan Desserts?

Brett Anderson (The Stripminers): Doomie’s! Tacos are the best! And so many places won’t make veggie tacos, which makes no sense, so the history of exasperation, and the scarcity, increases the value even more.

Paul Stinson (The Stripminers): I think I’m gonna bring my Hairy Eyeball over to the Frankenstand and see what emerges.

Joshua Zimmerman (Silent Comedy): It’s got to be Frankenstand! There is nothing better than an awesome vegan sausage after some beers! Brings back good memories of the street-dogs in Seattle and Austin.

Katie Earl (The Mowgli’s): I’m all about the deserts so I’m stoked to try Luscious, but the Frankenstand looked and smelled awesome and so did Mandoline, so I might have to try it all!

Favorite L.A. vegan restaurant?

Brett Anderson (The Stripminers): Cafe Gratitude is an oasis, and Cru smells like heaven’s kitchen. Oh, and Sage is a future favorite.

Joshua Zimmerman (Silent Comedy): I’m a big fan of Native Foods. For a chain-restaurant, they make some really tasty dishes that feel like a lot of care is put into them.

Katie Earl (The Mowgli’s): Follow Your Heart in Canoga Park, CA. Amazing lasagna, even if you aren’t vegan, and great vegan milkshakes!

Who will be the first member of the band to go nuts with samples?

Holland Greco (The Stripminers): Paul Stinson because he’s so enthused about Vegan Beer!

Paul Stinson (The Stripminers): Not possible, we’re professionals

Joshua Zimmerman (Silent Comedy): Our alcohol tolerance is so high, I don’t think any of us will. But we will definitely have a designated driver taking us away from the show!

Mike Vincze (The Mowgli’s): Me or Katie? I am allergic to most alcohol, two drinks and I’m red as a tomato and twice as drunk as your uncle on New Years.


The 2nd Annual Los Angeles Vegan Beer Fest will take place at The Roxy Theatre. Tickets will be available at the door and the event is 21+.
For more information & a full list of breweries click here.