So this past weekend I got to go to the World Beer Fest and try lots and lots of beers. Truthfully, after about 13 or 14 tastings (and 8 of those were some pretty sorry excuses for Hefeweizen) the tastes started blurring together, but I'd like to note a few highlights.
Before someone starts telling me about all the non-vegan beer processes (I am aware that several beers are not, in fact, vegan), I will argue that no person can in fact be truly 100% animal free, considering that most of us do participate in society and our society runs on fossil fuel. Plus, I *really really* love beer and if somewhere along the line (I'm not talking about like milk stouts or whatever) some non-vegan sugar was used, I'm not getting my panties in a bunch.
Abita is quickly taking a place as my favorite brewing co. I'd had the purple haze at a Mellow Mushroom and Dork brought the Strawberry beer to practice (not a strawberry fan), but I tried the Amber Ale and ended up refilling on it twice.
Sweetwater's blue was a blueberry beer that was pleasantly blueberry flavored, but without the excessive sweetness of most fruit-flavored beers. I don't know if I'd buy a six pack, but I'd probably order it again, since it was memorable.
Charleston Brewing Co wins the best Hefeweizen (my favorite type of beer) of the night award from me. The Half Moon Hefe was out of sight, a welcome respite after countless bitter or thin hefes.
Triangle Brewery right here in Durham had a fantastic new beer that we were lucky enough to witness being released at the James Joyce (they had Pink Flag, Rat Jackson and the Dry Heathens play the release and apparently sponsor many other local music events, which is cool with me). It's called Abbey Duppel. It's pretty durn tasty.
Another local fav, Big Boss, presented a big line up, but were out of the good stuff (Hell's belle, a belgian blonde) by the time I got there. The Black Diamond wasn't bad, but a little dry for my tastes. Angry angel (a kolsch) just doesn't really agree with my palate.
Lastly, and no poking fun, I love cider. I can't help it. It's my ovaries. They scream for cider. So I hit up a few and even though it's widely available and wussy, I don't care! Green Mountain Beverage, you rule! Woodchuck amber ale is like drinking apple juice. Bulmer's Strongbow Amber took a close second, as an amber that was 1- directly next to the Woodchuck and 2- a little less treacly.
The best thing? Local indian yumminess Sitar was totally repping the vegan friendly with veggie samosas, pakoras and some aloo ghobi. I'm sure other places offered vegan friendly options somewhere, but I'd be a little more worried about the mobile veganizing capabilities of the usually pretty vegan-friendly spots like Federal, James Joyce and Mellow Mushroom.