Oktober 15, 2016 -- Vegparadise News Bureau
Vegan Oktoberfest Is Roktober Event with Suds and Snaks
Vegans donned their dirndls and lederhosen and headed for a festive afternoon at the annual Vegan Oktoberfest in downtown Los Angeles on Saturday, October 15. We San Fernando Valleyites, decked out in our bright yellow Vegetarians in Paradise sweatshirts, hopped on the Metro to 7th and Figueroa. A few blocks' walk brought us to the entrance of the vegan event of the year at LA Center Studios, a movie studio complete with sound stages and plenty of wide-open space for a pack of beer lovers to chug-alug and frolic.
At check-in we received our green VIP bracelets and 14-ounce beer steins and were ready to do some spirited toasting of the hottest craft brews at the event. Each attendee received three tickets, allowing for three full pours, but we opted for unlimited small tastings to see what these innovative brew houses were featuring this season.
Rousing Bavarian music flowed from the stage with musicians dressed in Alpine garb, complete with long white stockings and pointed, feather-trimmed hats. Fully amped with plenty of oompah, the Munich Boom-Steiners filled the air with polka-inducing beer haus tradition. The musicians weren't the only ones dressed in typical German beer-garden garb. Everywhere we looked there were women in brightly colored, traditional mini, lace-trimmed dirndl dresses, with white knee-high stockings, gingham aprons, and form-fitting, ribbon-laced bodices.
Men, too, were fully costumed in lederhosen, embroidered, short, brown pants with suspenders. Completing their costumes were red-checkered shirts, long stockings, and hats trimmed with a small, fluffy feather. Between the Bavarian music echoing rhythmic tuba beats and the visual delight of the colorful costumes, we thought we might have been transported to a crowded beer garden in Germany in full celebration mode.
We were thrilled to see such a humongous throng of beer lovers, making the tasting lines stretch about 12 to 15 people long. No one seemed to mind--the lines created opportunities for easy chatting to pass the time. Guessing the attendance was tricky, since the venue was quite sprawling and had "wings" off the main area. A wild guess might be around 3,000 beer-chugging party-goers.
Dotted throughout the gigantic venue were stands of craft brewers and cider houses supplied with full-to-the-brim kegs that were in steady pouring mode all afternoon. Some of the brews came from far distant lands like Iceland and Germany, but most were from California craft breweries. Several of the brew houses were home-town participants, like Angel City Brewing from DTLA, Craft Beer Kings from El Monte, The Dude's from Torrance, Dr. Jekyll's from Altadena, Pacific Plate Brewing from Monrovia, Wolf Creek Brewery from Valencia, and Solarc from Los Angeles. Some of the brewers ran out of beer before the end of the event, leaving a few disappointed fans with empty steins.
Cider lovers were well represented and were seen raising their steins with tastings by Honest Abe from Gardena, Wandering Aengus who traveled from Salem, Oregon; Ace Premium from Barlow, California; Reverend Nat's from Portland, Oregon; and California 101 Cider House in Westlake Village.
Mid-afternoon the fun-loving Knyght Ryder band took the stage and stoked up the crowd with enough Roll Out the Barrel and Do-Re-Mi to bring people to their feet, dancing to the oompah beats of the rhythmic-stomping tuba.
Vegan Oktoberfest had it all, including a well-chosen smorgasbord of vegan food trucks dishing up awesome eats at lightening speed. On the food scene were Follow Your Heart, Southern Fried Vegan, Donut Friend, Dogtown, Cobblermania, Grilled CheeseTruck, Jaycelab, Millie's Vegan Gelato, Scandylous Delights, The Ridiculous Baking Co., The Springs, Dreamy Creations, Mama's Hot Tamales, Mandoline Grill, Yum-Yum Shave Ice, and Gourmet Genie. Our banh mi sandwich from Mandoline Grill was pure delish, but the food truck area was a jam-packed people jungle that could have benefited from a bit more elbow room
Was it raining beer in DTLA? You bet it was as thousands of adventurous beer enthusiasts raised their glasses and celebrated with gusto: toasting the food, the beer, the music, the gorgeous warm and sunny weather, and even their mother-in-laws. Can't wait for next year's Vegan Oktoberfest!!!!!!