I'm taking a break from my anthropology presentation research, which is about one of my favorite things in the whole wide world: beer. I learned to love das Bier when I was living and studying in Germany 2 years ago. For anyone who wants to be my BFF and buy me some alcomahols, my beer preferences go (1) brown ales, (2) IPAs, and (3) oatmeal stouts. Anything that's super hopped or made with rye gets props from me too.
As a vegan, being a beer snob can be, well, disappointing. Some of my formerly favorite breweries use animal byproducts in their fining processes. JP almost cried when he found out Avery in Boulder, CO, uses isinglass. But it's really not that bad. One just has to wait, patiently, to email or call a new brewery (sometimes the number is right on the label! I knew my cellphone was good for something other than text messaging), and make sure that the beer is free of non-vegan ingredients, including, but not limited to, isinglass, gelatin, honey, bone char, or milk sugar (lactose).
SO! Where am I going with all of this? One of my favorite breweries, that happens to make vegan beer, and is also VERY close to where I grew up in California, turned 20 this week. The Anderson Valley Brewing Company in Booneville, CA is one of my top five breweries and make a damn fine brew, especially their winter and summer seasonals. My parents and JP and I went on the brewery tour there in December ($5 gets you the tour and two tasters!), and they were really friendly and awesome. The place is really pretty, too, Booneville is a ways out on Hwy 128 (west of 101). I've decided that if I ever get married, it's happening there.
To celebrate their birthday, AVBC is coming out with a limited-edition run of an Imperial IPA. If you paid attention to the first paragraph of this entry, you can understand my excitement.
So get it while it's hot! AVBC is sold all over the Pacific Northwest and in most of the other states as well.