Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Vegan Birthday Beers & Eats Tour

Who: VN Associate Editor Jennifer Chen
What: Brewery tours and vegan eats
Where: Bear Republic Brewery, Healdsburg, Calif.; Pyramid Brewery, Berkeley, Calif.; Sushirrito, San Francisco
When: February 18 & 21, 2011
Why: Celebrating my husband's birthday

The Scoop: I plan elaborate birthdays for my husband, Brendan Hay, because I love surprising him. This year, I picked out several breweries in the area for a beer tour since he loves beer. When I saw a blog post on Vegansaurus about Sushirrito, I knew this was a perfect addition to our eating and drinking tour. Sushi the size of a burrito? No brainer. Using the handy guide on Barnivore, I found local breweries Bear Republic and Pyramid both serve vegan-friendly beer. Why isn't some beer vegan? (Read more on Barnivore.) Our first stop was Bear Republic in the lovely town of Healdsburg. The brewery was packed but we were seated quickly. We ordered a flight of their speciality beers (some of which were the El Oso, Heritage Ale, and the Carburetor). My personal favorite was the Cher Ami, a Belgian-style ale, which was light and fruity. A few days later, we spent President's Day standing in line at Sushirrito, waiting for our monster-sized sushi rolls. I got the Buddha Boy Roll, which was packed with avocado, tofu, eggplant, daikon, shittake mushrooms, crumbled rice chips, and cabbage. It was amazing. And for $8, my belly was Buddha-sized stuffed.

The awesome Buddha Boy Roll

Later, we hopped on BART and headed to Pyramid Brewery. We sampled Pyramid's flight of five beers—Haywire, Apricot Ale, Thunderhead, Live Wire, and Outburst. My favorite was the Apricot Ale because of its refreshing fruit flavor. We noshed on french fries and I ordered a $5 Portobello burger during their happy-hour special.

A nice flight of Pyramid brews

We were too busy playing our Trivial Pursuit card game (it's addictive, never leave home without it) to take advantage of the brewery's free daily tour, but we'll be back next time for the Tuesday trivia nights. It's good that we're chatting with Kris Carr tonight at 6pm PST/9pm PST on our very first Twitter VegNews Chat because after this beer tour weekend, I need some serious green juice!

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