On June 5-6, the Sumac Centre hosted the "first ever Vegan Beer Festival". Vegans and vegetarians are wary of real ales as they often use isinglass, derived from the swim bladders of fish, to make it less cloudy. This inspired a number of local vegans to organise the real ale festival as a way of demonstrating that there is an alternative.
The Saturday was a gloriously warm day and the event was well attended, with the alcohol flowing within minutes of the official opening at 12 noon. There were a range of beers available to try, along with several ciders and perrys. Interest was so great that the beer ran out on Saturday.
The Saturday was a glorious warm day and the event was well attended, with the alcohol flowing within minutes of the official opening at 12 noon.
With seating outside and catering from the ever-reliable Veggies, it was an enjoyable way to spend the day, sipping beer in the sun and the event seemed to have attracted a number of new faces.
Sunday was not such a nice day, but I understand that the beer had all been finished on Saturday, underlining just how popular it was.
While the beer was obviously central to the day, there was also an opportunity to reach new people with messages about veganism and animal rights, with assorted materials prominently displayed.
The event even attracted some mainstream media attention. The Post ran a surprisingly favourable story, the preceding Friday and sent a photographer along to record the event, although I'm not sure if any of these images have been published (there's certainly nothing on the website).
Well done to the organisers. Same again next year?