Tryanuary meets Veganuary at first-ever celebration of the plant-based pint

CHEERS to self-confessed ‘beer evangelist’ Mike Hampshire, the brains behind a brand-new beer festival that brings together Veganuary and Tryanuary. The first-ever Leeds Vegan Beer Festival will take place on Saturday 18th and Sunday 19th January, showcasing six independent breweries based in the North of England that create vegan-friendly beers.

I’ve lined up six top quality breweries to bring their beers, all of which are suitable for vegan beer lovers

The vegan-friendly beer festival debuts this month at The Wardrobe bar, kitchen and events space in Leeds city centre, with session times for both days noon until 8pm and free entry to both. The festival is being run in association with Tryanuary, the national volunteer-led campaign aimed at supporting the beer industry during the traditional Dryanuary. Mike explains: “There’s lots of campaigns going on in January and after a chat with the team at The Wardrobe, we decided to combine two of them into one fun event – Tryanuary and Veganuary.”  

Mike is National Coordinator for Tryanuary and a keen advocate of independent ales as Mike’s Tap Room, organising regular brewery tours, tasting events and the Leeds’ Festival of Brewers, which began in the summer of 2018. He says: “I’ve lined up six top quality breweries to bring their beers, all of which are suitable for vegan beer lovers.”  

2020 01 07 Leeds Vegan Beer Festival Mike Hampshire
Self-confessed 'beer evangelist' Mike Hampshire, organiser of Leeds' first vegan-friendly beer festival

Appearing at the festival are Leeds-based Anthology Brew Co and Nomadic Beers, Bad Seed Brewery and Brass Castle Brewery of North Yorkshire's Malton, Sheffield’s Triple Point Brewing and Neptune Brewery of Liverpool. Each bar will be run by the brewery staff themselves, which means you can chat to them while enjoying their beers.  

“I’ve met a lot of people from these breweries before and of course sampled their terrific beers, but this is the first time I’ve been able to bring them all together into one event. It’s really exciting and I can’t wait to welcome people into the festival,” says Mike.    

2019 05 07 Neptune Brewery
Liverpool's Neptune Brewery will also make an appearance

He continues: “Many breweries have turned their back on one way of making their beers look clear. This method used a fish-based product to do that, which of course isn’t suitable for vegans. We’re also seeing more widespread use of lactose in beer production, another ingredient not vegan friendly. All six of these breweries don’t use lactose either.”  

The Vegan-friendly Beer Festival takes places at The Wardrobe on St Peter’s Square.

Fancy more places to experience Tryanuary this month? Check out our Ultimate Leeds Pub Crawl.