A New Festival is Brewing in Fort Wayne


Fort Wayne, IN,  – A new festival is brewing in Fort Wayne, and the timing for the Fort Wayne Veg’n Brew Fest on October 6 couldn’t be more perfect.

Sales of plant-based foods have risen 20 percent in the past year, outpacing overall food sales by 10 times, according to a new report from the Plant-Based Foods Association. What’s more, Mintel reports that 46 percent of Americans say that plant-based proteins are better for them than animal-based proteins, which is why more are reaching for meatless options.

What’s driving the interest in plant-based eating? Greater awareness about the multi-faceted benefits of a plant-based diet. Numerous evidence-based studies confirm that plant-based diets can reduce the risk of and in some cases, reverse chronic diseases like diabetes, obesity, certain cancers, Alzheimer’s and heart disease. It also eliminates the suffering of animals in our food system – almost nine billion land animals are killed for food in this country alone every year, a whopping 99 percent of them coming from cruel concentrated animal feeding operations — and creates a healthier environment, as animal-based agriculture is one of the leading causes of greenhouse gas emissions.

Although the movement is a global revolution, especially now that Hollywood A-listers, celebrity chefs and professional athletes are turning vegan, Fort Wayne has witnessed its own explosion in the vegan movement. Just in the past year, numerous grocery stores and restaurants have upped their plant-based options, and residents can now find plant-based meals at venues like Loving Cafe, 800 Degrees Three Fires, D-lightfuls, Mitchell’s Sports Bar, Young Urban Homesteaders, Trubble Brewing, Pembroke Bakery & Cafe, West Central Microcreamery and Hop River Brewing Company. And there’s more good news, as more restaurants offering plant-based meals are set to open, including Bird & Cleaver and Taste of Lakeside.

Through the Fort Wayne Veg’n Brew Fest, residents and guests of the city will be able to experience a plant-based lifestyle firsthand and learn more about local and regional offerings. Festival-goers will have the opportunity to:

  • Sample plant-based (including gluten-free) foods including pizza, burgers, noodle bowls, chili cheese fries, pastries, cookies, ice cream shakes, and more!
  • Visit vegan, fair trade, and eco-friendly vendors
  • Meet adoptable dogs available through the Allen County SPCA
  • Listen to speakers discuss how to help the environment by adopting a zero-waste lifestyle
  • Enjoy live music from Alyssa Enright, Kelsie Cote, and Be Colony
  • Participate in kids activities – yoga, trivia, vegetable gardening, and more
  • Listen to children’s book readings from local author Heather Leughmyer
  • Learn how to cook plant-based foods through a cooking demonstration
  • Participate in an all-levels yoga class
  • Try plant-based alternatives to milk, cheese, and meats at the Try Veg tasting booth
  • Get questions answered by a panel of local vegans and plant-based activists including Dr. Kristen Gerhardstein and Black Seed Vegans
  • Have a drink – this is where the “brew” part of our name comes in, and we don’t just mean coffee and kombucha but alcohol and beer, too.

“We’re very excited to bring the Fort Wayne Veg’n Brew Fest to our community,” says Heather Dahman, chair of the festival and founder of the Fort Wayne Vegans & Vegetarians Group —  a local group with over 1400 members. “In recent years, Fort Wayne has experienced a rise in interest in health, animal welfare, and the environment. We’ve also seen a growing movement both locally and nationwide to reduce the use of plastic straws. While ditching plastic straws helps our planet, adopting a plant-based diet is one of the most powerful choices we can make to aid the Earth. We are excited to invite the public to learn how a plant-based lifestyle can reduce their impact on the environment as well as improve their health and reduce animal suffering.”

The Fort Wayne Veg’n Brew Fest is open to all ages and is free to the public from noon-6: 00 pm. However, a special VIP hour will run from 11 a.m. to 12 p.m., which will allow early access to all of the food and vendors for one hour before opening to the public. VIP tickets are $15 and available by visiting the festival’s website. Only 100 tickets will be sold.

The Fort Wayne Veg’n Brew Fest is made possible by our generous sponsors who include Mitchell’s Sports Bar, Young Urban Homesteaders, Kaya Organics, the Health Food Shoppe, Allen County SPCA, Pembroke Bakery, HD Marketing & Design, 800 Degrees Three Fires, and the 3 Rivers Co-op & Deli.

For more information about the Fort Wayne Veg’n Brew Fest, visit www.FWvegfest.com.

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