Wednesday, June 13

inspired by locals: kory from LOVELIKEBEER

This week's "Inspired by Locals" post is about an organization that is new to me but already extremely close to my heart. As a lover of good food, an ex-vegetarian, a self-proclaimed beer snob and a firm believer in working for a purpose, LOVELIKEBEER is essentially the organization I wish I would have thought of first [haha, just kidding]. I had the chance to work with Kory through Urbanist Guide and the guy is really pretty dang inspirational, not to mention good looking. 

If you're in San Diego and looking for a feastly AND healthy meal [which I think we can all agree are few and far between], head to Sea Rocket Bistro tomorrow, June 14, for LOVELIKEBEER's menu series featuring an incredible vegan dish [maybe the best I've ever had] created by Chef Tommy Fraioli [read more about the dish here] paired with Green Flash's Hop Head Red. Nom.

photo courtesy of

Who is the founder of LOVELIKEBEER? What was the inspiration for the organization? How did it begin and evolve?
I started LOVELIKEBEER with my friend, home-brewing partner, fellow beer geek and fellow vegan Derek Humbard. While active in the local beer community, we realized we were missing out every time there was an exciting beer dinner due to the lack of vegetarian, not to mention, vegan food options. Inspired by a desire to get more involved in the craft beer renaissance, an amazing beer dinner at Blind Lady Ale House with Unibroue during SDBW [San Diego Beer Week] that had a vegan option and envy about some [now] friends starting the L.A. Vegan Beer Festival up north, we started to put together plans for what eventually became LOVELIKEBEER. 

We thought first about putting on a comparable festival, but intimidated by the need for permits, major up front costs, not to mention skeptical about only being able to do something once per year, I took a page from the book of the Pop-Up restaurant movement and suggested this alternative format to Derek and he agreed it was the way to go: little to no up front cost, semi-frequent events all with their own unique twist and collaborating with different chefs each time to make some really artful and innovative vegan cuisine, which is another gap we thought deserved filling in San Diego. 

How do you choose which charities to feature and support?
Even though Derek and I maintain a shared mental list of charities that inspire us locally and nationally, in many cases, we like to evoke a cause for the which the proprietor or chef of the host restaurant is passionate about.  So in some cases, such as the San Diego Animal Rescue, the venue was very forthcoming about the charitable partner of their choice. In other cases, such as with our selection of the local chapter of Engineers Without Borders, the venue was interested in who we'd like to benefit and we were able to offer up some of our own choices. In every case though, it's a shared selection that both us and the venue/chef are inspired by and are very excited to help out.

 sneak peek at tomorrow's pairing

How do you choose what restaurants and breweries to feature?
The beer selection comes exclusively from Derek and I's preferences: breweries that we have loved for a long time or up-and-comers we are excited about or styles that we're really interested to experience paired with food. As for venues, because of our desire to score great beer, we tend to stick to the bistros/bar/restaurants that already have a strong footing in the craft beer industry and can help us get the beers we'd like to get. We also like to choose places that seem to have some form of affection for vegetarian cooking already so that we are not overwhelming them with an exotic task of cooking some artful, vegan dishes for a one night only, mad house event.

What are your long-term goals for LOVELIKEBEER? Do you hope to have a restaurant?
LOVELIKEBEER was started with no larger goal or ambition. It really was a project to create the types of environments we'd like to see in San Diego, to bring a unique perspective to the local beer and food scene and to give back to worthy causes. As it has evolved, we're excited more than ever to push the boundaries, both with the events, but also with new concepts such as the Menu Series we're launching which will place a LOVELIKEBEER collaborative dish pairing beer, vegan food and charity indefinitely on the menu of some local San Diego restaurants. It allows us to have our take on vegan cuisine in a few different places all at once and, in between events, and it gives folks that are interested in what we are doing a chance to try the dishes anytime they'd like. It also keeps the charitable donation aspect in a consistent flow which is really cool.  From there, we really have no other master plan beyond following the inspiration wherever it takes us.  We're going to hopefully have a new Menu Series dish to pop up at a second restaurant and at least two more larger events this year, one of which we really would like to experiment with, maybe something like a pop up, street food and beer garden, or a true, multi-evening pop up kitchen in an unexpected venue.

Come out to LOVELIKEBEER + Sea Rocket Bistro's dinner, TOMORROW, June 14 at 3382 30th Street in North Park, San Diego. The cost is $22 for a delicious and healthy vegan meal plus beer anddddd you'll be supporting Seeds @ City Urban Farm.

{Sounds like a great deal to me. See you there!}


Brynn {chartreuse and a twist} said...

Such a very cool concept! This concept would do so well up here in Seattle! I just love how creative and innovative people are getting these inspiring! p.s. so happy that you stopped by my blog so that I could meet what you have going on here :) and thanks for the follow! XO brynn

Lauren said...

Your blog always makes me sooo hungry! :)

Lena said...

My mouth is watering right now. Just hold on while I hope on a plane to San Diego!!

Andi of My Beautiful Adventures said...

What a fantastic post! I'm so hungry too haha!!!