Brewery Showcase | Chimera Brewing
When the opportunity became available to take ownership of False Idol Independent Brewers, V-Grits owner Kristina Addington was ready to combine her two passions; vegan food and craft beer.
False Idol worked in partnership with V-Grits inside the same building in Louisville, KY, but both the brewery and vegan restaurant operated under two different ownerships. Addington took ownership of False Idol brewery in October and rebranded it as Chimera Brewing.
“The previous owners, we’ve known for a few years and worked with them and loved them so when the opportunity presented itself for us to take ownership and start running things, we definitely wanted to do that,” Kristina Addington, owner of Chimera Brewing and V-Grits, said. “It was important to me that I made it feel my own. If I was going to invest all my time and energy into it, I wanted it to be my brand and share the values that I had.”
One of the biggest ways that Addington is making Chimera Brewing hers, is through her other passion for giving back. When the Chimera rebrand was announced, so was the Brewing With Benefits program. Brewing With Benefits celebrates the many organizations in Louisville that are “doing the hands-on, grassroots, hard work to create positive change.” To recognize and support those organizations, Chimera is donating a portion of every pour of beer to a non-profit supporting racial equality, food justice, animal rights, foster care, and more. Each Chimera beer is associated with a specific, almost always, local non-profit organization.
“When I decided to take ownership of False Idol, I love craft beer but I also love giving back and after thinking about it for a while, I wanted to be able to use this since it’s a new brand as a way to do that,” Addington said. “And to really showcase all these organizations I care about in Louisville.”
As a mom and now owner of two businesses, Addington knew she wouldn’t have the same time to be on the front lines of giving back to her community. This was the perfect way for her to do that.
When Chimera announced their first beer, Jinxx, a Pumpkin Spice Porter under the new rebrand, the emphasis was on New Roots, Inc, a grassroots, food justice-focused nonprofit organization in Louisville, KY. Launching a beer also means highlighting a group of people who are doing amazing things in the community.
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Being a vegan brewpub, Chimera will also be highlighting and supporting local animal rights organizations. Uncaged, a San Francisco Style Lager is benefiting the Louisville Metro Animal Services. Sanctuary, a Kellerbier, is benefitting Uplands PEAK farm animal sanctuary in Indiana that rescues formerly farmed animals who have been neglected or abused that might have been on their way to the food system. Addington mentioned Topper Holler Sanctuary and Tribe Animal Sanctuary as two other organizations Chimera and V-Grits work with.
Being a vegan restaurant means that not only is all the food plant-based, but so is the beer. While most beers are generally brewed under the vegan guidelines, some brewers use ingredients such as lactose, milk sugar, gelatin and yogurt, all ingredients that do not classify as plant-based. So what kind of challenges does Chimera face in brewing vegan beers? None.
“We see it as exciting,” Addington said. “Fortunately, most beers are already vegan other than like milk stouts. That was one of the reasons we started with the Pumpkin Porter. It’s a Pumpkin Spice Latte Oatmeal Porter, so it has a little bit of that creaminess that you might think you would need lactose to achieve, but we just used extra oats to give it a creamy texture. We can show you that you don’t necessarily need lactose to make a creamy beer. So we’re just going to continue doing that and pushing boundaries and see what we can do with other ingredients to show that we can be completely plant-based and make awesome beer.”
Whether you’re a vegan or not, a craft beer drinker or not, Addington wants people to know that everyone is welcome to her brewpub.