Louisville Magazine

DEC 2018

Louisville Magazine is Louisville's city magazine, covering Louisville people, lifestyles, politics, sports, restaurants, entertainment and homes. Includes a monthly calendar of events.

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64 LOUISVILLE MAGAZINE 12.18 Following the lunch rush at V-Grits on a recent weekday afternoon, Addington and Steele sit down to discuss the brewpub, which is located in the former home to the popular Monkey Wrench bar on Barret Avenue. Sunlight •oods the dining room, in stark contrast to the building's previous incarnation, when black window shades, concert posters and •uorescent beer signs adorned the glass façade. It took nearly a year to overhaul the space — about three times as long as anticipated. €e result: glossy white sub- way tile, exposed wood beams, polished concrete •oors. A stainless-steel brewing system (carefully selected with the help of Steele's engineer wife) is on display in the front of the dining room, where one wall is lined with about a dozen 55-pound bags of malt. Keeping with the V-Grits mission, Steele says he sources all grains from animal-free farms, and that False Idol's spent grains are never redistributed for use as animal feed — only for purposes such as composting. When I suggest at the outset of our conversation that vegan food and craft beer are an unlikely combination, the busi- ness partners quickly but kindly debunk that assertion. Steele explains that beer is vegan at its core (excluding milk stouts, of course), and Addington says craft beer pairs perfectly with comfort food. Plus, she adds, "Just because you eat vegan doesn't mean you don't want to drink beer." Even as a young child, Addington was drawn to the kitchen. "I can remember sitting on the counter with my mom, and she would let me whisk things," she says. "My mom cooked three meals a day almost every day when I was growing up. Everything revolved around food." Upon graduating high school, Addington left small-town Shelbyville and moved to Louisville, where she took a job as a mortgage loan o•cer. Her stint at the bank lasted six years, which was longer than anticipated. "It wasn't the most exciting thing, but it paid the bills while I —gured out what I wanted to do with my life," she says. It's tough to picture Addington in a suit- and-tie setting: Her current hair color is tangerine orange, and a Rainbow Brite tat- too peeks out the bottom of a sleeve. She also has tattoos of Care Bears, Strawberry Shortcake, My Little Ponies and Hanson (yes, the brothers behind "MMMBop"). ("In the last 20 years, I've seen those guys in concert nearly 100 times," she says. "€eir music is all about following your passion despite the naysayers, something that's motivated me to follow my dream and run my own business.") Addington's dream took root when the allure of the kitchen —nally prompted her to leave the bank and enroll in Sullivan University's Culinary Arts program. Around that time, she also became a vegan. "I was online when I just happened upon — acci- dentally — an undercover investigation into factory farms. I was shocked at —rst, and I wanted to really understand everything. I started researching where food comes from and looked at everything, from meat to dairy to poultry products, and I thought: I don't agree with any of this," she says. Sullivan tried to accommodate her de- sire to cook vegan, but Addington says at the time the school wasn't really equipped to do so. She learned some essential culi- nary skills but left after a few semesters, embarking on a quest to teach herself how to not only cook vegan, but to re-create the style of cooking she grew up enjoying. "I wanted to learn how to cook Southern comfort food, because that's what my fam- ily and friends were used to eating. I want- ed to show them that being vegan doesn't

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