We’ve been meaning to write these guys up for a while now.

Louisville Vegan Jerky Co produces what is, for me, the best dry vegan jerky on the market. Now, I know we all have the things we miss when we go vegan. Cheese is an across the board, universal longing for most of us. Beyond that, it varies, vegan-to-vegan, I think. For me, beef jerky definitely falls into that category of beloved, now shunned foods from my past. As a kid, I loaded up on the stuff every time we stopped for gas. Mind you, this was long before the ‘artisan jerky’ market hit the scene, so we’re talking pretty nasty stuff, Slim Jims included.

Come on. I was raised in the south. What do you expect, man?

Now, the vegan market’s had various versions of jerky for as long as I can remember, with old-timers like Stonewalls (they’re so old they got the domain name soybean.com!) and more developed companies coming on the scene later, like Tofurkey and Primal Spirit. Despite the intense name, I’m a fan of the latter, though it’s more of a wet jerky (sorry, gross, I know), with saucy soy-, gluten-, or mushroom-based jerkies. It’s also made overseas in Thailand and then imported by Primal’s HQ in West Virginia.

Newcomers Louisville Vegan Jerky Co. produce a dry jerky, like Stonewall, but one that uses longer strips of protein and, most importantly, a ton of beautifully natural, mouth-explosion-inducing flavors.  The company also sources its seasonings locally whenever possible, so take that Thailand.

As they say:
“Louisville Vegan Jerky Co. was started in 2012 as ‘What A Jerky’. The ingredients and brand got an upgrade in 2013 to follow down a path of using local seasonings and incorporating the city we love so much into our brand.”

Smooth move, What A Jerky. Back to the flavors though—sidestepping the old-school, straight-forward approach, LVJC instead goes big, tapping into the taste trends of the day with flavors like Bourbon Smoked Black Pepper, Bourbon Smoked Chipotle, and Sriracha Maple.

Bourbon and peppers and smoke. Who can’t love that?

The sodium’s a little high, but it’s jerky, man—it’s based on a food that was preserved with salt. That’s authenticity. Also, it’s nice getting a vegan jerky with ingredients you recognize and don’t number in the millions. If Facebook‘s to be believed—which it obviously always is—it looks like they might even have a Sesame Teriyaki Jerky now. It also seems like they’ve updated the packaging. Which is a great excuse for me to go find more of this stuff.

Ooh—and they’ve got cool shirts (–>).

Find store that carry Louisville Vegan Jerky with the company’s store locator.

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