Updated: Nov 21, 2018
Is beer vegan? Can you be vegan and survive a beer festival?
The answer – Maybe and YES.
At its foundation, beer consists of hops, malt, yeast, and water. These four ingredients are plant-based. So on the surface beer appears to be vegan, but don’t’ cheer yet.
Once you look into how beer is made, you’ll realize that your favorite brand of cider may not be vegan.
Many breweries use animal by-products to process their beer. For example, casein, gelatin and glycerin are popular animal products found in beer, but since it's used in smaller proportions, the company will not list it on the label.
According to No Meat Athlete, here is a list of the most common animal by-products used by brewers:
Singlass – Clarifier that is very common in brewing. Comes from the dried swim bladders of fish. Almost all cask conditioned ale uses isinglass as a clarifier, although it is more common in England than the U.S.
Gelatin – Clarifier obtained from the skin, connective tissue, and bones of animals. Typically taken from cattle and frozen pigskin.
Casein/Potassium Caseinate – Protein found in cow milk used as a clarifier.
Charcoal – Used for filtering. A portion is usually produced from animal bones.
Diatomaceous earth – Used in filtering. Comes from fossils or sea shells.
Insects – Made into dyes and used for coloring.
Glyceryl monostearate – Animal derived substance used to control foam.
Pepsin – Also used to control foam; it is sometimes derived from pork.
White sugar – Flavor additive often whitened using bone charcoal.
Albium – Refers to any protein that is water soluble. Most common type in brewing is serum albumin, which is taken from animal blood.
Lactose – Beers labeled as sweet, milk, or cream stouts may or may not contain lactose. Sometimes the description refers to the texture and not the ingredient. It’s best to double check these to be sure. Milk chocolate is common in certain styles, but some so-called “chocolate” porters or stouts contain no real chocolate at all. Some malted barley is called “chocolate malt” simply to describe the flavor the roasting imparts.
Don’t let this list get you down! Lucky for vegans there is a website that can help us find beers without skin bladders and animal bones – yuck!
Barnivore is a trusted site with an extensive list of drinks that were verified as being vegetarian and vegan. All 34,047 entries on their site were tripled checked! In essence, Banivore is a Vegan Alcohol Directory. Cool, right?
What Taylor Likes is using this site in preparation for The Dallas Observer’s BrewFest on September 9, 2017! BrewFest is an outdoor beer-sampling event and festival that will feature over 500 beers from around the globe, food vendors and music! All tickets include entry into the event at 7 pm, 12-2 oz. beer samplings from 500+ beer options and a commemorative tasting glass. Additional sampling cards are available for purchase at the event.
There will be several vegan options at BrewFest: Here is a small list of beer vendors:
Ace Cider (most)
Angry Orchard (some)
Deep Ellum Brewing (most)
Magic Hat (most)
Samuel Adams (most)
Truly Spiked & Sparkling
Wild Acre (most)
Tickets are ON SALE NOW - Get tickets: http://ticketf.ly/2v8hLBD.
You can also enter into our giveaway and win two free tickets! The giveaway begins on August 25, 2017, and ends on September 3, 2017. All participants can enter multiple times daily.
Keep calm and stay vegan!
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Until Next Time,
“Your life is happening now. Make it amazing!”