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Is Beer Vegan?

beer

Who doesn’t love beer? Well, I mean good, traditional beer. I know that a lot of people are not crazy about beer and it is true that there are several kinds that taste rather disappointing. But traditionally brewed beers? Those first sips are the best, and the taste keeps on being great as you continue drinking it.

Does my heritage show again? 😉 You got to admit, with Belgian and German roots, yes, I know about good beers 😉 When it comes to chocolates and beers, I’m definitely spoiled (and very critical).

So, are beers vegan? Yes! Many beers are considered vegan, but not all.

How Do We know Which Beers are Vegan?

question

It is difficult to find out by reading the label. Not all ingredients are always obvious to us and some ingredients may seem perfectly harmless when in fact they are linked to animal abuse. Well, if you’re following a plant-based diet for health reasons, and animal rights are not a priority, then you’re fine, you can go ahead and drink any beer, right?

There are many people, however, who chose a vegan lifestyle to minimize their impact and/or not sponsor animal abuse. So, in case you’re wondering about beers, let’s check out the ingredients.

  • Grain
  • Hops
  • Yeast
  • Water

These are the four main ingredients in beer. So far so good, right?

bones

Are There Any Additional Ingredients?

For beers that have been traditionally brewed for centuries, there should be no problem. Those are age-old recipes and they do not include any animal ingredients.

Other beer breweries, though, may apply filtering methods that use animal products, such as gelatin or isinglass. Additionally, some coloring may also be added, and coloring agents may have been tested on animals (which are usually killed after outliving their usefulness in laboratory testing)

What are gelatin and isinglass?

Gelatin is a protein that is obtained by boiling animal skin, bones, and cartilage in water. It’s usually made of the things that are left over in meat industries; cow horns, pig skins, etc.

Isinglass is used for clarification and fining of beers (and also some wines), and it is a substance that is derived from dried fish bladders. I know, fish in your beer …

Give me Some Names

beer

Ok, which beers are vegan? You may be relieved to hear that Heineken, Coors Light, Corona, Miller Light, Michelob Ultra, and Budweiser are vegan.

When in doubt about other beers, http://www.barnivore.com/ is an excellent source to do some research. Belgian beers are also considered vegan, yippee! I love Belgian beer! German beers are also safe, but best check on barnivore if you want to make sure about a particular brand.

Both Belgium and Germany have an age long history of brewing beers; in Belgium it goes back to the 12th Century. Beer was brewed because it provided a better alternative to drinking water which was often dirty.

German-beer

In Germany, beer brewing dates back to even 800BC. Now, there’s a long history!

No Need to Steer Clear Of Beer

So, in conclusion, we can say that most beers are safe to drink for a vegan, but when in doubt, I recommend that you check for the ingredients that I mentioned in this article (isinglass and gelatin). http://www.barnivore.com/ is also a good source of information about vegan beers (and wines).

Cheers! Or schol!

cheers

 

Spread the love

Christine

19 Comments

  1. Hi Christine! Glad to know that most traditionally brewed beers are vegan.  Hahaha what a relief! Thanks for creating this space for vegans. I actually became vegan 6 montns ago and it has not been so easy. I am curious about how sausages can be considered vegan? Also are eggs vegan ? Another question i would love to ask is, how do you cope when you have to travel for a long time and have no option but to eat out in non vegan restaurants? Best Regards, – Bon

    • Hi Bon! 

      Thank you for visiting! There are many vegan sausages, the ingredients are plant-based and they are just as tasty, sometimes even more than the non-vegan versions. A few months ago I shared a recipe for vegan sausages.

      When I travel and I go to non-vegan restaurants I can still find vegan options in the menu, sometimes, for example guacamole and chips. If there is nothing available I veganize the meals, asking the waiter to leave out certain ingredients.

      If you have any more questions, please let me know 🙂

  2. This was a very interesting article. I had no idea that there was animal testing and coloring in the making of beer!!!

    I wonder if you would do an article about other alcoholic beverages or beverages in general.

    I am interested to know whether there are any that are off limits to vegans and why.

    • Hi, 

      That is a good idea! I was actually thinking of writing an article about vegan wines. Perhaps I could do one about some liquors too.

      Thanks for the suggestion!

  3. Hi, while my partner and I are not vegans, we have been making more mindful decisions regarding food and products we consume so this is very good to know. What you have written is fascinating as it is honestly not something you would normally think about! It is interesting to learn how different products are made, and while traditional methods have lasted (for a good reason) I can honestly say I am surprised that gelatin and colouring are used in the making of beer and wine. Thank you for sharing😊

    • Hi Gigi,

      Some of this info is indeed surprising, isn’t it? When I first found out, I was also a little taken aback, I had not expected coloring or gelatin in beer production either. It’s a good thing that traditional beers are still ok 😉 And some of the modern beers too. 

  4. Who would have thought that some beers are containing animal products? Not me in any case, but at the same time I am happy to read that most beers will be vegan. Including Heineken and Grolsch which tend to be my favorites, I am from the Netherlands after all. I have a Belgian friend who loves Belgian beer like Leffe and La Chouffe. I like them too although I still prefer lager beer. Are these two beers also vegan? Thanks anyway for an interesting read.

    • Hi Jerry,

      I love Leffe, it’s so good, and yes, it’s considered vegan, I already checked 🙂 Heineken is also a good beer. I like traditionally brewed beers and I’m glad that they are vegan 😉 

      Thanks for visiting, neighbor! 

  5. Beer is a popular drink in the world. Can you imagine how many qualities of the beer are produced?

    Vegan sausages are one of the important accompaniments of beer here.

    Some brewed beer is considerably popular in my experience. People do not want to be alcoholic but vegan beer gives them smooth feelings.

    This website has narrated about this cool and smooth drink profoundly. Thanks for the writeup.

    • Hello,

      Vegan sausages are yummy; and true, they are a nice accompaniment for beer. Maybe I’ll have some later today 😉

      Thaks for stopping by!

  6. Hello Christine! Thank you for clearifying my doubts as I have been asking questions about which beer can be considered vegan. An increasing number of breweries are doing away with animal ingredients thanks to increasing demand for vegan options from the Millennialcrowd. Barnivore, an online database of more than 44,000 alcoholic beverages, is known to be a reliable source of what’s vegan.

    • Hi there,

      Many millennials are indeed turning to veganism, and there is much more demand for vegan products. it’s a good thing that companies, and breweries, are now excluding animal ingredients. I like barnivore, it is indeed very reliable and it has a large database.

  7. I am not a Vegan but I found this article intriguing, I have heard the term Gelatin and knew that vegetarians did not eat products that contained it but I can honestly say I did not know what it was or how it was made. This article really opens your eyes and your mind and makes you think twice about what we put in our body. I enjoy a beer so may need to look at them more closely before purchasing them. Great post and thank you.

    • Hi Mike,

      Barnivore.com is a great site to check which beers are vegan friendly or not; in other words, if they have gelatin in them or not. Thanks for commenting! 🙂 

  8. Wow! what an amazing review on Beer. That some Beers are not for Vegan makes this topic very unique and educative. I have been in Germany for several year now and have a couple of friends who are Vegans but havent’t heard that some beers contains animal ingredients. Please is it be possible that there are Alcohol (Spirit) that have animal Ingredients? 

    • Hi there,

      Yes, there are also spirits and liquors that contain animal products, but not all. Soon, I will write an article about that too. I’ll post a comment here to let you know when the article is out 🙂 I am thinking, some time this week. 

      Thank you for your comment!

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