Thank God It’s Vegan
Thank God it’s Vegan! A Beginner’s Guide to Vegan Beer
Thank God that belt is vegan. The newest belt from Truth is called the Stegosaurus, named after the dinosaur known for its plant-based diet. Made of an indestructible polyester and vinyl blend, this belt is completely animal-friendly and will last you forever! We’re so excited to add the Stegosaurus to our indestructible belts collection.
While we’re at it, thank God that beer is vegan! Did you know that not all beer is vegan? Non-vegan beer contains gelatin, glycerin, and lactose, which all come from cows.
Moreover, fish bladder, known as isinglass, is used to filter beer for a clearer appearance. Gross! After the beer is made, excess materials stick to the isinglass, which forms a jelly-like substance. This process supposedly makes it easier and quicker to remove any waste. Luckily, more breweries nowadays have worked towards changing their ingredients and filtration methods to eliminate the use of isinglass.
Vegan beer uses a combination of absorbent chemicals (i.e. silica) and physical filters. The filters typically consist of a soil called diatomaceous earth, which is made from diatoms (fossilized microscopic organisms). Using this sort of filter effectively takes out yeast the same way isinglass would. Yay!
Want to check if your favourite beer is cruelty-free? Use Barnivore as your complete directory. Below is a starter guide for which popular brews are vegan and which are not.
Which beers ARE NOT vegan?
Generally, most British beers are not vegan.
- New Castle
(Image taken from Miami New Times)
“We do not suggest that anyone who follows a strict vegetarian/vegan diet enjoy a Newcastle Brown Ale. Although we do not test our Scottish & Newcastle products on animals, we do treat our beers with isinglass finings.” (Company email, 2014)
- Castle Rock
(Image taken from Nick Pettit Design)
Castle Rock is not vegan: “We use isinglass finings in all of our beers apart from a special that we do in June of each year as part of our Wildlife Trust series. Our plans are for this to be a draught beer.” (2011)
However, their 2.0 beers are labelled “vegan friendly”.
- Carling (excludes Black Label)
(Image taken from Design Week.)
“We can confirm that unfortunately Carling does still use isinglass finings in the clarification process during production, therefore would be unsuitable for vegans / vegetarians.” (Company email, 2017)
- **Red Stripe
(Image taken from Thrillist.)
In Jamaica, Red Stripe beer is brewed with isinglass, but it IS NOT when brewed in Europe.
Which beers ARE vegan?
(Image taken from The Huffington Post.)
Guinness announced in 2015 that they taking steps to make their products vegan-friendly. “Our new filtration process has removed the use of isinglass as a means of filtration and vegans can now enjoy a pint of Guinness. All Guinness Draught in keg format is brewed without using isinglass. Full distribution of bottle and can formats will be in place by the end of 2017, so until then, our advice to vegans is to consume the product from the keg format only for now.” (Company website)
Read more about Guinness’s filtration process HERE.
(Image taken from the company website.)
Heineken is animal-friendly: “Our products do not contain ingredients of animal origin and we do not use “bonding processes” of animal origin as well. All the adhesives used on packaging of our different brands do not contain casein, they are of synthetic origin as well for the labels of paper as those of plastic.” (Company email, 2017)
- Molson Coors
(Image taken from the company website.)
“Molson Coors products do not contain any animal ingredients, or animal bi-products; with the exception of Rickard’s Honey Brown and Dave’s Honey Brown which contain honey. All of our other products are vegan friendly.” (Company email, n.d.)
(Image taken from the company’s History page.)
Sapporo‘s customer service stated, “Our products don’t contain any animal ingredients. And any animals aren’t used in the processing/filtration of the products.” (Company email, n.d.)
(Image taken from Business Insider.)
“Yes, Corona is suitable for vegans, in fact is making with natural products like Rice, Water, Hops, Refined corn starch and Yeast. No animal products are involved.” (Company email, 2010)
- Budweiser and Bud Light
(Image taken from Marketing Land.)
Budweiser and Bud Light beers are suitable for vegans, though they do not have a formal certification: “Our beers are brewed with all-natural ingredients and we do not add sugar to them. All of the sugar that is fermented by yeast is a result of the mashing of grains towards the beginning of the brewing process. Additionally, we do not brew beers with any animal ingredients (milk, eggs, etc.), or process aids such as isinglass or gelatin. While we are not certified vegan by Vegan Action, PETA, or the American Vegetarian Association, we are confident that our beers would qualify.” (Company email, 2013)
- Stella Artois
(Image taken from the company’s Heritage page.)
Most Stella Artois products are safe! “All of our products are suitable for vegetarians and vegans, with the exception of Stella Artois Apple Cider and cask ales.” (Company email, 2017)
- Pabst Blue Ribbon
(Image taken from USA Today.)
Vegans can drink Pabst Blue Ribbon: “All our beers are safe for vegans to drink. 1) Absolutely no animal products of any kind are used for filtration. 2) There is no dairy, egg or honey used in the products; at this
time we do not make any type of honey beer or honey bock.” (Company email, n.d.)
- Blue Moon
(Image taken from AdAge.)
“Blue Moon does not use any animal by-products in our brewing process, nor are there any animal sources used in our packaging. Isinglass is not used in our brewing. There are five basic ingredients in all Blue Moon products. These include pure water, malted barley, corn syrup, hops, and yeast. Corn syrup is one of the basic ingredients used in most Blue Moon products as US consumers prefer its taste. Again, we do not use animal derived ingredients in our beer.” (Company email, 2017)