Your Guide to Vegan Beer is Here!
Rest easy, beer lovers. You can maintain a vegan lifestyle and still indulge in those frothy, delicious beverages on the weekend—assuming you’re over 21, of course!
Alcoholic beverages are not required to have a list of ingredients on their packaging. This is nerve-racking for label-checking pros like us vegans! However, the good news is that most alcoholic beverages are accidentally vegan, and we’re here to tell you which ones to avoid and which ones are safe so that you never have to drop that alcohol.
Pabst Blue Ribbon
Probably the most common hipster drink at all the parties is PBR. Luckily, you can be a hipster and a vegan at the same time. Vegan-approved!
Blue Moon is another vegan beer. Include a piece of orange with it because, you know, fruit is healthy and all. Vegan-approved!
Bud Light, Budweiser, Heineken, Keystone Light, Corona, and Yuengling
These are also all safe. Vegan approved! More of a beer snob? You can still be vegan and enjoy many stouts, India pale ales, other pale ales, porters, and Belgian ales! Just look up your favorite one on Barnivore to make sure it’s vegan-approved.
What’s not vegan about some beer brands? As crazy as it sounds, many types of beer contain animal products like gelatin, glycerin, and lactose or casein, which are derived from cow’s milk. Some companies even filter their beer using the body parts of fish (weird). While beer never has to use any animal product, some producers (typically British beer companies) use isinglass, which is produced from the bladders of fish, in the filtering process. Fish are interesting animals who feel pain and talk to each other with squeaks, squeals, and other low-frequency sounds. To avoid hurting our fish friends, you’ll want to avoid these beers:
Literally every type of Guinness beer besides Guinness Extra Stout made in Canada is not vegan. The producers all use isinglass in their filtering process. Rejected!
UPDATE: Guinness announced that it will soon ditch its fish bladder isinglass filtration process and become vegan-friendly! The announcement comes after longstanding campaigns and online petitions from compassionate people like YOU who spoke out for animals. Guinness has not announced an exact date for the switch but says it will occur sometime in 2016. Stay tuned for updates.
Similarly, Red Stripe brewed in Jamaica uses isinglass. Oddly enough, Red Stripe brewed in Europe does not. Sometimes, it all depends on where you’re getting your beer from. Rejected!
All Newcastle producers use isinglass in their filtering process. Rejected!
Samuel Adams: Cherry Wheat and Honey Porter
While all other flavors of Samuel Adams are vegan, these two are not, as they both contain honey. Sometimes when buying beer, you’ll have to look out for honey and milk. A few brands that are typically vegan have come out with new flavors that include honey, and some stouts are made with milk. Extracting honey for human use hurts bees, and milk is made for baby cows, not humans! It’s easy to avoid these beers and instead drink the large variety of options that are cruelty-free.
Now go and get your (responsible) drink on!