If you’re just starting a plant-based diet, you might think, “Vegan beer? Isn’t all beer vegan?”
But you’d be surprised! In addition to beers that use animal products for flavor like milk stouts or those flavored with honey, many beers use non-vegan ingredients that you might not expect.
Beer finings are used to clarify beer, and traditionally, finings have used gelatin and isinglass, a substance obtained from dried fish bladders. Sounds gross, right?
The website Barnivore is a great resource for researching which beer brands are vegan-friendly. The site also features statements from some breweries explaining which of their options are vegan-friendly and why others aren’t.
Here are 10 beers to cool you off this summer, all of which are fully vegan.
1. New Belgium Voodoo Ranger Juicy Haze IPA
This beer has a citrus flavor with bright notes of tropical fruits. It’s perfect to accompany a day by the pool!
“I’m sure you’ll be happy to hear that every single one of our beers is a vegan product,” said the brewery in an email to Barnivore. “We’ve never used any of the animal product-based processing aids, and I don’t believe we ever will, as we’d be alienating a good chunk of our consumers and even some of our own employees.”
2. Blue Moon Belgian White
Blue Moon is widely available at any store. This Belgian White wheat ale uses Valencia orange peel and coriander for an aromatic taste.
“Blue Moon does not use any animal by-products in our brewing process, nor are there any animal sources used in our packaging,” the company said. “Isinglass is not used in our brewing.”
Note that two of Blue Moon’s beers, the Honey Moon Summer Ale and the Summer Honey Wheat, contain honey, so those two aren’t vegan.
3. Cigar City White Oak-aged Jai Alai IPA
This IPA uses white oak spirals for vanilla, coconut, and dill notes. Cigar City’s beers are vegan except for varieties that use honey.
“Occasionally we do use honey in our beer, but when we do it is clearly labeled as having honey in it,” said the brewery.
4. Woodchuck Amber Draft Cider
Not a beer per se, but this is one of the more widely available hard ciders, and it’s totally vegan-friendly!
This amber cider is made from blended apples fermented with champagne yeast. It’s also a great gluten-free option for those who are gluten-intolerant.
“Crisp and refreshing because they’re made from apples, never woodchucks,” the company said.
5. Dogfish Head Namaste White
With coriander and subtle clove flavors, this Belgian-style beer is a zesty beverage perfect to pair with your dinner or lunch.
“I have some good news for ya… Dogfish Head does not use animal products during production or during filtration. Woo-hoo!” said the brewery. “So go ahead and drink up as we are vegan-friendly!”
Note that some Dogfish Head products use honey, so be sure to check the label if you’re unsure.
6. Daura Damm
Another gluten-free option, Daura Damm is specially brewed to remove gluten. Plus, it’s vegan-friendly as well!
Try this pale lager while you’re cooling off in your backyard.
“Yes,” said the company, “Daura Damm is considered vegan.”
7. Terrapin Hopsecutioner
Are you the kind of beer-drinker who loves super-hoppy IPAs? Try this one paired with a tasty veggie burger at your next outdoor BBQ party. Hopsecutioner has light notes of pine and citrus.
“You are in safe hands with Terrapin,” the company told Barnivore. “As you obviously know, a lot of breweries use isinglass or other aids to make their beer ‘drop clear.’ This is done instead of the pasteurization or filtration that the big brewers use.”
“Terrapin actually uses a centrifuge to remove the yeast from our beer,” they said. “Nothing is added. In simplistic terms, we just spin it real fast causing the yeast to fall out. ”
8. Concrete Beach Stiltsville
Looking for a hoppy pilsner? This beer is a “Miami style” pilsner with a hoppy citrus flavor, and it’s totally vegan-friendly.
9. Uinta Ready Set Gose
Have you heard of Gose? It’s a German style of beer that traditionally has a subtly salty, sour taste. This one is the perfect beer for a warm spring day.
10. Hardywood Singel
Here’s a blonde ale to drink while sitting on your roof in the spring and summer months. Inspired by beer-brewing Trappist monks in Europe, this beer has a tropical fruit body with a spicy, hoppy finish.
“In early 2014, we stopped all use of isinglass. We now use biofine and whirlfloc for clarification,” said the brewery. “Most of our brands are vegan-friendly, all are also certified kosher.”
Be sure to watch out for trendy ingredients from smaller brewers like bacon or oysters. No joke – some breweries put actual bacon in their beers. So just try to check labels and if you’re unsure, try looking the beer up on Barnivore.
Have fun enjoying all kinds of vegan-friendly beers this summer!
Looking for more info on vegan food? Download the Food Monster App, which is available for both Android and iPhone and can also be found on Instagram and Facebook. The app has more than 8,000 plant-based, allergy-friendly recipes, and subscribers gain access to ten new recipes per day.
Lead Image Source: Shutterstock