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Booze Part 1 - Beer

Ah, my true lifeblood. A close second only to water, its praises are spoken the world over.

"Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy."
-Benjamin Franklin

"He was a wise man who invented beer."

So for those who choose a non-animal diet, what could possibly be in beer (water, hops, malt, yeast) that's not ok to love and consume? Well, the two main reasons for non-vegan beer are the ingredients and the brewing process.

Beers with honey or milk added, like in a milk stout, will obviously have animal products and are therefore off-limits. These are usually special beers and will say "honey" or "milk" somewhere on the label, so don't worry about your Coors Light. If you stick with a regular ol' lager or ale, you will almost never have to worry about it.

Some beers with honey or lactose added:
- Dogfish Head Brewery's Midas Touch Ale (honey)
- Kalamazoo Brewery's Suzie's Sweet Stout (lactose)

Some old-school brewers, especially British ones, will use isinglass as a refining and clarifying agent in beer. Isinglass comes from fish swim bladders, so anything refined with it is off the menu. Luckily, the practice has been replaced largely with Irish Moss, a type of seaweed.

A couple beers filtered with isinglass or gelatin, another animal product:
- Boston Beer Company's Cask Conditioned Ale (isinglass)
- Dogwood Brewing's IPD (gelatin)

So how do you know who brews the good stuff and who makes the fish-beer? There are a couple sites that will point you in the right direction. They've compiled lists of vegan-friendly breweries and beers. Some of them are:


Oh yeah, one more little tidbit. A lot of breweries send their used grains to livestock yards for high-protein cattle feed. If you REALLY want to nitpick, you could call that non-vegan too, though I tend to think of it as recycling.

Be Healthy


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