Vegetarian and vegan beer – how not to be trapped enjoying your favorite drink
There are always a lot of questions and miss-beliefs around veganism and vegetarianism. And it is not only about the food but also about the drinks. In the case of vegans this is more about the lifestyle than just diet. The main idea of this movement is not to harm or exploit the living creatures. This fact determines the whole lifestyle and the choice of product to consume.
So, we need to thoroughly investigate which ingredients are used during the beer preparation to find the clear answer, if the beer is vegan or not. But it goes much further than the drink itself…
Well, we can claim that it is way much easier to find vegetarian, than vegan beer. Vegetarianism consists in refusing the products, which imply killing the living creatures. So they are allowed to consume dairy products, eggs, and honey. Vegans do not eat these products as they are considered as the result of animal exploitation.
The difference between vegetarian and vegan beer
At first sight, there can not be any problem about beer being vegetarian, as the main ingredients of it are: water, malt, hop, and yeast. But there are some sorts that are prepared with the addition of lactosa (the disakkarid, made of mammals’ milk). If you do care about what beers are vegan, you should also pay attention to honey and the shellfish, which also can be found in some kinds of beer. Vegetarian ones also might contain these products. Besides,some producers even add such an exotis ingredients as whale’s or bull’s texticules, smoked on the excrement!!! Even the strongest gourmets can pass out after seeing such a composition! But the most important thing is that these ingredients have to be labeled anyway, and you are aware of their presence in the product.
But as usually the devil hides in the little things. Even if you checked the label thoroughly and didn’t find any animal product, it doesn’t mean that the beer is vegan. Some producers use fish glue or gelatin for filtration. Those filters are made of the fish organs or animal bones, cartilage and skin. Such a beer can be considered as vegetarian, but not vegan.
Most of the famous brands have solved this problem easily, wishing to make their product good for everybody – including vegans and vegetarians. Nowadays they use polyvinylpyrrolidone, algae or kieselgur for beer filtration, as more and more people on the planet become concerned about merciful attitudes towards animals and not abusing them. Such facts about beer producing you can find out only by contacting the producer as they do not show up this information. But more and more brands today label their drinks as vegan-friendly, which means that no animal products were used for preparation of the beer on any stage.
Besides, you can check this info out on the great resource for vegans www.barnivore.com. Here the most picky gourmet can find the vegan and vegetarian beer list. Also other vegan-friendly drinks are sorted out here by types, brands and countries of origin.
Enjoy your favorite drinks without harming any living creature and staying real vegan!