The Vegan Drinker
We are not all vegan, but all vegans are welcome.
Not too long ago I decided to become Vegan for a variety of reasons so, naturally when I was informed that a good amount of beer was not even vegetarian I momentarily panicked – after all I work in a beer shop and self-control only works so well.
Backtrack for those who do not know: some beers, most commonly British cask ales, are produced using animal products. Whether it be the use of finings derived from isinglass (swim bladders of fish) for filtration, or added ingredients such as honey and lactose for flavor, not all beer is purely barley, malt, water, hops, and yeast as us vegans would hope for.
I thought the world of beer had become closed to me, until I did my research. As it happens there is an abundance of vegan friendly beer and it is more common than you may think.
So without further ado - whether you are vegan for health or choose to lead a cruelty free lifestyle - here are my top six vegan beers – all of which are available to buy at The Beer Boutique.
The beers are in no particular order and quite varied on purpose
A fantastic example of a Saison, in my opinion, from Brasserie Dupont. This refreshing farmhouse ale packs it in at 6.5% but should we expect any less from Belgium. Try this spicy, malty brew with tandoori vegetables.
The beer that turned me on to pilsners. Using Citra hops, Hanwell’s Weird Beard Brewery has transformed a typically light drink into a flavorful hop-tastic experience. All you need is to be thirsty to enjoy this 5.5%er.
Specifically I love the Mandarina Bavaria/Simcoe at 5.2% but I have yet to find one I do not enjoy. This smooth and refreshing citrusy pale would be fantastic with a veggie burger or any food that packs a punch.
I love jam and anyone who knows me can attest to that. This beer has the perfect amount of jammy apricot flavor without overdoing the sweetness. Being organic is a plus and I always choose this beer to drink when I make my vegan onigiri. At 5.1% Sam Smith’s in Tadcaster have not failed me yet, and there is a reason they are popular.
At 5.4% this beer is a wonderful hefeweizen for those not too keen on too much banana or bubblegum flavor. The traditional tastes are still there but on my palate the wheat reigns supreme from this Black Forest Brewery. Great with spicy food and excellent in the party keg.
This is my go to IPA. Not only does it remind me of Oregon – where I called home for twelve years – but it to me is the quintessential West Coast IPA packing in the hops and keeping their flavor. With some IPAs the hops are hidden behind sweetness and in some they fall flat – meaning they are clearly coving up a lack of body – but in Brutal the celebration of hops and their own flavor is alive and well. This is and always has been my pizza beer (both vegan and not.) Take it slow and get your carbs in with this 6.2% glory.
These are my top six but don’t worry your choices are almost endless. Here are some breweries that almost made the list: Siren, Delirium, Odell, Brewdog, Beavertown, Anderson Valley, Boon, Browerij’tij
And there are plenty more!
With that I say Adjö.