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Why isn't beer vegan?

Updated on July 18, 2011

Nearly every man (and a whole lot of women) enjoy a good beer. Whether it's a single can after a long day at work, or a whole series of glasses lined up on the bar with your mates, chances are that you relish a well earnt beer.

Of course the idea that beverages can impede our diet is silly, right? As long as you're not drinking high fat milk on your low fat diet, or fresh blood while you're trying to be vegetarian, there's no problem, right?

Wrong. In fact, many people claim that beer is in fact not vegan. So first of all, what is a vegan?

A vegan is someone who doesn't eat any animal products including meat, poultry, fish, dairy products or eggs. In some cases vegans also don't wear animal product clothing such as leather.

Who doesn't like a nice glass of beer after work? Photo by Lupinanto-Antonio Pennisi
Who doesn't like a nice glass of beer after work? Photo by Lupinanto-Antonio Pennisi

So why isn't beer vegan?

There are two reasons why beer isn't vegan.

  1. Many breweries use isinglass, a product made from fish, to remove impurities from the beer.
  2. There are claims that some beer is tested on animals, and although not confirmed this would not sit well with people who are vegans because of animal rights issues.

So... can I buy vegan beer?

Yes, some beers are made without any fishy ingredients.

Here's a list of vegan beers made in the US.


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    • Brandon E Newman profile image

      Brandon E Newman 6 years ago from North Texas

      Isinglass is only used in European ales as far as I know. Most domestics are filtered.