Guest post written by Terra’s husband. He enjoys a good beer and decided to look into how beer is made, to be sure it is in line with his vegan values.
What’s a beer? Nothing more than water, malt, hops and yeast, right? Well, some beers might be a little more complicated, with sprinkles of jazzy ingredients here and there.
Not all beers are vegan because of the finings (substances used in brewing to alter taste or clear the mix up). Finings turn the yeast into a gelatinous gunk that can then be separated from the beer and make the beer look nice and clear, instead of ghost-like yeasty clouds. Isinglass is fish bladder, not very vegan.
Any more, isinglass is not widely used in beers. For the most part, isinglass is used primarily in the production of cask-conditioned beers. Many stouts, like Guinness, use isinglass.
Take Fuller’s for instance. Fuller’s London Pride was my first beer in London–we landed, raced to a brew pub and then stood, able as a zombie, in the back of some theatre to watch the Lion King musical. Though I doubt you’ll ever find it in the states, Fuller’s Oak Aged Ale is a cask-conditioned beer.
Of course, the other un-vegan-friendly beer ingredient is honey. One of our most popular regional beers Great Lakes Christmas Ale is sadly not vegan because of its honey content. Thankfully, however, all other Great Lakes brews are vegan.
Given their very complicated styles, Akron Hoppin’ Frog has me wondering. Any good insight out there?