Life’s Too Short to Drink Sh!t Beer: Favourite Vegan Beers
When I drink a beer it’s not too fill in time; I drink beer to enjoy it. Thankfully my appreciation of beer does not necessarily have to conflict with my vegan diet. With the help of Barnivore.com and by asking my breweries of choice whether they produce vegan-friendly beer I am starting to come up with a list of beers that I would recommend that you choose above others when given the choice. In fact, if you’re unsure whether a beer is vegan-friendly play it safe and look further for a beer that is!
The principle of drinking vegan beer and avoiding non-vegan beer is to withhold financial support from companies which use animal products to make their own product. Animal products demand the killing and/or exploitation of animals which is both unnecessary and undesirable.
Update (April, 2012): I now include in this list those beers typically found in Australia which are vegan even if I don’t find the beers themselves particularly choice! Sometimes you’re stuck between a rock and a hard place. 😉
Update (June 2014): Worth considering that micro-breweries often produce limited release beers and just because their regular line is vegan doesn’t guarantee that the special runs are as well. It would be ideal to check in with each brewery yearly to check if their beers are still vegan; perhaps beers which previously weren’t vegan now are.
In roughly chronological order, the vegan beers are:
Mountain Goat Hightail Ale. All the beers from this brewery are said to “contain no goats” and by that they mean the beer is vegan-friendly. I would choose the Hightail Ale first among their beers (personal preference) but feel free to try them all out. The brewery is open on Wednesdays and Fridays.
Holgate Brewhouse Temptress Chocolate Porter. Once again, Holgate assure me that their beers are vegan-friendly and for something different I recommend the chocolate porter. Enough said.
Chimay. Anything from Chimay is thoroughly worth drinking. Barnivore.com tells me that the Chimay range is vegan-friendly. I just noticed that they also produce cheeses so you may or may not choose to buy their beers because of their moral fence-sitting.
Barons Brewing Co. Black Wattle Original Ale. Their ESB is quite tasty and a value proposition. In the end I have to recommend the Original Ale because it’s a little different.
James Squire IPA. All their beers have their moments but I’ll pick out the IPA because I find it hits a certain spot. Apparently all their beers are vegan-friendly.
Pilsner Urquell. It’s a great drop. Very glad it’s vegan.
Boatrocker Alpha Queen. Highly Hopped Ale brewed under licence. With each batch they seem to add more hops than before which means that it really is highly hopped.
Trappistes Rochefort. Their Rochefort 10 is tremendous. All their beers are vegan-friendly. If you happen to see them on the shelf in your travels do yourself a favour and buy one (of each!).
James Boag’s beers are vegan-friendly and quite good for a generic Aussie beer. It looks like all Lion Nathan beers (including Boag’s) are vegan friendly. You can check at Barnivore for specific products.
Samuel Smith’s Brewery has all vegan products. Tick in the box.
Bridge Road beers are all clear for vegans.
Coopers beers are good to go. Mmm, Coopers Vintage.
Epic Brewing Company beers are all vegan according to Barnivore. The Pale Ale is the only one I’ve tried so far but I can highly recommend it if you find a few extra dollars under the couch.
2 Brothers Brewery in Moorabin, Victoria, confirmed that their beers and pear cider are all vegan.
Hargreaves Hill Brewery in Yarra Glen, Victoria, confirmed via Twitter that no animal products are used in the production of their beers.
Red Hill Brewery in Red Hill, Victoria, confirmed via Twitter that no animal products are used in the production of their beers.
The Flying Horse Brewery in Warrnambool, Victoria, confirmed via email that no animal products are used in the production of their beers.
Burleigh Heads Brewing Company in NSW, confirmed via email that no animal products are used in the production of their beers.
Little Creatures – the beers are vegan but… their cider isn’t. Pick of the bunch for me are the Bright and Pale ales…pilsner not so much.
Timothy Taylor’s Landlord Strong Pale Ale is vegan although not all options from this brewery are. The Strong Pale Ale is just great.
White Rabbit, Healesville, Victoria – the dark ale is vegan (and quite tasty) but the white ale isn’t vegan.
Red Duck Beer – All there beers save the Queen Bee Honey Porter are vegan. I generally love the vibe of their beers and I’m a little torn-up about one of their beers not being suitable.
Matilda Bay’s Redback Pale (draught only) is vegan but you’re unlikely to come across it. If you do, fill your boots. NOTE: Now owned by Lion Nathan whose beers are all produced without animal products so I guess, by deduction, Matilda Bay brews should be OK (10/2012).
Moo Brew informed me via Twitter that their beers are vegan. I have found their pilsner, pale ale and dark ale all quite tasty.
Van Dieman Brewing from Evandale, Tasmania informed me via email that their beers are all vegan. Saw an oatmeal stout of theirs and it looked incredibly soupy and according to the imbibers it was also very tasty.
Thunder Road Brewing Company replied to an email enquiry (as per Barnivore’s template) and have confirmed that their beers are vegan.
Lobethal Bierhaus replied to an email enquiry (as per Barnivore’s template) and have confirmed that their beers are vegan.
Two Birds Brewing replied to an email enquiry (as per Barnivore’s template) and have confirmed that their beers are vegan.
As of the end of 2011, Fosters’ beers are all produced without the aid of any animal ingredients and are now vegan (according to Barnivore.com). A list of beers this includes can be found here and includes the likes of Carlton Draught, Cascade, Victoria Bitter (yikes!) and Abbotsford Invalid Stout.
Moon Dog Brewing tell me via Twitter that their beers are vegan except for those made with honey in which case it’s mentioned on the label. I ask “are your beers made with any animal products (i.e. honey, gelatin, isinglass, eggs, milk etc.)? #vegan” in order to make it Twitter friendly.
Illawarra Brewing Company tell me via Twitter that their beers are vegan.
Kooinda Brewery tell me via Twitter that their American Pale Ale, Belgian Witbier, Valhalla, Full Nelson and GABS Karrak are vegan.
McLaren Vale Beer Company tell me via Twitter that all their beers are vegan.
Pinchgut Brewing tell me via Twitter that all their beers are vegan.
Temple Brewing Company tell me via Twitter that all their beers are vegan.
Seven Sheds Brewery tell me via Twitter that all their beers except for Razzamatazz, which contains honey, are vegan.
Cavalier Brewing tell me via Twitter that all their beers are vegan.
Bright Brewery tell me via Twitter that all their beers are vegan.
4 Pines Brewing tell me that their Kolsch, Pale Ale, Stout, Hefeweizen and cider are vegan but no such guarantees can be made regarding their special releases. I’m a fan of their Pale Ale in particular.
Gage Roads tell me that all their beverages are vegan.
Nail Brewing tell me via Twitter that their beers are all suitable for vegans.
Young Henry’s (from Newtown, Sydney) tell me via Twitter that their beers and cider are vegan.
Thirsty Crow Brewery (from Wagga Wagga, New South Wales) tell me via Twitter that all their beers except for the vanilla milk stout are suitable for vegans.