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Is Beer Vegan?

If you’re one of our plant-based pals from the vegetarian or vegan galaxies, you’re probably tired of squinting at labels and a million different ingredients to decipher if your favourite biscuits have suddenly had milk powder added to them or something. And we don’t blame you. Life’s way too short to spend that rare sunny day working out whether you can enjoy a beer with your mates. 

Most beer is vegan and vegetarian. The basic beer recipe only uses 4 ingredients – water, malt, hops, and yeast. So just like most types of bread, most beer is fine to drink. But it didn’t always used to be. And there are some beers out there that use non-vegetarian ingredients. So we’re here to clear it all up for you. So you can spend less time staring at labels, and more time sipping in the sun (responsibly ofc).


Is Beavertown Beer Vegan?

Yup! All of our core range beers are vegan. From our taste bud-tingling pale ales and IPA beers to our chilled out lagers and Monday-to-Sunday crushable alcohol-free beers, they’re all plant based. And delicious.  

You heard us right, our OG powerhouses, Neck Oil and Gamma Ray, are vegan-friendly beers. Cheers!

What Makes Beer Non-Vegan?

So there are a couple of ways that beers might not be vegan or even vegetarian – either by adding ingredients to add flavour or texture. Or by the filtering ingredients used.

Take a look at mead. It’s one of the oldest ways of making beer and uses honey to kickstart that fermentation process. But honey isn’t vegan. So our plant-based pals can’t drink it. Sad.

Another ingredient that is sometimes added is whey – that clear liquid that sits on top of your yoghurt sometimes – it gives a funky flavour and mouthfeel that some people like.

Another thing to look at is what components are used during the fining process. ‘Fining’ is the stage of brewing that removes those last bits of yeast, contaminants and other cloudiness that you might not want in a beer. It gives beer that clear look. 

Some brewers (not us) use fining agents like isinglass (dried fish swim bladders), gelatin, or lactose – all animal based. And not vegetarian-friendly. Annoyingly, it’s not required by law for brewers to shout about what they use in their fining process. So it can be difficult to find out that info. 

Is Beer Vegetarian?

If you’re not brushed up on the meat-free movement, we don’t blame you. Here’s a quick run down on the difference between being vegan and vegetarian. Vegetarians don’t eat meat or fish and vegans don’t consume any animal products.

Okay, so what does that have to do with beer brewing? Well, until kinda recently, most fining agents were animal based. And lots of ingredients or foaming agents to give beer flavour or a better mouthfeel also weren’t vegetarian. But some nifty plant-based brewers decided enough was enough. And found finings that are vegan-friendly instead. Hooray!

These vegan-friendly finings include:

  • Carrageenan – a type of seaweed, also known as Irish moss that helps to clarify beer during the boiling process.
  • Biofine – a vegan-friendly colloidal silicic acid solution (what a mouthful) that improves the clarity of a beer. 


Phew, that’s a lot of info. How’s the head feeling? Probably about time for a (vegan-friendly) beer to wash all that learning down isn’t it? Well you can either crack open a cold Beavertown beer right now or find out  if beer is gluten-free next.