Cheers to Vegan Beer

By, Sammy Caiola

Native Foods Cafe 


So I’m not a huge beer drinker myself, but I figured with the fall
season coming in our readers might want a quick guide to the myriad lagers and
stouts that many folks use to stay warm in the cold of winter.

At their core, beers are vegan. That is, if they’re just brewed
with yeast, hops, grains and water. But many companies use an animal by-product
like isinglass or glycerin to give the beer a clearer and more appetizing look.
Not doing it for me. Other companies will flavor specialty beers with vegan
no-no’s like honey, refined sugar, or even fish sauce. Gross!

So, keep it simple and try some of these PETA-recommended craft
brews. I tried to pick a diverse batch: some dark, some light, some west coast,
some east. And if none of these float your boat, you can find tons more frothy
animal-free beverages on PETA’s list here.


1. Anderson Valley Brewing Company: Hop Ottin IPA


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Hop-heads will jump for joy at Anderson’s extra-hoppy India Pale
Ale. It showcases bright, citrusy aromas like grapefruit and pine with a strong
but appropriate bitterness and a dry, herbal finish. It is 7 percent ABV
(alcohol by volume) and is available year-round.


2. O’Doul’s Premium Non-alcoholic Brew


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Whether you’re the designated driver or just taking the night
easy, there’s still a vegan beer for you. O’Doul’s beer involves the classic
ingredients like barley malt, yeast and hops. The only difference is that the
alcohol is gently removed once the brewing is complete. Get all the great
taste, without the headaches!


3. California Cider Company: Ace Apple Cider


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Get ready for fall with a seasonal hard apple cider brewed in
sunny Sonoma County. Winner of the 2013 San Diego International Cider and Beer
festival, it’s one of few ciders around that uses actual apples in its brew
(this one’s got six varieties, in fact) It’s five percent alcohol by volume and
is said to taste a lot like sauvignon blanc. And the berry and pear flavors are
vegan too!


4. Golden Road Brewing: Hudson Porter


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If dark and rich sounds like your style, you’re in for a treat
with this imperial rye porter. It’s named after the brewer’s toddler son, but
this beer is no child’s play. It’s 8 percent alcohol by volume and spiked with
chocolate, caramel and plenty of hops. Thanks to some smart thinking by these
savvy Los Angelenos, Golden Road is brewed exclusively in 100 percent aluminum
cans. More aluminum cans than glass bottles can fit on shipping trucks, so that
means less delivery trips and therefore less fuel. You can find a few more
all-vegan Golden Road brews on PETA’s


5. Goose Island Brewery: Honker’s


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Chicagoans fear not- the locally loved Goose Island Brewery has a
beer (or ten) for you. I went with Honkers here for its fruity aroma and
general respectability in the English-style category. With an alcohol content of
4.3 percent, it’s a reliable but adventurous choice for serving guests or just
knocking one back after a long day. You’ll find quite a few other vegan brews
from Goose Island on PETA’s list.


6. Lost Coast Brewery: Alley Cat Ale


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This Californian medium-brew has been around the block with awards
and is characterized by its “sprightly cascade of hops”. It’s got an alcohol
content of 5.5 percent and some of the best label art I’ve seen in awhile. If
you like this, there are more on PETA’s list made in the cool maritime climate
of Eureka, California.


7. North Coast Brewery: Old
Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout


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My boyfriend is crazy about this down-to-business totally black
stout. It’s 9 percent alcohol by volume and way high on the bitterness scale-
perhaps because it was named after such a cold, hard guy. Last year it won gold
at Stockholm’s Stout and Whiskey Festival, and it seems to develop a cult
following wherever it goes. But this one’s not for the faint of heart, so if
you’re looking for something a little milder, there are lots more
vegan-friendly choices from North Coast.


8. Rock Art Brewery: Sunny and 75


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If Rasputin was the drink of the dark, then Sunny and 75 is the
liquid of the light. Born and raised in Vermont, this craft ale is brewed with
cracked coriander seeds and orange peel, which gives it a delightful springy
flavor. It’s very aromatic and perfect for picnics. There’s a lot of vegan
options on this site and I suggest you look into them- this is one of those
breweries that really puts some love into their brews- and people have taken


9. Sprecher Brewery: Oktoberfest


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I can’t, in good faith, make an autumn beer list without throwing
in an Oktoberfest. Brewed in the German style, this reddish-brown lager has a
malty caramel complexion and mild hops. With a 5.75 percent alcohol content,
it’s guaranteed to keep you warm through the coming winter. Available July through


10. Willimantic Brewing Co.: Certified Gold Ale


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Next time you’re in the
Northeast, check out national-landmark-turned-pub in Windham County,
Connecticut. In 2010 it was voted the sixth best brewpub in the world,
so I’d go into this with high expectations. They’re best known for their Certified
Gold Ale, which is a bright, simple brew with a little bit of hop. They change
their specialty brews each month and I’m not sure if the newest ones are vegan-
so you’ll have to ask around if you want something other than the standard.




vegan beer, vegan restaurants, vegan food, vegan products 


2 thoughts on “Cheers to Vegan Beer

  1. Omega K Review November 3, 2013 / 10:15 pm

    Incredible points. Outstanding arguments. Keep up the great spirit.


  2. battle beach hack November 1, 2013 / 4:32 pm

    Wonderful blog! I found it while surfing around on Yahoo News. Do you have any suggestions on how to get listed in Yahoo News? I’ve been trying for a while but I never seem to get there! Thanks


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