Is beer vegan? The short answer is “Usually yes.” However, occasionally beer is made using cruelly obtained ingredients, such as lactose from cow’s milk meant for baby cows (mostly found in milk stouts and some “smoothie” beers) or honey stolen from bees who produce it as a food source for their hives. Others may be clarified using isinglass (made from fish bladders).
Budweiser stands out as one beer brand you should avoid for something other than its ingredients list. PETA recently uncovered that Anheuser-Busch, which produces Budweiser beer, amputates the tailbones of the famous Clydesdale horses—just so they’ll look a certain way as they pull the beer wagon. This painful, needless cosmetic procedure leaves the horses unable to protect themselves from biting insects and affects their balance, mobility, and ability to communicate.
Luckily, it’s easy to avoid Budweiser as well as beers that contain animal-derived ingredients. Many of the most refreshing beers in stores and at breweries are vegan, and you can use this helpful list as a resource to make a compassionate choice.
Enjoy one of these vegan beers:
Pabst Blue Ribbon
Blue Moon Belgian White
Golden Road Point the Way IPA
Anderson Valley Brewing Barney Flats Oatmeal Stout
Sierra Nevada Celebration Ale
Lagunitas Brewing Company IPA
Goose Island Sofie
Firestone Walker Brewing Company Union Jack IPA
Ommegang Witte Wheat Ale
North Coast Brewing Co. Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout
Widmer Brothers Hefe
Here are some other beers suitable for vegans, although the list isn’t all-inclusive: Amstel, Amstel Light, Asahi, Coors, Dos Equis, Heineken, Keystone, Keystone Light, Kirin, Miller, Modelo, Negra Modelo, Newcastle, Pacifico, Samuel Adams Boston Lager, and Yuengling.
Beers Produced With Isinglass
- Red Stripe: When brewed in Jamaica, this beer uses isinglass, but Red Stripe brewed in Europe does not.
Pro tip: At a bar and want to search a specific beer? Type the name into the Barnivore database for fast answers.
Please use this guide only if you’re of legal drinking age and always drink responsibly!