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What do you mean my beer isn’t vegan?

When people think of beer, it’s normal to think of barley, malt, yeast, and hops. So what about that isn’t vegan? It’s surely not something I had ever thought about until I started to do my research.

There is a lot that goes into the process of making beer; some of it may not be vegan. Some of the most popular non-vegan products that go into the filtration of beer are isinglass and gelatin. You have probably heard of gelatin and may know that it is derived from crushed animal skin, bones, and ligaments (vegan or not, kinda gross).

Most people however, have never even heard of the other most commonly used product. Isinglass is a specific type of gelatin made from fish bladders which has been traditionally used in the clarification process of many beers. Now just to clarify, this does not mean you are drinking fish bladders when you have a pint. But the frequent use of this product in the industry could be an issue for strict vegans.

The good news? You can easily find plenty of beers that are completely vegan. There is even an app called Barnivore where you can quickly search any beer and see if it’s vegan. With advances in filtration technologies, the use of these non-vegan products has declined in the commercial brewing process. So luckily a lot of your favorite commercial beers are probably already vegan. Unfortunately for craft beer enthusiasts, like myself, using isinglass for filtration may be more prevalent in smaller breweries.

Luckily, for Galveston locals there are some great vegan craft beer options right here on the island. Galveston Island Brewery is one of the local breweries in Galveston. Not only is their beer delicious, but all the beer at Galveston Island Brewery is actually vegan so you can drink with a clear conscience!

Another local gem is Devil and the Deep Brewery closer to downtown Galveston. While not all of their beer is vegan, they have at least three year-round beers that are vegan, on tap, and the bartenders will gladly point you in the right direction if asked.

Whether you’re vegan or not, this can be a great way to be more conscious of what you consume. Use the Barnivore app, drink local, and fill your cup with some awesome vegan beer.

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