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Is Beer Vegan? Can Vegans Drink Beer in 2023?

Is beer vegan?

Last updated on December 3rd, 2023

Is beer vegan? This is an important question for many. And I’m glad to say the answer is yes, there are many beers here in the UK and all around the world that are suitable for vegans.

Beer is vegan if there are either no animal-derived ingredients in the beer or used to make the beer.

Can Vegans Drink Beer?

Yes, vegans can drink beer but, I’m sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but, not every beer is vegan. Not all wine is vegan either.

The main ingredients in beer are typically vegan because they usually consist of malt, water, hops and yeast. But sometimes non-vegan ingredients are added by certain breweries to clarify, flavour, or colour the beer.

As a beer-drinking vegan, the day you discover that some beer is not suitable for vegans can be a devastating day. Please let me console you though, by telling you there’s still plenty of beer you can drink. One that so many seem to ask about is Amstel.

Why is Beer Not Vegan-Friendly?

Well, plenty of beer is vegan-friendly! But the reason that certain beer is not suitable for vegans is that during the brewing process, they use animal-derived ingredients.

These ingredients are used to filter out impurities and clear the yeast from the beer. Without filtration, the beer would be left cloudy and with a yeasty taste.

Some don’t mind this, but it’s not how we’ve come to expect our beer.

Ingredients Used in Non-Vegan Beer:

  • Isinglass (dried fish bladders)
  • Gelatin (bone, skin and tissue extracts)
  • Casein (cow milk protein)
  • Lactose (sugar from cow’s milk)

Aside from the ingredients used for fining, some of the ingredients in the actual beer may not be suitable for vegans.

Not often, but sometimes beer can be made using milk or honey, and if either of these ingredients are being used, the beer is automatically not vegan-friendly.

Why Aren’t the Fining Products Listed on the Ingredients of the Beer?

It’s simple, they’re not actually in the beer when it is consumed, these animal-derived ingredients are just used during the filtration process but don’t remain in the beer.

However, these beers are still not vegan because beers that use animal ingredients during any part of the manufacturing process are not considered vegan.

Is beer vegan Amstel

How are Vegan-Friendly Beers Filtered?

It’s possible to filter the impurities from beer using vegan-friendly alternatives known as plant-based finings.

One of the most common products used by manufacturers is called Irish moss. It’s a type of seaweed and is used to help reduce protein haze during the boiling process.

There are a number of other vegan products used post-fermentation but it seems they aren’t quite up to standard yet, which is why many manufacturers still use isinglass.

Some simply use nature instead of extra ingredients to filter their beer. A combination of time and gravity allows the beer to filter itself naturally, with the heavier, unwanted ingredients sinking to the bottom, making it easy to remove them.

How Do I Know if Beer is Vegan-Friendly?

This depends on where you’re buying your beer. If you’re enjoying a pint at your local it won’t take long to learn which beers are vegan and which aren’t vegan. And the good news is that so many pubs and restaurants in the UK put a little vegan icon next to their drinks as well as their food.

If you’re in the supermarket to buy a few beers to enjoy on your night in or at a summer barbeque, then have a look at the bottle or can to see if you can find the sacred word vegan on it.

And, if this gives no success you could, of course, Google it or take a look at Barnivore – The Vegan Alcohol Directory. I’m sure the answer won’t be too far away.

Vegan friendly beer is beer vegan

Where to Find Vegan Beer in the UK?

Vegan beer is fairly easy to find. I’d be pretty confident in saying that every bar, restaurant and supermarket that sells beer will also sell vegan beer, the tricky part can be knowing which beers are suitable for vegans. But don’t worry, if you keep reading I’m going to fill you in.

What Beer is Not Vegan in the UK?

So, you’ve just joined your friend for a beer and as they head to the bar they ask, ‘what you having?’. You glance up to see what taps and bottles they have. Here are some of the popular beers that vegans should avoid.

Non-vegan beers:

  • Carling
  • Fosters
  • Coors Light UK
  • Worthington’s
  • Creamflow Ale
  • Doom Bar
  • Kronenbourg UK 1664

What Beers are Vegan?

You’ll be glad to know that this list is long. Here are some of the popular ones.

Vegan-Friendly Beer List:

  • Budweiser
  • Heineken
  • San Miguel UK
  • Sol
  • Corona
  • Carlsberg
  • Peroni
  • Amstel
  • Desperados
  • Becks
  • Hoegaarden
  • Stella Artois
  • Red Stripe UK

To check any other beers that are not on the list take a look at Barnivore – The Vegan Alcohol Directory.

Looking for Vegan Alcohol-free Beer?

The same rules apply to alcohol-free beers, some are vegan-friendly while others aren’t.

Vegan Alcohol-Free Beer List:

  • Heineken 0.0
  • Becks Blue
  • Budweiser zero
  • San Miguel 0.0
alcohol-free vegan beer


Yes, beer is technically vegan. The key ingredients you’ll find in beer are usually all vegan, however, the process of how beer is made makes some beer not suitable for vegans.

It’s not just beer, it can be wine too that you need to watch out for. Take a look at these posts to find vegan options for some of your favourite things:

Follow me on Instagram to see all the delicious vegan food I find, the vegan and cruelty-free products I use and what I get up to as a travelling vegan.

Meet the Author

Author Bio - Sinead OCarroll - The Wondering Wandering Vegan

Meet Sinead O’Carroll: Vegan explorer, sustainability advocate and the founder of The Wondering Wandering Vegan. Embracing veganism since 2018 and vegetarianism since 2005, Sinead is armed with a Vegan Health, Nutrition and Lifestyle qualification, and is on a mission to share her passion for cruelty-free living. 

With a taste for adventure and a heart for eco-conscious choices, she’s here to prove that vegans never miss out on flavour, fun or style. Join her in enjoying the delights of a vegan-friendly world! 🌱✈️🌍
Want to know more? Check out Sinead’s About page here.

Follow me on Instagram to see all the delicious vegan food I find, the vegan and cruelty-free products I use and what I get up to as a travelling vegan.

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