Looking to imbibe to celebrate Oktoberfest? Not so fast, vegans. Some beers are made with animal products.
It’s the end of September and Oktoberfest, every beer-o-phile’s favorite Germanic festival, is wrapping up next week. While breweries are churning out specialty harvest brews in celebration of the event, vegan beer snobs shouldn’t raise that stein to their lips just yet. Surprisingly, some breweries use animal products in their beer production.
Beer (and potentially wine as well) can contain animal substances such as gelatin, casein, isinglass, or albumin (derived from eggs). While these materials are commonly used as clarifying agents and are measured in trace amounts in the final product, I find it hard to believe that strict vegans would be pleased to learn their frothy libation of choice has been filtered through a sieve of animal byproducts.
While the best way to be positive that a pint is completely vegan is to contact the manufacturer directly, below are my top seven, ahem, tried-and-true delicious choices that will satisfy both vegans and their carnivore counterparts.
Abita Springs, LA
Try: Fall Fest
Tasting notes: caramel, cloves; yeasty
Try: The Chimay Triple
Tasting notes: sweet, bitter, and golden in color
Dogfish Head Craft Brewed Ales
Try: Punkin Ale
Tasting notes: malty, pumpkin, caramel, and brown sugar
New Belgium Brewing
Fort Collins, CO
Try: Hoptober Golden Ale
Tasting notes: medium to full-bodied, citrus finish
Oskar Blues Brewery
Try: G’Knight Imperial Red
Tasting notes: piney, sticky, and hoppy
Sierra Nevada Brewing
Try: Tumbler Autumn Brown Ale
Tasting notes: soft and creamy, bitter and fruity
Woodchuck Hard Cider
Try: Limited Release Fall Cider
Tasting notes: crisp apples and nutmeg, earthy
So grab the sauerkraut and the tofu Bratwurst, and have a hoppy Oktoberfest!