I'm a guy. And on Sunday's I become the typical American Guy. I like to sit around and watch football on TV with my friends, drinking beer.
You can imagine my dismay when I read that beer may not be entirely vegan!@!##$%!%! I was looking through Vegetarian Sourcebook and came upon this horrific paragraph on page 174:
Beers: As a general rule, traditional, cask-conditioned beers ('real ales') are usually clarified (cleared) with isinglass finings. Isinglass is a very pure form of gelatin obtained from the air bladders of some freshwater fishes, especially the sturgeon. The addition of the finings speeds up a process which would otherwise occur naturally. Keg, canned, beer-sphere, and some bottled beers are usually filtered without the use of animal substances. Lagers are generally chill-filtered but a few may involve the use of isinglass. The only possibly animal-derived ingredient used in the production of keg beers is E471. Animal-derived finings continue to be used in all Guinness- and Bass-produced beers.
HORRORS!!!!! I love Guinness.
Further down the page, I came across their vegan recommendations:
Vegan Products: Beers/lagers - Whitbread Kaltenberg Pils, Heineken Export Lager, Labatt Blue Lager, Labatt Ice Lager, Scottish Courage, Beck's Bier (keg, bottle), Budweiser (keg, can, bottle), Coors Extra Gold (keg, can, bottle) Holsten Pils (keg, can, bottle), Grolsch (keg, 450 ml swingtop bottle - not the 250ml/275 ml bottles or 500ml cans).
That put a frown on my face. I'm not sure how comprehensive that list is. One of these days I'll have to get around to contacting my favorite vendors (Sam Adams, and Pete's Wicked Ales) to see what they have to say for themselves.
I never gave beer a thought. How could it not be vegan? Hops, Barley, Malt... Water... no animal products there. Some days this vegan thing feels much more complicated than I anticipated it would be.