Tuesday, May 05, 2015

Scotland's vegan-friendly breweries

The past four beer reviews have focused on vegan beers. Below is a list of breweries in Scotland that can call themselves vegan-friendly; breweries that don't use isinglass during their beer-production process. Isinglass is derived from fish bladder, usually from sturgeon, and is used to help filter the yeast suspended in the beer following fermentation and thereby give drinkers a clearer pint.

While a lot of breweries use alternatives or don't use finings at all, many breweries do use isinglass, so vegans need to be savvy about where they get their beer from.

The reasons for not using isinglass are varied. Some breweries are staffed or owned by vegetarians. Others use finings derived from natural, organic materials. Others prefer bottle-conditioned, unfiltered beer for greater flavour and depth (though some drinkers find the sediment a turn-off). Some breweries declare their vegan-friendly credentials on their labels; others declare it unfiltered purely to warn barstaff and drinkers of potentially hazy pints. Others don't think it worth mentioning.

So, here's a list of the Scottish breweries that have all confirmed their bottled beer is vegan-friendly. Thankfully, it's a great list and vegan drinkers should never feel they're missing out, with many of these breweries' beers available on the high street and the supermarket - though if you can you should always try to support your local independent beer shop!

Ayr Brewing Company
Barney's Beer
Black Isle Brewery
Black Metal Brewery
Burnside Brewery
Cairngorm Brewery
Elixir Brewing Company
Fallen Brewing Company
Innis & Gunn
Islay Ales
Lerwick Brewery
Loch Ness Brewery
Luckie Ales
Mor Brewing
Plockton Brewing
Six Degrees North
St Andrews Brewing
Thistly Cross Cider
Top Out Brewery
Windswept Brewing Company

Wee disclaimer: Such is the ever-changing nature of the brewing world this list does not claim to be definitive, but it's close. This was written early 2015 and is crying out for an update ... 

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