Beer is Vegan (for the most part)
“God made the majority of beers vegan because he loves us and wants us to be happy.” -meI often wonder how long my vegan journey would have lasted if someone would have told me that beer was not vegan. Fortunately, the majority of beers are vegan. Water, yeast, malt and hops are the four main ingredients used to brew beer. The easy exceptions to spot are those beers made with milk or honey. It’s much harder to identify beers that use animal parts (isinglass, gelatin) in the filtering process. For example, Guiness and Oskar Blues Ten Fidy. The only way to know for sure is to ask the brewery or check barnivore.com. Barnivore is an excellent online resource to find out which alcohols (beer, wine, liquor) are vegan friendly. It is a collection of inquiries made to the companies directly by the site’s creators and sent in from users (like me).After contacting all of the Charlotte breweries to verify their vegan-friendly status, we are good to go.Four Friends, Olde Mecklenburg, Unknown, Birdsong, Triple C and Noda are all vegan-friendly as far as their regular offerings go with just two exceptions…Birdsong does currently have the Honey Pie Double IPA that obviously contains honey and both versions of Triple C’s Up All Night (bourbon barrel and regular) contain honey. Many of the breweries do small batch beers that may occasionally contain milk or honey, but they should be easy to spot. When in doubt, just ask.The Charlotte Vegan and Vegetarian Social Club is having the first Vegan Drinks in Charlotte on February 20th, 2014 at Heist Brewery located in NoDa. (Ironically, Heist is the only brewery that I have not received confirmation that their beers are vegan.) Heist recently updated their dinner menu and has taken the guess work out of whether or not an item is vegan by clearly identifying vegetarian and vegan items on their menu. While it looks like there are only two vegan options, they both sound delicious. I’m looking forward to trying both the fire roasted tofu steak and “Faux”BQ tacos. I know that they know what their doing with tofu because I tried their marinated tofu steak on the lunch menu and it was probably the most well prepared tofu I’ve had in Charlotte. Sadly, I found out later that the marinade does indeed contain honey, so it is technically not vegan. If you’re okay with consuming honey, then have at it.Cheers.