Millions of people in England enjoy a pint (or half pint) of beer. We have real ale (aka Inspector Morse) and then there’s lager. But the real ale industry has been replaced in part by bottles of foreign beer, often filtered with isinglass or gelatine, meaning fish and animals die, just to filter out the sediment. What is going on?
A recent study found that many top brands of beer, stout and wine were all contaminated with weedkiller. Glyphosate a common herbicide (used in weedkiller) and is linked to cancer.
Ensure There Are Pubs Left!
- CAMRA (The Campaign for Real Ale) is the national body responsible for trying to bring back real beer. Beer is simple a drink made from water, hops, malt and yeast. It’s fermented and the yeast releases alcohol. Real ale is a draught cask beer, and more of an artisan product (think of it akin to fresh and pasteurised orange juice). For less than £30 a year membership, you actually receive £30 of real ale vouchers (so it pays for itself) plus discounts on real ale at over 3500 pubs across the UK.
- Losing your pub? Contact Plunkett Foundation, that can you save your pub. This often involves the community taking it over, to become a pub owned by the people. This organisation has also started and saved many community jobs, they are the nation’s experts, and know all you need to know. There are around 85 people-owned pubs nationwide.
Boycott Plastic Beer Rings
Corona beer has recently got rid of its plastic packaging, and replaced the previous plastic beer rings with biodegradable interlocking rings made from plant fibres. So next time you buy bottled beers from the big companies, you know which one to plump for. Well done to them. Other companies can buy the same from e6pr, which make a biodegradable alternative (this is not edible as sometimes said, so don’t feed it to humans or animals).
If your beer cans are wrapped in plastic at the supermarket, just leave the packaging at the checkout. Most will let you do this now, it’s just recycled with plastic bags in the recycling bins. If you see any, rip up the holes and dispose of in the nearest bin.
It is estimated that 1 million seabirds and 100,000 marine animals and sea turtles become trapped in plastic rings from beer cans. Over half of them will die. Even from biodegradable rings. 38 Degrees
Is Your Beer Vegan-Friendly?
Be careful when buying cans or bottles of beer, as many have animal ingredients in them. Visit Barnivore to see if your favourite beer is vegan-friendly. If you buy conventional brands, note that some of them use isinglass (from fish bladders), gelatin (from animal bones) or casein (from milk) in their beers, often to filter them. Some beers also contain shellfish, egg whites and animal blood.
Beers that are NOT vegan-friendly: Fosters, Carling, John Smith and Kronenberg. Beers that ARE vegan-friendly: Grolsch, Peroni and San Miguel.
In Germany (the most vegan-friendly country on earth), all beers are vegan, due to a natural purity law that won’t allow the ingredients used in some beers sold here. They use alternative ingredients like bentonite clay, pea protein and Irish moss.
Good Organic English Beers
All of these beers are made by local craft breweries, and all are also vegan-friendly.
- Little Valley Brewery brew a nice little selection of vegan (and mostly organic) beers in West Yorkshire. Everything is done in-house, with spent grains going to local farmers, to feed their cattle. From Pale Ale to Dark Stout, you can also try their Cherry Saison, a tart and tangy fruity beer.
- Stroud Brewery makes organic craft beer in Gloucestershire. Called ‘a master of sustainable brewing’ by The Independent, this beer is brewed in the Cotswolds as cask, keg, bottles and cans. Join their Beer Club £45 a year and £25 for subsequent years) for 10% discount at the taproom and online.
- Clarkshaws make award-winning vegan beers in Brixton, London. Beers are made with local vegan ingredients with renewable energy, and delivered locally by electric vehicle. Gordon’s Alive is a golden ale with honey and spice flavours and a pleasant bitter finish, made with East Kent hops.
- Twisted Barrel Ale is a vegan brewery based in Coventry. It offers 12 beers and 12 seasonal beers including a Raspberry Ripple Beer!
- Brass Castle is an independent vegan brewery in Yorkshire where they produce wonderful beers in the heart of the north. A couple are also tested gluten-free, with spent hops going to local allotments. The range includes Christmas beers and Stingo Strong Ale, made with aged wood and black treacle.
- Samuel Smith is Yorkshire’s oldest brewery. It still uses Yorkshire stone squares to ferment its ales and stouts, and and uses the same yeast strain from the 1800s. Using unique hops and antique boiling coppers, the naturally conditioned ales are fermented in oak casks. Their Organic Fruit Beer is blended with raspberry, cherry, strawberry and apricot juices. Note their Old Brewery Bitter and Bottled Yorkshire Stingo are not vegan-friendly.
A Local Non-Alcoholic Beer
Nirvana Brewery is a locally-brewed non-alcoholic beer. Available from Pale Ale to Dark Rich Stout, everything is made with natural ingredients. Becky comes from a family of beer lovers, but when her dad went teetotal, she wanted to ensure he would not miss out. Their beers (including the world’s first kombucha beer) are appreciated by casual beer drinks and craft beer enthusiasts alike. Their best-seller Hoppy Pale Ale uses chinook and cascade hops.