Common animal products used when brewing commercial beer

If you’re worried about purchasing beer that may not be 100% vegan-friendly, why not try brewing your own? This will give you the control to choose exactly what you put into your beer and how you brew it, without the unnecessary use of animal products. Read our full guide to brewing your own beer page 12 of issue 11.

These are some of the common animal ingredients that are often found in some varieties in beer:


Clarifier that is very common in brewing. Comes from the dried swim bladders of fish.


Clarifier obtained from the skin, connective tissue, and bones of animals.

Casein/Potassium Caseinate

Protein found in cow’s milks and often used as a clarifier.


Made into dyes and used for colouring.

Glyceryl Monostearate

Animal derived substance used to control foam.


Also used to control foam, it is sometimes derived from pork.


Most common type in brewing is serum albumin, which is taken from animal blood.


Beers labelled as sweet, milk, or cream stouts may or may not contain lactose. Sometimes the description refers to the texture and not the ingredient.

Read our Cook like a Pro: Make your own vegan beer in issue 11 of Cook Vegan!