It was two days before our launch of 'Only in Dreams' our highly anticipated sour beer project with Vault City, and I had a problem, a really big problem.
It was Bank holiday Monday and I was handling the customer service ticket system. We’re still, very much a startup, so we take turns monitoring and solving problems.
“Hi I’ve just got an early can of Only in Dreams, it says not suitable for vegans, why?”
“Errrr what? I’ll get back to you”
Our new beer Only In Dreams only contains fruit veg and grains. So why isn’t it suitable for vegans?
All of our core range beers are free from dairy and animal products, and have been since 2022. Right down to the adhesive on the labels, which sometimes contain gelatin, weve worked pretty hard to assure that. On another note we’ve also been working hard to reduce the gluten in our beers, we’re getting there with that too!
But where is the beef? What are these meaty brews?
Historically all beers and wines had used animal based finings, these A transparent, almost pure gelatin prepared from the swim bladder of the sturgeon and certain other fishes and used as an adhesive and a clarifying agent, those finings are less and less popular than ever, so more and more beers are vegan/vegetarian.
Previously we had used lactose, a type of non-fermentable milk sugar (the key ingredient in milkshake IPAs) in Dead Mall, Disco Load Out and 6AM load in. Although it does give a luxurious and sweet finish, it excludes a lot of people from our beers. We want to remain as inclusive as possible. So wherever possible, we avoid it. And we have managed to avoid it for a good year or so.
But only in dreams doesn't have isinglass or lactose, so I was completely confused.
At first, Occam's razor, its a mistake, it’s got to be, my thoughts were, we had to rush the label significantly as the beer brewed WAY quicker than any of us expected. With these very experimental brews, they can behave unpredictably. I also knew that Vaukt City had recently made a Mars-Bar inspired beer with Neon Raptor that I was fairly sure had lactose in it. Yes it did.. So did we phone it in with the label a bit? I checked our version and well.. It says SUITABLE FOR VEGANS. I got on to the blower with Vault City.
Well, this is an odd one. But would you believe it, it was the bloodyLimes… the LIMES, the limes we used turned out not to be vegan! HOW?
If we had just used the juice it would have been ok! But we used the zest and a small part of the wax that is on the outside of the lime is, yes you guessed it beeswax. A vast majority of vegan diets exclude beeswax. We are now putting further controls in place to make sure that we can, where possible avoid this happening. And at least you can trust, even if it slips, we’ll let you make an informed choice onthe can.
OK I got Chat GBT to write a story about this for fun. Its actually pretty good hahaha
It was a hot summer day and John was hanging out with his friends at a local bar. They were all enjoying their cold beers when John suddenly realized something that made him stop drinking.
He had recently become a vegan and he realized that not all beers were vegan. In fact, some beers contained animal products and were not suitable for vegans to consume. John was surprised and curious about why beers were not vegan.
He asked the bartender who explained that some beers were brewed using animal products such as gelatin, isinglass, or egg whites for clarification purposes. John was disappointed as he had always assumed that beer was just made from hops, malt, yeast, and water.
He realized that he needed to be more careful and selective with the beers he chose to drink. He decided to do his research and found out that there were many vegan-friendly beers available. He also learned that some breweries specifically labeled their beers as vegan, making it easier for vegans to enjoy a cold one without worrying about the ingredients.
John shared his newfound knowledge with his friends and they were all surprised to learn that beers could contain animal products. They appreciated John's efforts to educate them and decided to be more conscious about the beers they chose to drink.
From that day on, John made a point to check the ingredients of the beers he consumed and always looked for vegan-friendly options. He was happy to continue enjoying his favorite beverage while staying true to his vegan lifestyle.