Production manager Danny Seeton with Vancouver Island Brewing’s new centrifuge, which makes vegan beer in Victoria. (Nicole Crescenzi/News staff)

Is your beer vegan? Vancouver Island Brewing also going kosher

Victoria-based brewery has been vegan since 2017

Patrons who have visited Vancouver Island Brewing since their 2017 renovations have experienced their new taproom, but may not have noticed one side effect of their upgrades: all of their beer is now vegan.

Chris Bjerrisgaard, the marketing director of Vancouver Island Brewing, said they’ve had increasing requests for vegan beer in the last few years.

“It is much more predominant,” he said. “The interesting thing is I don’t think a lot of people even knew beer could not be vegan. I think it’s when vegans find out they start contacting every brewery saying, ‘Is your beer vegan? Oh no, I’ve been drinking beer for so long and had no idea I wasn’t maintaining my vegan status.’”

READ MORE: Very Good Butchers to appear on Dragons’ Den

So how is beer not vegan?

When beer is filtered, most breweries add fish bladders as fining agents to remove excess yeast and particles from ingredients like dry hops. The liquid is then run through scrubbing pads, but those pads will often remove hop oils, and the brewer has to add more hops. This makes the brewing process longer, and the use of fish bladder isn’t vegan.

“The reason why you want to remove those things is if you retain those in the beer, the shelf life of the beer goes down,” he said. “Beer’s an active, living product in most cases, much like bread. If you don’t remove all of the yeast, you run the risk of re-fermentation, cans exploding.”

Instead of using fish bladders to clarify their beer, Vancouver Island Brewing bought and installed a centrifuge while undergoing renovations. The centrifuge acts like the Gravitron carnival ride, Bjerrisgaard said. The liquid is poured into a bowl that spins quickly, the force of the movement making the excess yeast and particulates stick to the sides of the container and allowing the rest, what will eventually become beer, pull through.

“The vegan beer is almost an excellent side effect to something we wanted to do for the sake of quality of beer as a whole as well as cost on goods,” Bjerrisgaard said.

While it will save money on the fining process in the long-term, the centrifuge itself is expensive and set the brewery back nearly $250,000. Less expensive models are becoming available, but Bjerrisgaard said the technology is still fairly pricey, so it’s more often used by regional breweries.

Now, Vancouver Island Brewing is also in the process of becoming kosher.

“Luckily for us, we’re a brewery that never used lactose and we’re not using the fining agents for fish bladders. It’s a lot to do with meat and dairy that makes you either kosher or not,” he said.

Dairy is most often introduced by breweries when they add non-fermentable lactose sugars to sweeten dessert beers, such as milk stouts.

Bjerrisgaard said as far as they know, Vancouver Island Brewing is the only brewery in B.C. to undergo the Kosher Check certification.

READ MORE: Most vegans, vegetarians in Canada are under 35: poll


@KeiliBartlett
keili.bartlett@blackpress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Peninsula cab companies want level playing field with ride-hailing legislation

Taxi services concerned they’ll be undercut by Uber, Lyft

MLA Column: Better relationship needed with municipalities

Adam Olsen is the MLA for Saanich North and the Islands

Colwood’s Esi Edugyan wins $100K Giller prize for Washington Black

Edugyan won her first Scotiabank Giller Prize in 2011 for Half-Blood Blues

Search for supportive housing in Saanich remains ‘fluid’

BC Housing looks forward to meeting new council

Good energy marks third annual celebration of welcome pole

Nov. 22 is Sno’uyutth day in Oak Bay with good energy at Windsor Park beginning at 7 p.m.

Unique technology gives children with special needs more independent play

UVic’s CanAssist refined seven prototypes aided by $1.5M government contribution

Case of bovine tuberculosis found in cow on southern B.C. farm

CFIA said the disease was found during salughter and they are investigating

Air force getting more planes but has no one to fly them, auditor warns

The report follows several years of criticism over the Trudeau government’s decision not to launch an immediate competition to replace the CF-18s.

Bolder action needed to reduce child poverty: Campaign 2000 report card

The report calls for the federal government to provide more funding to the provinces, territories and Indigenous communities to expand affordable, quality child care.

Judge bars US from enforcing Trump asylum ban

Protesters accused the migrants of being messy, ungrateful and a danger to Tijuana; complained about how the caravan forced its way into Mexico, calling it an “invasion.”

Ottawa Redblacks defensive back Jonathan Rose suspended for Grey Cup

Rose was flagged for unnecessary roughness and ejected for contacting an official with 37 seconds left in the first half following a sideline melee after a Tiger-Cats reception.

Mistrial declared in Dennis Oland’s retrial in father’s murder

The verdict from Oland’s 2015 murder trial was set aside on appeal in 2016 and a new trial ordered. Richard Oland, 69, was found dead in his Saint John office on July 7, 2011.

Laine scores 3 as Jets double Canucks 6-3

Injury-riddled Vancouver side drops sixth in a row

Deportation averted for Putin critic who feared return to Russia

Elena Musikhina, a vocal critic of the Kremlin, has been granted a two-year visitor’s permit in Canada

Most Read