Beer Wednesday – Dogfish Head
Happy Beer Wednesday! While in Delaware recently, the Blonde and I went to visit the Dogfish Head Brewery, in Milton. Before heading up, I checked the website, only to find that they were booked. The tours were full… I was crushed… I called, and asked what the chances were that we all four of us (me, the Blonde, and her parents) could sneak in. The response I got was to come by and worst case scenario, we could get some free beer for our trip.
I was sold right there.
The brewery was under construction, being expanded to more than triple the output of the 16th largest craft brewery in the country.
While I was standing at the bar, sampling the four free beers that were available for tasting, I made it a point to ask the bartender if he was aware of any beers that use any animal products. As it turns out, other than honey, there are no beers produced by Dogfish Head that use any animal products. No isinglass, no bacon, no weird lizard parts. Period.
I don’t love the fact that they use honey, mostly because I remain torn about vegans eating honey, but I do try to avoid it whenever possible. I mean, the vast majority of honey isn’t really honey anyway. It’s mostly re-digested high fructose corn syrup, so it isn’t really what we think of as honey anyway.
The tanks that are used to make the beer are sterilized weekly, using mostly just boiling water, and the mash, or grain that is used in making the beer, is processed into a few products, among them, cattle feed.
I’m not sure how I feel about that. The mash is used to feed cattle on a local farm, which then supplies Dogfish Head with locally raised beef for their restaurant. Do they have other options? sure, but not too many. According to the Beer Activist, there are a handful, like compost, animal feed, mushroom soil, and bioplastics. Will all of these be enough, well, maybe, and maybe not.
So, does every bottle of their beer go to supporting the beef industry? I don’t think so, but I’m torn. I mean, I’m sort of supporting them, in so far as I’m taking part in keeping their costs down, but at the same time, everything we buy is supporting so much other than the immediate mission of the company we buy it from.
Ugh. . . When did everything get so complicated?
I’m going to make an executive decision, and say that Dogfish Head beers are vegan, but are not always vegan-friendly. Drink them, as they’re way better than a beer that uses animal-derived filtering ingredients, but be aware that some of the karma you get, you’re feeding to omnivores.