Taste Test: 5 Vegan-Friendly Beers Made in Sheffield
Wait, beer’s not vegan? Unfortunately, not always. But not to worry if you’ve recently switched to veganism – we’ve created a list of the best ethically-sourced beer in Sheffield, so you can enjoy a pint without the fear of some rogue gelatine floating around in your bevvie.
“Lactose and isinglass filings are what make a beer non-vegan,” says Sheffield-based vegan brewer Chris Derbyshire.
“Lactose adds body and mouthfeel to a beer. Isinglass is made from the dried swim bladders of fish, which is used to make the beverage more appealing to the eye.” Pretty gross, right? Fortunately for those sticking to a plant-based diet, there are ways around this, meaning you can get tipsy and unwind with some guilt-free beer.
“Vegan brewers use a high percentage of oats to capture the effect of lactose, explains Chris, “and there are other fining agents that can’t be used to clear the beer in the same way as isinglass.”
Most breweries these days will have a couple of vegan-friendly options on their brew list, and Sheffield is no exception. Here are five of the best…
Little Mesters Brewing – Juicy Content IPA
From Sheffield’s newest brewery comes an IPA with a blast of fruity sweetness and hoppy bitterness to finish. The Little Mesters motto is pretty simple: ‘brew great-tasting beers accessible and enjoyable for everyone’. Their taproom situated above iconic local booze store Mitchell’s Wines will be open for visiting once restrictions are lifted, but in the meantime order yourself some samples online (free delivery available in qualifying postcodes).
Stancill Brewery overlooks the city centre, situated at the Parkwood Industrial Estate just below the popular vantage point. If you’re a fan of smooth, crisp lagers, then look no further than this quadruple-filtered, expertly-conditioned brew – the first lager to be wholly developed and brewed in Sheffield, no less – which is guaranteed to quench the thirst. You’ll find Stancill’s finest on the taps at their pubs, The Closed Shop, The Albion, The Old Grindstone, and The Horse & Jockey; or you can purchase your own via their online store.
Little Critters – White Wolf
The family-run Little Critters are becoming a prime contender in the Sheffield brew game. This edgy little microbrewery seems to keep coming out with winners, and White Wolf has become a personal favourite of mine. The beauty of this session pale is that it is just so simple. It’s easy to over complicate a brew, but Little Critters have got this one just right: fruity, smooth, tasty, and an overall triumph of vegan brewing. Have a nosey at what you can get delivered here.
Abbeydale Brewery – Voyager
Let’s examine one of Sheffield’s finest: Abbeydale Brewery. Any local beer fan knows, that Abbeydale has had a firm foothold as one of the city’s best brewers for a long time. Their range is so extensive that they can’t fit all the different beers into their own pub! But don’t let you think that they don’t pay attention to each brew. Brewing is a science, and Abbeydale’s lab is thriving. In terms of vegan beer, however, their Voyager is the most notable. It’s sweet and vibrant, radiating with tropical and citrus fruit flavours. It also won a silver medal at the 2020 Digital Beer awards. So, vegan or not, it’s a must-try and available to order online.
Triple point – Cryo
Cryo Hopped Pale
I have an endless list of good things to say about Triple Point Brewery. Not only have they established themselves as a nationally recognised independent brewer, but they also have one of the best bar set-ups in Sheffield. With a large set of beers on draught and canned, the drinks are accompanied by the fantastic Twisted Burger Company, who have set up shop in the bar area. It’s been tough to decide on the best vegan brew available at Triple Point, but I ended up going for Cryo. This banger comes in a light gold colour and sits smoothly on your tastebuds. You’re basically getting your five a day with all the fruity kicks in Cryo, plus absolutely no bitterness. In my opinion, this is the best beer in Sheffield, and even better when sipped with a vegan burger from Twisted. Get yours here.