Many of us have become accustomed to thinking about and investigating what animal products might be in the food that we eat, the clothes we wear and the products we buy. But how many of us think the same way about liquor, wine, and beer? TBob does! At THE BLOCK off biltmore, we are committed to serving only vegan items, and that includes our alcohol selection. All of our liquor, wines, and beer are vegan. This TBob blog focuses on a favorite among Ashevillians: beer.
While some beers tip off non-vegans right away, like anything with “honey” or “oyster” or “bacon” in the name, many have animal products hidden in the ingredients, or in the filtering processes which don’t legally have to be disclosed. Many beers, especially those brewed in the UK, use isinglass (a product that comes from fish bladders) to filter out impurities. Gelatin, bone char, and egg whites are sometimes used for clarifying purposes as well. Other animal ingredients that may have been used to process your beer: albumin (a protein found in blood and eggs), casein (a protein found in milk), lactose, pepsin (derived from pork).
For these reasons, we love Barnivore.com, a searchable online database that lists the vegan-friendliness (or lack thereof) of over 22,000 beer, wine, and liquor products. They’re currently working on an official mobile app and, in the meantime, have a page listing several other apps for vegan alcohol. (Be sure to read the notes – even though some of the products say “vegan-friendly” a closer look and you’d be surprised at the companies promoting bull fighting and other non vegan-friendly events, etc.)
But you never have to worry about any of that when you’re having a cold one at TBob. And in addition to making sure our beers are vegan, we like to offer beers from breweries we can be proud of. For example, New Belgium Brewing has donated over $7 million through their grant program, focusing on areas like bike advocacy, water stewardship, and youth environmental education. Highland Brewing (Asheville’s first craft brewery!) has won an Environmental Excellence Award from Asheville Greenworks and the 2014 Small Business of the Year award from Business NC magazine. Lookout Brewing in Black Mountain — where their slogan is “Go big or go home.” Lookout Brewing Company believes in elaborate malt bills, varied hop additions, and big flavor – with a goal of being bold, innovative, and daring. They didn’t say “Be Careful,” they said LOOKOUT!
In keeping with our social justice theme, we are proud to carry Service Ale from Service Brewing Co., a veteran owned and operated craft brewery in Savannah, Georgia — dedicated to honoring those who have put their lives at risk and their country and community first.
As for animal advocacy, how ’bout a vegan brewery in our midst?! Look for us to carry Sanctuary Brewing Company’s beer later this month. Our friends, Joe and Lisa in Hendersonville, are brewing some amazing beer at their vegan brewery that supports area animal shelters, sanctuaries and rescue. We are super psyched to have their beer coming to TBob soon!