Skip to main content

Mushroom Quinoa Porter Chili & Is Beer Vegan?

Mushroom Quinoa Porter Chili, vegan and gluten free

 Is Beer Vegan?

From an outsiders perspective, the question might seems silly. Beer, after all, is made from plants and water. At its most basic, the ingredients to make beer are simple: water, malt, hops, yeast; all of which are clearly non-animal. And while brewmasters have a way of working everything from bacon to whole chickens into their beer, the biggest culprits are more subtle.

 Is Beer Vegan?-2

Sometimes, the de-veganized beers are easy to spot, a milk stout that uses lactose, or a honey kolsch, but more often than not, our veggie loving beer friends are in the dark as to whether an animal part has made its way into their pints. Since the CDC, the TTB, the FDA and all the other acronym loving agencies that have their grubby paws in what we consume do not require anyone to disclose the use of animal byproducts in the processing of food or beverages, it often gets left off the label (in fact, almost always).

The biggest offenders are what brewers use to clarify beer. While the need for clarifying is often done with non animal ingredients, or replaced with a centrifuge machine, it’s still common for breweries to use ingredients like gelatin or fish bladders as clarifying agents rendering beer not only non-vegan but non-vegetarian. There is also the foam control issue, and I’m not talking about the frothing of the mouth that occurs when your favorite stout is on Nitro, but the desire brewers have to give you that perfect level of foam head on your pints. To gain control on that lovely can’t-you-settle-yet-I-need-a-drink-now head on your beer, brewers have been known to use pepsin (made from pigs) or albium (made from animal blood) to give you the perfect pour.

Is Beer Vegan?

But if you are one of the growing numbers of craft beer loving veggie devotees, don’t despair. Many, many breweries are hip to your vibe, vegan beer is a concern for many. When it comes to finding out if your beer is sans-beasts, google is your friend. Also, websites like Barnivore give a great and growing list of vegan friendly breweries and beers.

For this recipe I used Sierra Nevada Porter, a vegan beer. In fact, as a company, Sierra Nevada is 100% vegan friendly.

Mushroom Quinoa Porter Chili, vegan and gluten free

As an addendum to this, it needs to be mentioned that there is nothing wrong with the use of animal products in beer. Milk stout is a favorite of mine, and a good honey kolsch is great to pair with a summer cook out. However, disclosure is key and giving people the information they need to keep the diet they choose is a way to keep us all friends in this craft beer community.

Mushroom Quinoa Porter Chili


  • 3 tbs olive oil
  • 8 ounces crimini mushrooms minced
  • ½ cup onions chopped
  • ½ cup diced carrots
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 1/4 cups broth
  • 1 cup porter or stout beer divided
  • ½ cup red quinoa dry
  • 1 15 ounce can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 red bell pepper chopped
  • ½ cup corn kernels
  • ½ tsp smoked paprika
  • ½ tsp black pepper
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp cumin
  • ½ tsp garlic powder
  • 1 jalapeno diced
  • 2 cups tomatoes chopped
  • 1/2 tsp Sriracha or other red chili sauce
  • 1 avocado diced
  • ½ cup green onion chopped
  • ½ cup cilantro chopped


  • Heat the olive oil in a pot over medium high heat, add the mushroom, sauté until darkened and softened, about 5 minutes.
  • Add the onions and carrots and cook until softened about 5 minutes.
  • Stir in the garlic then add the broth and ½ cup beer. Stir in the dry quinoa, allow to simmer, stirring occasionally, until quinoa is cooked through, about 15 minutes.
  • Add the beans, bell pepper, corn, smoked paprika, pepper, salt, cumin and garlic powder, allow to simmer for 5 minutes.
  • Add the remaining beer, jalapenos, tomatoes, and sriracha, simmer for 10 minutes or until slightly thickened and reduced.
  • Ladle into bowls, top with avocado, green onion and cilantro.

Related Posts

Similar Articles


Kelly @ hidden fruits and veggies October 29, 2013 um 4:35 am

This recipe sounds amazing and I love the discussion about vegan beer! I knew wines could be filtered with shellfish, but the thought about beer never even crossed my mind until I was at the Grand Rapids Brewing Company and they boasted their beer was vegan. Mind. Blown.


Tieghan October 29, 2013 um 5:56 am

This chili sound so cozy, warm, hearty and delicious! I love the mushrooms and quinoa and also how thick this chili is. I love a good thick chili! I never new beer could actually not be vegetarian. I swear, I learn something new here everyday!


Paul October 29, 2013 um 2:58 pm

It may be worth noting that gelatin finings do not remain in the beer, and I know vegetarians who are ok with consuming beer that was filtered this way. When fining with gelatin the gelatin settles throughout the beer and is either flushed out once it settles, or the beer is transferred off of it. Due to this there is absolutely no consumption of animal product in the finished beer. This is quite different than something like lactose which does remain in the final product.


Jackie October 29, 2013 um 3:29 pm

Great point. And a lot of vegetarians are OK with it. But some people feel that if an animal had to die to make the beer, even if they aren’t consuming the animal, it still makes them uncomfortable to drink. More than anything is the ability to make that choice once you have all the information. If you’re cool with it, great, if you aren’t you should be able to make that call on your own. I’m not a vegetarian so I’ll drink all forms of beer.


Katie @ Blonde Ambition October 29, 2013 um 2:58 pm

I love a good beer-spiked chili, and especially a thick one like this! Sounds delicious. And I knew that there were non-vegan friendly beers, but I never knew some weren’t even vegetarian friendly! How interesting.


Paula – bell’alimento October 29, 2013 um 3:44 pm

This so satisfies my shroom loving self!


Angie October 30, 2013 um 6:28 am

Wow does this chili look amazing! I love it!


Sophia@ NY Foodgasm October 30, 2013 um 6:44 am

This is one vegan meal I could totally eat! Very satisfying b/c of the beans and quinoa, what more bringing some attitude with some Stout and Srirancha! LOVE it! Great work and the photos look gorgeous!


Gerry @ Foodness Gracious October 31, 2013 um 2:27 pm

Great post…but I’m down for any beer 🙂


Belinda @themoonblushbaker November 1, 2013 um 8:58 am

I know I might be thinking about this too much but does any product that fermented or has yeast in it not really vegan? Yeast is still a living organism. Either way this chilli looks and sounds amazing even to a meat eater like me


addie | culicurious November 2, 2013 um 12:43 pm

Wow, thanks for the education/low down on this topic. I am neither vegetarian nor vegan so I don’t really think about these things. But it’s quite fascinating to ponder. Thanks again for sharing….

Oh and also, fish bladder????? ew! 😉


toni November 18, 2013 um 11:24 am

Made this for a chili cookoff at my office and tied for 4th place. Not bad considering it was the lone vegan recipe amongst all the meat ones. Thank you! Will definitely be making it again, it was #1 at my house. 🙂


Lina January 9, 2014 um 9:49 am

Your blog, recipes, and advice would each be easier to follow if all were not riddled by grammar and spelling mistakes.


Jackie January 9, 2014 um 4:30 pm

Your comments would be easier to read if they weren’t so snarky and condescending.


vegetarian recipes March 26, 2014 um 1:12 am

Its like you redad my mind! You seem to know sso much about this, like you wrote the
book in it or something. I think that you could
do with a few pics to drive the message home a bit, but instead of that,
this is great blog. A fantastic read. I will certainly be


Anagha Bharadwaj January 28, 2015 um 12:44 am

So I’m vegetarian and this was a fascinating read – I had no idea! I also love your writing style and blog, and have plans to start cooking with beer immediately 🙂


minnie nguyen February 23, 2015 um 4:06 pm

How many does this recipe serve?


Jackie February 24, 2015 um 2:11 pm

4 servings


Write a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.