Estrella Damm Beer is Vegan Friendly

by Estrella Damm
Address: Spain
Phone:
Fax:
Email: estrellalevante@epsilontec.com
URL: http://www.estrelladamm.com/en
Checked by: Miguel
Double checked by: Joan, Miguel, Ryan, Manu, Tom
Added: over 3 years ago
Double Checked: 2 months ago

Note from Kevin (June 2015):
"I have a vegan friend coming over later today and I wanted to offer him an Alhambra Especial 1925 (a nice blond spanish beer that i recommend you try if you like blond beers..) and I came upon the confusing entry for Estrella Damm (which is not a very good beer in my opinion). Maybe I can help. Your webpage for that beer reflects that your readers are very confused due to the fact that the manufacturer was written in spanish (which makes sense because it was from an online discussion in a spanish forum), but the manufacturer's statement is perfectly clear and direct. Estrella Damm is vegan.

According to the response from the manufacturer, which appears first in castellano (what you would call "spanish", used in all parts of Spain) and lower on the page in catalán (the language of Catalunya, where Barcelona is located), Estrella Damm does not contain or utilize any animal ingredients or animal-derivative products in its manufacturing process. They state that in the very first sentence, but then they go on to elaborate to you, kind beer drinker, that fish-derivatives were once, at one time in beer history, used in some breweries in the world (mostly in ENGLAND), but that this is an outdated technology and has been abandoned probably or nearly completely.

They then state the beer may contain a single-celled fungus known as Saccharomyces, depending on whether it is filtered. What is that? Is it an animal, is it dangerous? No reason to be concerned, as they are merely referring to Brewer's Yeast (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saccharomyces), which comes as no surprise since it is BEER we are talking about.

A different but equally important issue for all animal-loving beer drinkers (like me, I am not a vegan but I am an animal-rights person) is that some beer companies have participated in or promoted events that use animals as entertainment. In Spain, this would typically be circuses, zoos, bull-fighting, etc. The forum referenced on your webpage has a comment written in 2010 in which someone states that Estrella Damm did some kind of zoo-discount on the bottle at some point... (i guess it was kind of like how Coca-Cola has reduced admission prices to Six Flags if you bring the can to the amusement park...and of course Six Flags has had safari-zoo type of areas in their parks...)

Anyway, hope that helps. There is no doubt that, according to the statement, Estrella Damm beers (all of them) are vegan."

Company email (May 2015):
"Hiya! I noticed that the entry on your site for Estrella is rather confusing and perhaps lost in translation so I messaged them on their Facebook page and they replied that Estrella is indeed vegan. Yay :-)
https://m.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=1057463110935188&id=727569583924544¬if_t=feed_comment&ref=bookmark"

**** Editor's Note: Due to several contradictory responses and the possibility information being "lost in translation", Barnivore has listed Estrella Damm as 'Not Vegan Friendly' to be on the safe side. Please use the information below to determine whether or not you are comfortable with purchasing this product. ****

Note from Manu (October 2012):
"I just discovered your amazing website and, checking the beers of my country, I found that there's some controversy about Estrella Damm being vegan or not. Since that's the most common beer in Catalunya and I'm vegan (and beer lover), I'd like to try to shed some light on the topic.

In the spanish "foro vegetariano" there was some topic about it (http://www.forovegetariano.org/foro/archive/index.php/t-35611.html) where one of the users got a direct answer from the company:

"En Damm para la fabricación de nuestras cervezas no se utilizan componentes ni aditivos de origen animal.
Derivados del pescado, en forma de gelatinas o colas, se habían utilizado históricamente sobre todo en algunas cervecerías inglesas como clarificantes de la cerveza antes de la filtración pero hoy en día esta práctica está bastante abandonada ya que las técnicas de filtración han mejorado muchísimo.
La cerveza se obtiene a partir de la fermentación de un mosto gracias a levaduras de la familia Saccharomyces (hongo unicelular) que pueden estar presentes en el producto final en función del tipo de cerveza del que se trate (filtrada o sin filtrar).

Reciba un cordial saludo
Cristina Rios.
Rble. Calidad Exterior
GRUPO DAMM"

Translation (by myself):

"In Damm we don't use components or additives from animal origin for the manufacturing of our beers.
Fish derivates, in form of jellies or colas, were used historically, specially in some English breweries, as a beer clarifier before the filtering but nowadays this practice is quite abandoned since filtering techniques have evolved a lot.
The beer is obtained from the fermentation of a wort by yeast from the Saccharomyces family (unicellular fungus) which can be present in the final product depending on the type of beer in question (filtered or unfiltered)."

So... It seems in the end Estrella Damm is vegan friendly (at least that's something, since they are not worker friendly at all... But I guess that's another story)."

Note from Ryan (August 2012):
"Okay, this is a little complicated. I can see where Miguel is coming from as it does almost seem to suggest that it MIGHT contain fish products, as the phrasing is awkward.

Essentially what it says is

Fish and fish-based products, except

a. Fish gelatine used to carry vitamins or preparations of carotenoids

b. Fish gelatine used as clarifier in beer or wine

Now ordinarily I'd agree that this was something to be concerned about, but looking at the date of that it was from 2009, and I believe the other message you have on the website, which directly contradicts this, is more recent. It's a tricky one."

Note from Miguel (July 2012):
"You have been change again this beer to Vegan friendly. It is wrong. You can find attached a certificate in which is written the opposite, but it is a bit tricky to understand, also in Spanish." [Correction (August 2013): This is in Catalan, not Spanish]

Company email (June 2012): (email sent to Estrella Damm)
"A Grup Damm no es fan servir derivats del peix ni altres additius d'origen animal.
Els derivats del peix en forma de gelatines o colas s'havien fet servir històricament a cerveseria com a clarificants de la cervesa abans de la filtració. Avui en dia, aquesta pràctica està molt abandonada degut a que les tècniques de filtració han millorat moltíssim."

[Translation by MC]: "At Damm Group, products derived from fish and other additives of animal origin are not used. Fish derivatives in the form of gelatins or glues were formerly used to clarify the beer before filtration. Today, this practice has been widely abandoned because filtration techniques have improved greatly."

Correction (April 2012):
"the company attached me this form and show that they use jelly fish. I know that it´s dificult to translate but you need to translate all the words in the 4 point. At the end of this line the use the word "salvo" that the meaning in english is "except". This part of the form is really convoluted, also in spanish."

Company email (March 2012):
Editor's note: Company email was extensive, but does not mention the use of any animal products.