Little Machine Receives Colorado’s First Vegan Certification for Beer

Little Machine Receives Colorado’s First Vegan Certification for Beer
Courtesy Little Machine
At Little Machine Beer, you’ll find award-winning brews, two dog-friendly patios and, most recently, certified vegan beer. Brewing completely plant-based beer wasn’t always part of the plan, but it’s now a priority for head brewer Brett Williams.

“This issue became important to the company as more and more people have embraced the vegetarian and vegan lifestyle or have been diagnosed as lactose intolerant,” Williams explains. The issue has become more relevant as brewing with animal products, lactose in particular, has become more popular in recent years.

Because the FDA doesn’t require beer to include ingredients on the label, Williams  was inspired to seek certification to help give Little Machine customers peace of mind. The certification comes from BevVeg International, which gave its blessing to three of Little Machine's year-round brews: Sir Veza Mexican-style lager, Razz Against the Machine Tart Raspberry Beer and YAFI West Coast-style IPA. Williams sent a detailed list of all of the ingredients and their suppliers so that BevVeg could contact the suppliers to confirm that all ingredients are free of any animal products. 

Courtesy Little Machine
“Additionally, BevVeg analyzes our brewing and packaging process to make sure that it is vegan-compliant,” Williams explains. While the other beers produced don’t have the certification, Little Machine is dedicated to avoiding all animal products when they brew. An ingredient list accompanies every beer made so that guests can see what goes into the product they're about to drink.

“For us, it's about a business's responsibility to its customers to provide full disclosure, even when not legally required,” Williams says, pointing out that many customers aren’t even aware that some brewers use animal products in beer.

Little Machine beer can be found at Watercourse Foods, a completely vegan restaurant serving Southern-inspired comfort food, and vegan food truck Migration Taco is part of the regular food truck rotation at the west Denver brewery. While not all food trucks that show up at Little Machine are plant-based, Williams says all of them are required to offer a vegetarian or vegan option.

Little Machine is located at 2924 West 20th Avenue. For more information, visit the brewery's website or call 303-284-7893.
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Kristen Kuchar is a Colorado writer covering craft beer, food and travel. For Westword, she explores vegan dining and the state's artisan beverages, such as cider and mead.