guinessBy Rabbi Yair Hoffman
There is beer – and there is stout beer. Stout beer is darker beer than the regular beer generally served at Shalom Zachars. It is made with roasted malts or roasted barley. Stout beer is a lesson in contrasts. The rough tastes of the roasted grains are tempered by the sweetness of an added sugar — lactose. Lactose is a sugar that doesn’t ferment. It does not lose its sweetness to alcohol and thus adds more sweetness and body to the beer.
The problem is that lactose is a sugar that is derived from whey, a dairy product.
Poskim have ruled that anything that comes from milk is considered milchig. The FDA, however, the agency in charge of making sure that ingredients are listed properly on food items- does not require that lactose be labeled as dairy.
Readers should therefore be careful to make sure that they realize that stout beers are milchig — aproblem for those who are fleishig, and a problem for those who are strict to only consume Chalav Yisroel products.
According to the Star K, Domestic, German, English, European, and Canadian beers and ales are acceptable
Which beers are generally a problem?

Guinness Stout
Lighthouse Brewing Co. Inc
Murphy’s Irish Stout
Wooden Hand Brewery
Brooklyn Brewery
Dogfish Head Brewing
Samuel Adams Brewing co.
Thirsty Dog Beer
Okay, so now that we know to stay away from these beers, what is the source that Chazal forbade eating or drinking dairy products after having eaten meat?

The Gemorah (Chullin 105a) tells us:

Rav Chisda says: One who ate meat is forbidden in eating cheese. One who ate cheese [,however,] may eat meat. It further explains that Mar Ukvah differentiated his behavior from the more pious behavior of his father. He stated, “Although I would not eat cheese in the same meal as meat, I would eat cheese “leseudasah acharisa — at the next meal.”
The Rishonim debate the exact meaning of “leseudasah acharisa.” Does it mean a set time of six hours? Or does it mean that they cannot be eaten in the same meal?
The Rambam, Rashba and Rosh all hold that it means six full hours. (Although some people read the Rambam in a way that could mean five and ½ hours.) Tosfos holds that it just cannot be eaten in the same meal — that one can just make a bracha achrona, and eat and drink something in between that cleans and rinses the mouth. The Poskim have written that even according to this second view, one must still wait at least one hour in between the two.
So how do we Pasken? Believe it or not, it is slightly complicated. Sefardim ruled like the first view l’halacha. It would be a violation of halacha if they were to adopt the second view.
Originally, a good portion of Ashkenazic Jewry followed the second view and thus waited three hours, or one hour, but many gradually adopted the Minhag to follow the six hour view. Indeed, it has almost become universal in Ashkenazic circles to wait the full six hours.
According to the Chochmas Adam (40:13), if an Ashkenazi Jew had the family custom to follow the six hour view, he would be in violation of Al titosh Toras Imecha” do not abandon the Torah of your mother — if he were to change to the three or one hour custom.
There are cases, however, when even an Ashkenazi Jew whose custom is to wait six hours may wait less time. They are:
– A sick person who requires dairy
– a child less than nine who requires dairy
– a nursing woman who requires dairy
They may all recite a bracha achrona, wait one hour, clean and rinse the mouth, and eat dairy.
A child less than three years of age does not have to wait between milk and meat. One should begin training a child age three and up to start waiting at least one hour. Some say that he should gradually build up to wait the six hours.
There are two major opinions that deal with the reason for this six hour time frame of Mar Ukvah. They are Rashi and the Rambam:
– Rashi (Chullin 105a) explains that swallowing meat leaves a fatty type of residue in the mouth and throat of the meat consumer. This residue lasts a rather long time.
– The Rambam (Hilchos Basar VeChalav 9:28) explains that there are particles of meat that can park themselves in between the teeth, and the milk can mix with it. After six hours
The Tur explains the differences between the two opinions. According to Rashi, it is only swallowing meat that creates the residue. Thus, if someone chewed meat for a child but didn’t swallow it, he would still not be considered fleishig. According to the Rambam, if meat remained in between the teeth for more than six hours, it is permitted because it is no longer considered meat. According to Rashi, meat still stuck in the mouth may not be consumed with milk.
We rule in Shulchan Aruch (YD 89:1) like both Rashi and the Rambam in regard to this issue. Therefore, if someone neither chewed nor swallowed the meat, but just tasted it with his mouth and spat out the food — he may just wash out his mouth and eat dairy (Darchei Teshuvah 89:10).
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  1. This article needs to be revised.

    1) The post implies that all Samuel Adams has lactose, which is definitely untrue. Most flavors are under hashgacha of the Star-K which prohibits chalav stam. Perhaps some flavors are a problem and not under hashgacha but your post implies everything is a problem. Many Coors flavors are also under hashgacha.

    2) Even most stouts do not contain lactose. Stouts with lactose are generally labeled “milk stouts” “sweet stouts” or “cream stouts”. Regular stouts are generally lactose fee, but check with a kashrus professional.

    R’ Hoffman you do a great service to the tzibbur with your articles but please be extra careful with your facts and your wording before paskening.

  2. Something is wrong with this article. Samuel
    Adams Cream Stout has a plain Star K, meaning that it is pareve and certainly not cholov stam. I know something about beers. I would venture to guess that although the beer companies may use lactose to lend a tinge of sweetness, they additionally use other sweeteners in a manner in which they won’t ferment. Thus the lactose would be batel. I know that Yards Porter (dark beer similar to a stout) uses molasses.

  3. I’m very skeptical about this…

    Seems like there are two kinds of stouts that are relevant to the discussion. A regular stout and a “milk stout”.

    Wikipedia explains
    Milk stout (also called sweet stout or cream stout) is a stout containing lactose, a sugar derived from milk. Because lactose is unfermentable by beer yeast, it adds sweetness, body, and calories to the finished beer. Milk stout was claimed to be nutritious, and was given to nursing mothers,[17] along with other stouts, such as Guinness.[18]

    The author of this article does not seem to make such a distinction.

    On a vegan beer/wine information site (, Guinness is not listed as vegan because it is filtered at some point in the brewing process with isinglass, a fish byproduct. I am pretty sure all poskim say that this is not a problem, since it acts as a filter and is not meant to impart taste into the beer.

    So yeah, it seems like Guinness is…

  4. I believe R’ Hoffman may have conflated milk stouts (which are also known as cream stouts or sweet stouts) with “plain” stouts.

    It’s certainly possible that beers from the above breweries have lactose in them but I don’t believe that normal Guinness Stout contains any lactose for example.

    I have contacted the company to find our for certain.

  5. Although the article is well written, and as a non-Rav, I cannot argue with the halachic opinion as to lactose, I do have a problem with the mitziyus.

    I have spoken with the Rav HaMachshir for Brooklyn Brewery and confirmed that the 12oz bottles of Brooklyn’s Dry Irish Stout and their Dark Chocolate Stout do not contain lactose. (Please note that only Brooklyn Brewery beers made in the Utica plant are under hashgacha. The beer produced in the Brooklyn based plant is not under any kosher supervision).

    I also have received e-mails from the Star-K which indicate that the Samuel Adams Cream Stout is not dairy and e-mails from the OU which state that the Coors Stout products are not dairy.

    Of the remaining beers, I am not aware of any which are under hashgacha, but I also don’t know if any of them use lactose.


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