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A question on Beer.SE asks why (according to the Kashrut Authority of Australia) beer from New Zealand must be presumed dairy. The question there asks what dairy could possibly be in beer.

My first thought was that, for whatever reason, the breweries in question are using dairy equipment and thus get a dairy hechsher. But the KAA web site lists the following in its key to designations:

D = Dairy
D-CY = Dairy/Chalav Yisrael
P = Pareve
P-DV = Pareve/Dairy Vessels

So if they have the P-DV designation (not all authorities distinguish this case but apparently they do), does this mean that it's always used when possible and New Zealand beer really does have dairy in it? Or are there cases where a kashrut supervisor might say "dairy" when it's instead an equipment issue?

My immediate question is about KAA, but if there are broader principles involved about how kashrut certifiers make these determinations, I'm interested in hearing htem.

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ka.org.au/index.php/Contact_Us Is the contact page for Kashrut Authority of Australia. There are email addresses. Why not ask them? – Avrohom Yitzchok Mar 10 '14 at 23:00
It's worth noting that some brewers and wine makers use dairy products in the fining process. My question on Beer.SE was "why is NZ singled out"? – Anthony Arnold Mar 10 '14 at 23:13
Re "and New Zealand beer really does have dairy in it", note that the KAA didn't say NZ beer always has dairy. It said it "must be presumed Dairy". – msh210 Mar 11 '14 at 1:20
"not all authorities distinguish this case" this phrase suggests that there is a halachic dispute, which I'm all but certain there is not, but for various policy reasons many "agencies" do not make this distinction. – Yirmeyahu Mar 11 '14 at 1:43
@msh210 right, I should have said some does or might (maybe it did when they got the certification and doesn't now, or didn't then but they had plans in that direction, or...). – Monica Cellio Mar 11 '14 at 2:01
up vote 5 down vote accepted

I asked them and received the following reply from Rabbi Moshe D Gutnick (with permission to post here):

In NZ all ethanol is produced from whey and is Dairy. Therefore all ethanol based alcoholic beverages such as Vodka produced in NZ must be considered dairy. Beer was also included in that as a precaution. However it is now quite clear that none of the major breweries in NZ fortify their beers with ethanol and they are therefore Pareve .

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