Can Vegans Drink Alcohol?

Posted by   Stuart Lee
Can Vegans Drink Alcohol?

Can Vegans Drink Alcohol?

Going vegan is a choice that more and more people are making because it makes you look and feel better than you have in years. To make sure that you have everything you need to stick to your new ethical way of living we’re going to take a look at a place many people forget to check: the wonderful world of alcohol.

What alcohol can vegans drink?

Can Vegans Drink Beer?

Most people would never think to check the list of ingredients of their favourite beer for any animal derivatives or byproducts. The interesting thing is that some beers do in fact use a substance known as isinglass during their filtration stages. Never heard of it? We don’t blame you!

Isinglass is found in the guts of fish which makes it an animal product that you rightly don’t want anywhere near your new diet and cruelty-free lifestyle. It’s in there for a very good reason which is to filter out some of the bitter tastes that you just don’t want if you’re looking to pull a pint and sit back with your feet up. But it will be used by some manufacturers nonetheless.

It should be filtered out as part of later stages of production, but if you want to be strict with your new diet then you’re going to have to delve a little deeper before you reach for your favourite tipple at the back of the fridge. Even if it has been completely removed and you never consume it, you can’t be sure that it’s not been used earlier on in production unless you contact the manufacturer.

Don’t worry though, this certainly doesn’t mean you have to go tea-total and swear off beer for the rest of your days. Whilst there are some manufacturers who use it, there are plenty that don’t. You’re not going to have to phone up the brewers themselves and get them to spill the secret recipe, and that’s not all that practical anyway. A quick search online will tell you whether your favourite hoppy friend is fit for your vegan diet.

Vegan Beer

Can Vegans Drink Wine?

The next question to roll off your tongue will no doubt be this one folks, and luckily the answer is rather similar to the one we gave about beer. The short story is that to be absolutely sure you’re going to have to get in touch with the manufacturer with a quick visit to your old friend Google.

So, how about the long story to pad this out…

Like beer, wine also has many stages of subtle filtration and refinement. You’ll have seen those travel shows where tourists in questionable shorts head over to a vineyard to stomp the life out of a bath full of grapes. Whilst pressing is a key part of the manufacturing process, the real refinement comes in a whole host of subtle steps that happen much later down the line. Agents are added and removed at different stages so that the manufacturer can achieve the delicious aromas and mouth flavours that you’ve come to know and love.

The problem for a strict vegan is the same as with beer: these will sometimes be products that have been derived from animals. So whilst it’s unlikely that you’ll ever be directly consuming an animal product like you would be if you drank, say, milk; you would be drinking something that has used animal products as part of it production process. See the dilemma we have here folks?

The answer as always is to do a quick bit of research so that you know what you’re dealing with. There’s also a burgeoning market for vegan wine that will make things a little bit easier for you. Take the time to get to know the market one afternoon and you’ll never have to wonder if you’re sticking to your new cruelty-free way of life again.

Vegan wine

What Alcohol Can Vegans Drink?

So we’ve told you that you’re going to have to check your beer and wine but that there’s plenty of choice out there. That’s great, but what you if you want to enjoy a drink that you know you can order at any bar on a night out and never have to worry about?

Surprisingly the answer lies in the spirits world, and there’s a pretty hard and fast rule that’s really easy to remember:

“If it’s clear, you can drink with no fear”

Okay, so the rhyme isn’t the best one we’ve ever come up with but you get the picture. If you want to be able to trust your drink without having to ask Dr Google what to do when you’re lining up at the bar then always go for a clear spirit. The two best choices being White Rum, and our good old friend Vodka.

In fact, Russian Vodka is made from potatoes which makes it something of a hard-hitting vegetable drink if you want to take your love of veggies and stretch it a little bit! But all jokes aside, these two drinks are safe choices no matter which brand you opt for. Ideal if you want to ensure that you can try a few new drinks on a night out that you’ve never heard of before without having to ask the barman first!


One Final Thing

One thing worth knowing is that the term ‘vegan-friendly’ is not a guarantee, it’s an intention. This doesn’t mean that the brewers are trying to pull the wool over your eyes. It just means that they’re not perfect and that there are limits to what they can do.

The reason for this is often that they’re brewing their vegan-friendly products in the same facility as standard alcoholic drinks that never worry about these kinds of things. Vegan guaranteed drinks don’t have this problem because they never let animal products through the door in the first place.

The Final Word

Now that you have all the info all you need to do is have a quick look at your favourite tipples online and you’ll be able to sleep with the peace of mind that you’ve got it all covered. What could be better than that?


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