Most people believe that alcohol cannot be suitable for vegans.
A lot run into naysayers that spread misinformation about alcohol, leading people into believing that vegans can’t have liquor.
The fallacy regarding alcohol might have held some truth back in the day, but now things are different. There is a wide variety of vegan alcohol drinks to choose from for people on a strict plant-based diet.
Alcohol might not be naturally vegan, but many brands now have vegan varieties to cater to the ever-increasing population of non-meat eaters.
Most alcoholic beverages use a substance known as isinglass that comes from fish.
Therefore, consumers assume that all boozy drinks are contaminated with animal-based products that render them unsuitable for vegans. But that’s not true!
Vegans can drink liquor according to their liking, but whether they should or not is another question altogether. Let’s find out.
- 1 Can vegans drink alcohol?
- 2 Which alcohol is not vegan?
- 3 Can you drink beer on a vegan diet?
- 4 What about Wine?
- 5 Can vegans drink prosecco?
- 6 Parting Thoughts
Can vegans drink alcohol?
If you are planning to become a vegan or are already a budding vegan, then you are probably concerned with what the vegan verdict is regarding alcohol consumption.
Before getting into it, it’s imperative to understand some critical differences between vegans and vegetarians.
Sometimes people can confuse vegans with vegetarians and end up consuming liquor that’s not suitable for vegans but is acceptable by the standards of vegetarians.
Vegans and vegetarians are the same breed when it comes to excluding meat from their diets. However, vegans cut all animal-based products as well, such as dairy or poultry, while many vegetarians don’t mind a good old sunny side up.
Due to the strict restriction of no animal derivatives, the range of alcohol is pretty narrow for vegans, while their vegetarian counterparts can enjoy a wide variety of liquor.
Now let’s move on to whether fruitarians can have alcohol or not. Of course, they can! After all, nobody is going to put a gun to their head.
However, since they don’t have a lot of options and the available options are hard to come by, most vegans either cheat a bit on their diets or don’t consume alcohol. But, they don’t need to make this compromise.
There are several brands now that offer strong vegan drinks. Vegans can consume any alcohol that is free from any animal-based product or derivative without breaking the herbivore regimen.
There is one thing that needs to be considered when choosing a strong drink. Don’t blindly pick a bottle off the shelf because it says ‘vegan-friendly’ on the label. Sometimes a vegan-friendly drink may not be a vegan drink.
The best way of buying the right kind of alcohol is by going for well-known manufacturers. Furthermore, before going to the liquor store, do your research. Browse the internet to find out about the most common vegan bevy options.
One easy tip is to go for hard liquors. Most strong beverages use animal-based products for the finning process in the making of alcohol. But hard liquors can be bottled without it. Beers and wines are the common prey to the thinning process.
Now that we know which alcoholic beverage is vegan, it’s time to move on to which alcoholic beverage is not vegan.
In the simplest terms, any strong drink that contains even the tiniest traces of animal derivatives is non-vegan. But let’s get into the details a bit.
Which alcohol is not vegan?
There are two ways in which animal derivatives can make their way into an alcoholic beverage.
Either a drink can have an animal product like milk in it, or it can use a non-vegan product during the production process.
Many liquor brands use gelatin or isinglass for the finning process before bottling. And unfortunately, those ingredients are not listed on the label as technically they are not a component of the drink.
Wine is the most readily ‘fined’ bevy drink. After its production, wine appears cloudy. Consumers don’t fancy an opaque glass of wine; they prefer it crystal clear.
Therefore, before bottling it, manufacturers use fining agents to remove hazy clouds from the liquid.
Unclear wine is not harmful to the human body, and some may even self-fine with time, but producers prefer to do the finning as soon as the drink is ready.
The most commonly used finning agents are egg whites (albumin), gelatin, casein (milk protein), or isinglass (fish bladder).
Beer is typically vegan-friendly. Alcohol-consumers usually don’t mind a cloudy pitcher of beer, but some manufacturers like to cover all their bases.
In that case, the extracted beer is filtered before getting bottled. For the filtering process, brewers use clearing agents that are animal derivatives.
When it comes to hard liquor, only those specimens are non-vegan that contain honey. If a bottle of hard alcohol has honey in it, the name will disclose it.
So there is no hidden information regarding the presence of animal derivatives in strong liquor.
Here are the top 2 non-vegan alcohols. These are immensely famous brands and are often served at parties. Knowing about them will help you stay steer clear of them during meetups and gatherings.
1. Guinness beer
It doesn’t have a vegan product per se, but it uses isinglass for the filtration process.
2. Barefoot wine
Barefoot wine and most other wines too are non-vegan, even if they appear ‘vegan-friendly.’ It gets exposed to non-vegan products during the process of production.
Drinks that are rendered non-vegan due to the presence of dairy products in them will say so on their label. Don’t forget to read the label when buying an unknown drink.
Moreover, most dairy-containing liquors have revealing names. Such as Bailey’s Irish cream.
Companies going vegan
Even though the use of animal-based clearing agents is centuries old, one country has kept its distance from this archaic practice.
Germany has strict puritan laws, which bans the use of animal derivatives in the production of any kind of alcohol. Therefore, you will find vegan drinks in a forward-thinking country.
Following the example of Germany and considering the increase in the vegan population, many brewers and winemakers are shifting from animal-based to plant-based cleaning agents.
The most recent vegan clearing agents are Irish moss, pea protein, and bentonite, which is made from clay.
Can you drink beer on a vegan diet?
Beer is probably the go-to alcoholic drink of youngsters and oldies around the world. But there isn’t a lot that people know about it except for its sweet-bitter taste and tantalizing white foam.
In sciencey terms, beer is a fermented alcoholic drink that’s concocted by combing malts, hops waters, and yeast.
Manufacturers can play around with the taste of their beer drinks, but the primary trio of ingredients remains the same in every beer concoction, which is the trifecta of malts, hops, and yeast.
Malts or malted barley is combined with water to create a mushy mixture that’s exposed to ‘Saccharomyces cerevisiae,’ which is commonly known as brewer’s yeast.
The notorious yeast gnaws on the barely germinated malt grains and releases ethanol and CO2 in the process. Ethanol is essentially the alcohol used in beer pongs.
But it is too mild for people’s liking; therefore, manufacturers add hops into the brewing mixture. Hops are cone-shaped flowers that are plucked a lanky tree of the cannabis family.
Hops don’t just take up the alcoholic quotient of the drink, but they also impart some of their flavors in the process. The resultant mixture can be of any color from deep rustic yellow to light yellow, depending on the number of hops used.
Some brewers like to add artificial fruit flavors to make the flavor of their drink appealing. The most common fruit essences used in beer production are apricots and strawberries.
If you have ever watched one of those Nat-Geo documentaries on brewery and beer production, then you probably remember the mighty drums used in the making of beer.
Those drums facilitate the entire process of fermentation that is fundamental to beer formation.
As long as the manufacturers use the basic beer formulation process, it’s going to be a 100% vegan. However, that is not always the case.
Sometimes brewers can go astray and put their product through the filtration process to make it crystal clear. And that is where the issue occurs for vegan drinkers.
As the filtration process using clearing agents that come from animals, it leaves the drink unsuitable for vegans.
Nevertheless, if you go for reputed brands that can claim to be vegan, then you can get those. To make matters easier for yourself, you can do a little bit of homework before venturing out to the nearest grocery store.
Look up brands that sell vegan beers. And for your peace of mind, go through their process. Reliable brands often have a page on their website where they share their production process.
That will help you figure out whether or not the drink was filtered.
But since you are already here, we decided to share some of our top vegan beer brands with you so that you don’t have to look any further. Here are our top picks for you.
Amstel is a Dutch brand. Amstel Radle is made in the Netherlands and, according to the manufacturers, its unadulterated vegan.
However, Amstel bottles that are made in the UK are not vegan. So make sure to buy those specimens that are produced in Holland.
Abita amber and light beers are vegan. Other variations may not be vegan, such as their Honey Rye Ale. So only look for amber and light Abita beers.
Not all Allagash beer options are vegan. Some may use lactose or honey. The 100% vegan Allagash beer is Saison. To be sure, if you are buying a different beer, check the label for ingredients.
Aashi brewery is a Japanese company, and it doesn’t just make beers. You can find other alcoholic beverages too in their collection, which might not be vegan. However, their beers are vegan.
5. Anchor Brewing Company
You can blindly pick any beer of theirs off the shelf, as their entire lineup is vegan.
6. Anderson Valley
It’s a Californian alcohol manufacturing company, and all their products are not just vegan but also PETA approved.
Budweiser by Anheuser Busch is probably America’s favorite beer. It is religiously consumed during Super Bowl and other frenzy-inducing tournaments.
But the good news is that it’s vegan-friendly. And not the faux- vegan-friendly, but genuinely vegan-friendly, which all vegans can chug without concern.
8. Blue Moon
You can enjoy all the beers by Blue Moon, except their honey products.
Beck’s is a German brand, so you can down their beers on a vegan diet without worry.
You can have a relaxing day at the beach with corona beverages. They are vegan and best for a beach/pool kind of day.
11. Goose Island
This Chicago based brewer caters to all vegans. All their beers are 100% vegan.
Yes! That’s right Heineken is vegan. You can enjoy their beer range without worry. The only varieties you need to steer clear off are.
- Newcastle Brown Ale
- Symonds Scrumpy Jack Cider
- Cute Hoor Redhead Ale
- Murphy’s Irish Stout
- Symonds Bulmers Original Cider
- Woodpecker Cider
- Cute Hoor Irish Pale Ale
Kirin is a Japan-based brewer that produces vegan beers. You can consume their light or heavy beers without worrying about cheating on your vegan diet.
According to the Barnivore guide, Lagunitas beers are suitable for all vegans.
All varieties of Modelo beers are vegan.
Miller is a popular beer choice in America, and all of its variations are vegan. You can stack up miller six-packs for the next NBA match to have uninhibited fun.
You can scoop them off the shelf and crowd your trolley with them without a single worry because they are vegan approved.
What about Wine?
One rule of thumb to keep in mind when you go beer shopping is to avoid British beers. Most British beers are non-vegan. If they don’t contain an animal derivative as an ingredient, then they were exposed to it during the making.
Beer is the cheaper option out of all the alcoholic drinks. In high-end parties, you cannot encounter a server offering beer.
But what they will be offering is either wine, prosecco or Champagne. They all have different names but belong to the same high-brow lot of alcoholic beverages.
Champagne and prosecco both are sparkling wine, but they originate from different regions of the world. Champagne comes from France, while prosecco is the liquor child of Italy.
They are more or less the same; however, the methods used in their production determine their varying prices. Champagne uses a more intensive process of creation; therefore it is more expensive than prosecco.
Prosecco, on the other hand, is cheaper to produce. Therefore, it is relatively less expensive than Champagne. Nonetheless, it is pricey!
Vegans can have both the varieties of sparkling wine if they have not been through the process of finning.
That’s the only way of contaminating Champagne or prosecco with animal byproducts because the essential components of both the drinks are fruits.
Since Champagne is the popular choice out of the two, it has more vegan varieties than prosecco has. And that is mainly why most people remain confused when it comes to vegan prosecco.
But we are happy to inform you that you can drink it on a vegan diet without breaking any vegan law.
Can vegans drink prosecco?
Yes! They absolutely can!
Just like beers, wines, and champagnes, prosecco has vegan options that are not hard to find. Here is a list of some of the most widely used vegan prosecco bottles.
Giol Prosecco Frizzante
It’s mildly sparkling, which makes it light and easy on the palate. You can even have it with breakfast or in place of your evening tea.
Princess P. Vegan and Organic Prosecco
It’s not just vegan, but it’s also organic. Princess P. is light and unpolluted, which makes it highly quaffable.
San Leo Prosecco
It’s vegan and the perfect aperitif for every high-end party. You can even treat yourself with it at home with a vegetable salad to get your appetite going.
You can have as much vegan prosecco as you want, as long as you don’t end up completely drunk. And that goes for not just prosecco but for all bevy drinks.
It would be best of you monitored your alcohol consumption to avoid any unpleasant incidents.
Even though there is a wide range of vegan liquors available already but more options on the way.
Alcohol producers all around the world are getting more and more inclined towards producing vegan alternatives to meet the increasing demand.
In 2018, the UK, a leading brewery, Tyra Bank Brewery, replaced all their non-vegan cask ales with vegan options.
An American law firm, BevVeg, is trying to get liquor manufacturers to forgo animal-based clearing agents in favor of vegan alternatives, since 2017.
With companies getting more environmentally conscious, the prospects of vegan beverages getting global are getting brighter. Till then, vegans can enjoy the already existing vegan drinks as much as they want.
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