The Flaming Vegan

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Why Aren't Some Beers and Wines Vegan?
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Why Aren't Some Beers and Wines Vegan?

There are some drinks that don't indicate the ingredients.  Why is it that almost every food and drink product sold is, by law, obligated to list the ingredients, but not when it comes to alcohol?  Why can all wine, beer, liquor and spirit companies get away with adding anything they desire, and perhaps even lying about it?

To keep vegans safe, there are lists out in the internet that can help us make the right decisions.  Barnivore is one of them, and they give a brief explanation as to what might end up in our favourite drinks.  LunchBoxBunch is another great reference.

Some of the more obvious of these non-vegan ingredients are honey and dairy.  It is quite often easily detected by the taste, or at times the name of the drink will give us the clue we need (Bailey's Irish CREAM, or honey lager, for example).  However, the actual ingredients are not the only part of the process where non-vegan items may be used, and this is where it gets difficult to know or guess.

Guiness, for one, uses isinglass - made from fish swim bladders - in the filtering.  The actual bladders don't end up in the ingredients, but it still affects the end product.  Furthermore, there are many adequate vegan options available.

Barefoot wine is another non-vegan product.  This company uses gelatin in the production process.  Other companies will use several products, such as dairy or eggs, to stop fermentation.  The only way to know is to verify a vegan alcohol list or to pick up a bottle labelled vegan.

Also, it is interesting to note that British beers are generally not vegan as they all pretty much use an animal by-product in the filtering process.  A rule of thumb:  German and Belgium beers ARE vegan because they insist on using only traditional methods to brew them.  Corona is also vegan - they also prefer tradition.


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  1. Akanksha
    Thanks for the references Anita. This is indeed a great post.
  2. SnakeWitch
    Good to know! Voted!
  3. Veganara
    Voted. Great article. I wrote a blog about this as well some months back, called Does Your Booze Contain Body Parts? Have a look at that, it gives a bit more detail than yours and a link to a website for vegan-friendly wines and beers. The author welcomes suggestions to add to the list, so you might like to contact him! It is something I have grown used to now, looking at the labels on wine to see if it says "Vegan" - here in Britain a lot of them are marked in that way now. It's just as well I don't drink beer!
  4. Shabs Online
    Shabs Online
    Great definitely needs to be sure about what he or she's having while having readymade stuff! Voted!
  5. Akanksha
    Congrats for making it to the top posts Anita. I am glad this one made it. Though I don't consume alcohol of any sort, but those who do must know what they are consuming!


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