Is Alcohol Vegan? The Truth Behind Our Favourite Beverages

To save you the suspense, we will get straight to the point, the answer is no… but also sometimes yes. Unfortunately, it’s not that straightforward forward but fear not there are still many vegan-friendly alcoholic options available.

cheers

When many people think about veganism, their first thought is the removal of animal products from diets, such as meat and dairy, and so on. What is not so commonly associated with a vegan lifestyle is the deduction of certain beverages. Of course, by now everyone knows that milk is a strong no-go, and currently one in three Britons drink plant-based milk due to a growing awareness of the environmental and health concerns associated with drinking cow’s milk.

What is less commonly known is that cow’s milk is not the only drink to be avoided. Many alcoholic drinks including most wines and some beers, as well as flavoured spirits often use animal by-products in either the manufacturing process or within them. This doesn’t always mean that the final alcoholic product will contain animal by-products of some kind but that they have been used to make the drink at some stage.

Possible ingredients that can be used in drinks, which would class them as non-vegan are:

honey

Milk and Cream: As we’ve already discussed dairy products are not allowed as a vegan. Creamy alcoholic drinks such as Bailey’s, or some beers have dairy products added to give a silkier taste.
Honey: As honey is made from bees, this is considered an animal product and cannot be consumed by vegans. Honey can be fermented to make mead which is used as a sweetener in alcoholic drinks.
Whey Casein and Lactose: These animal by-products can occasionally be used as fining agents.
Eggs: A protein from egg whites (albumin) is a fining agent that is often used in wines. Egg white can also be added to some cocktails including Amaretto Sour or any kind of ‘Sour’ drink.
Gelatin: Gelatin is often commonly associated with chewy sweets but is also used as a fining agent in drinks such as Rekorderlig and Kopparberg.
Insinglass: This is another fining agent derived from fish bladders.
Carmine: Carmine is a red dye made out of scaly insects called cochineal, which is added to drinks such as Aperitivo Bitters.
(Found from Healthline)

These are some of the ingredients to keep a look out for when purchasing alcohol from supermarkets or brands that do not clearly state whether they are vegan friendly. These ingredients are most likely to be found in flavoured alcohols, cocktails and possibly beers or wines. More often than not, spirits such as vodka, rum and whiskey etc. are vegan unless they have colour additives or a flavoured version. This cannot however always be guaranteed so again it’s good to check the labels first or contact the manufacturer if unsure.

However, if you want to avoid the faff of constant ingredient checking there are many new alcoholic drinks emerging. Both independent and household brands are pushing for great-tasting vegan alcohol, that is accessible to a wider market. Here are some of our top choices for vegan and eco-friendly alcohol, perfect to cool down on a warm summer’s eve.

small beer brew

 

A fresh and citrusy pale ale that will zing at your tastebuds, Small Beer Brew Co. has created the perfect refreshment for any day. Packed with tropical flavour and a gentle bitterness that is recognisable to all pale ales, you would never know that it is vegan. Whilst optimising taste, Small Beer Brew Co. has also reduced alcohol levels, to help avoid sore heads and bleary eyes for the following day.

Price: £16.00

litmus wine

Orange wine is everywhere right now as the must-have wine for being on-trend. What’s even trendier is Litmus’s Orange Wine, which is vegan, and UK made. A pale gold sunset in colour, this wine has hints of hazelnut, marzipan, and vanilla characters giving it a sweet but deep range of flavour. A wine that is sure to appease even the harshest of critics, Litmus Orange Wine is so popular it is currently sold out on their website, so make sure to sign up for their next dispatch.

Price: £15

lost yrars rum

 

Traditionally aged in white oak barrels, Lost Year’s rum will transport you to the warm shores of Latin America. With a mellow and warm yellow tone, this cask-aged rum is vegan-friendly and gluten free. The original spicy blend is crafted from a blend of five rums- Panama, El Salvador, Venezuela, Nicaragua, and the Dominican Republic resulting in a naturally dry finish. Best of all for every bottle of Lost Years rum sold up to 10 baby sea turtles will be saved.

Take a peek at all of Lost Years Cask Aged Rum on the Wearth site.

Price: £44.95

longshot

Want delicious pre-mixed cans that are vegan, gluten-free, low calorie, and keto-friendly, all whilst tasting amazing? Long Shot Hard Seltzers have got you covered. These cans are perfect for festival occasions or a day picnicking in the glorious UK sunshine, as they come in all-natural fresh and fruity flavours. Just a mix of fruit juices, sparkling water, and a little alcohol, these refreshing cans are a gentle alcoholic drink that is filled with simple ingredients. The Strawberry and Rhubarb flavour was loved so much it won gold in the World Premix Awards.

Price: 26.50 for a pack of twelve.

small beer lager

 

Low in alcohol and only 49 calories per bottle, this Dark Lager by Small Beer is much gentler on the body than your average Lager is. Deep in colour with a dark malt body, you will taste aromas of coffee with a refreshingly sharp flavour. This dark lager offers hints of chocolate and a whisp of smoke in its scent, resulting in a complex range of layers for all the senses.

Small Beer Brew also offers a further range of vegan beers and lagers at Wearth that you don’t want to miss out on.

Price: £16.00

All alcohol on the Wearth site is vegan and eco-friendly. Please drink responsibly.