Do Vegans Drink Alcohol? Is Alcohol Vegan? Complete Guide
Do vegans drink alcohol?
Vegans avoid any type of animal meat or animal-derived products for various reasons that can be environmental or personal. They only eat plant-based foods and use additional supplements in case they run low on vitamins on their diet. Now the question arises if vegans consume alcohol or not and the answer is pretty simple, they avoid any liquor that is non-vegan which means those drinks that contain honey or other animal-derived products.
Vegans do consume those spirits, beer, wine and cider which are free from animal products. Some alcoholic drinks that vegans need to look out for are: albumin which is obtained from egg white, Albumin that is derived from egg or dried blood or even Carmine derived from the crushed scales of a cochineal insect. Fortunately, almost every brand of hard liquor, bourbon, whiskey, vodka, gin, and rum is vegan so they don't really have to be too specific while choosing what to drink and what not to drink. The one negative fact that vegans need to face is that they experience hangovers way more than any non-vegetarian.
We've listed down a few non-vegan ingredients and fining agents that are used in alcohol:
Milk and creamDairy products are sometimes used to give the drinks a creamy, rich flavour. They are added in beer and liqueurs and also in many mocktails and blended drinks.
HoneyHoney is fermented and used as a sweetener in alcoholic beverages.
Whey and lactoseThese by-products of milk are sometimes used as ingredients or fining agents.
EggsAlbumin which is the egg white protein is used as a fining agent in wine and is also added to some cocktails.
GelatinGelatin is derived from animal skin, bones and cartilage and is commonly used as a fining agent.
Non-vegan beers are brewed with ingredients derived from animals or insects. It is difficult to identify the ingredients included in the beer as they are not always listed on the label and some companies make both vegan and non-vegan brew’s which makes it more difficult to identify.
Types of beer that are not vegan:
Cask alesThis is a British traditional brew that contains isinglass as a fining agent which makes it a non-vegan drink.
Honey beersBeers that use honey as an ingredient as a sweetener or flavour are not vegan. Honey is a product derived from honeybees so if their product is used in the drink it makes the beer non-vegan.
MeadsThese are beer-like alcoholic beverages made from fermenting honey which again makes it non-vegan.
Milk stoutsMilk stouts contain whey or lactose both of which aren't vegan products but there are vegan alternatives to them too.
Vegan wineThere are many vegan wines in the market which use clay-based fining agents such as bentonite, or proteins derived from wheat, corn, legumes, and potatoes. Many brands include their vegan status on the label indicated by the text or a vegan trademark.
Vegan spiritsMost unflavored spirits are vegan and are pretty easy to find. Spirits like brandy, gin, tequila, rum, vodka, and whiskey are usually free from animal-based ingredients so they are vegan.
Even though most alcoholic beverages are vegan, finding vegan drinks may not be as easy as you think. The only way to make out if your drink is vegan or not is if it is specifically mentioned on the label or by looking at the ingredients to see if they add honey in beers or lactose in milk stouts. Many manufacturers do not mention such information especially if they’re used as fining agents to filter or clarify the drink. It is best to avoid those drinks which do not mention if they are vegan or not just to be on the safer side.
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