I am no expert in the alcohol making industry, but there was once a time when someone asked me if the alcohol is vegan, and I said “HUH?” I had not a clue.
And that is when I realized I probably should have a clue.
If not for anything other than knowing fun facts to spew at parties.
Depending on your beverage of choice, it may contain animal ingredients directly, or it may be processed and filtered with the use of animal ingredients.
Fining agents are used as a processing aid (as opposed to an additive) which means in theory none should remain in the final product; however this is impossible to guarantee.
According to Barnivore.com, “When filtering the drinks prior to bottling, companies can use things like isinglass (from fish bladder,) gelatin, egg whites, and sea shells, among other things.
These products grab onto the impurities and make it easier to catch them in the filters, though there are many animal-free alternatives in use.”
Other examples of animal products used in the production of alcoholic beverages include casein, chitosan, and egg albumen.
A good place to start is with distilled drinks like vodka, whiskey, and rum.
The very process of distillation requires no clarification and therefore, no animal products either.
When a distilled product does have color, it’s likely been added after the fact by the manufacturer.
Sticking with clear distilled liquors almost always guarantees a vegan-friendly drink.”
Bottom Line: You just don’t know. If vegan alcohol is important to you, you are going to have a tough time ordering drinks from restaurants and bars.
Commonly Found: beer, wine, liquor, hard cider
Alternatives: Make your own, purchase from a vegan restaurant or buy your own after you check out Barnivore.com to double check your alcohol purchase is totally vegan!
You can check for vegan brands and stick to those that make only vegan products.
I’ve found this is a fairly reliable approach.
(*Warning: Not all products made by the same company are always vegan. Some will vary.)