Thursday, 22 March 2012

I'll drink to that

It comes as a surprise to many new vegans that many beer and wine varieties are not vegan.  How can that delicious Merlot made of grapes not be vegan??

One problem is that beer and wine labels rarely post ingredients.   In Canada, under the the Canadian food inspection agency

Standardized alcoholic beverages (those with compositional standards in Division 2 of the FDR, such as beer, wine, and rum) are exempt from the requirement to show a list of ingredients on the label.

The reality is, Breweries, wineries and distilleries may include animal ingredients in their products directly, or in the processing and filtration.  Wine is clarified, or cleared, after fermentation with a number of not so animal friendly and vegan ingredients including:

  • edible gelatins (made from bones)

  • isinglass (made from the swim bladders of fish)

  • casein and potassium caseinate (milk proteins)

  • animal albumin (egg albumin and dried blood powder)

Guinness is also not suitable for vegans. Most spirits are vegan except for Campari (contains cochineal) and some Vodkas (passed through bone charcoal).

Luckily, there is an amazing resource that you can check before you het to your favourite wine bar or watering hole.  The Barnivore Vegan Alcohol Directory contains 6140 entries have been checked and often double or triple checked by the Barnivore community and are gathered for you to enjoy.

I double checked and Ninkeberry is vegan! One more reason to go to after work drinks night tomorrow night!


  1. In Barnivore's St. Patrick's Day email they talked about Guiness. I was very happy to read this, but haven't loked into the details yet. But if Barnivore says so....

    "For a lot of people, Guinness is the reason they found Barnivore in the first place. So here's the deal: Guinness isn't vegan, except for when it is. Yeah, I know, it's confusing. Check out their page if you want an idea of how much confusion we're talking about. But Guinness doesn't actually make Guinness in a lot of countries; it's brewed under license. And in North America, Guinness Extra Stout (and just that brand variant, as far as we know) is made by Moosehead (their name is charming and old) and they don't use isinglass, aka fish guts. Everywhere else? Every other product with the Guinness name? Not vegan." - Barnivore

  2. Hooray for Guiness lovers! I managed to live in Scotland for 2 years without touching a pint haha. I am more of a fruity beer kind of girl ; )

  3. [...] THURSDAY Celebrate the end of a short week with an after work drink at the Cask & Barrel, Edmonton’s new whisky/wine bar on 104 Street.  Read more here.  If you aren’t sure if your drink choice is vegan, remember to consult with Barnivore first! [...]


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