Can Vegans Drink Beer and Wine?

Can Vegans Drink Beer and Wine?

Can vegans drink alcohol? Is wine vegan? Is beer vegan? Here at PlantX, these are questions we get asked a lot. A lot of folks know there’s *something* in certain kinds of alcohol that makes it non-vegan but not many of us know exactly what or why! Whether it's the fear of fish guts in your stout or milk in your merlot (yes - really!), navigating the alcohol aisle as a vegan can be tricky.

But before you start pouring the contents of the drinks cabinet down the toilet, take a breath! Now that so many people are choosing a plant-based lifestyle, plenty of alcohol manufacturers are as well. In fact, here at PlantX, we have an amazing range of vegan wines and beers to suit every taste! 

Why is some alcohol non-vegan?

Why is some alcohol non-vegan?

It seems pretty simple. Wine is made from fermented grapes. Beer is made from fermented grains. Where do the animal products come in? Most animal products sneak their way into non-vegan wines and beers during the ‘fining process’. This is a process to improve clarity and filter out impurities. Or sometimes animal products are added to enhance the color or flavor of a drink. 

Let’s take a closer look at some of the culprits…

Isinglass: Also known as fish glue, isinglass originates from the bladders of certain fish. It is a fining or clarification agent, meaning that it removes insoluble materials that are floating around in alcohol (such as yeast) before bottling. It is used both in wine and beer production.

Eggs: Albumin, a protein sourced from egg whites, binds to tannins in wine. This helps get rid of any bitter taste.

Gelatin: Sourced from animal hooves, gelatin performs the same role as albumin - booting out any bitterness!

Milk: Casein, a protein derived from milk, is also a fining agent used in winemaking, used to improve clarity. Lactose is another milk-derived protein often added to beers to add sweetness.
Glycerin: Derived from either plant or animal oils (or a mix), glycerin acts as a preservative and is also responsible for the foam at the top of your glass of beer.

Cochineal: Cochineal is an insect native to the Americas, from which the natural dye called Carmine is extracted. It is used as a coloring agent in liquors and wines.

Vegan wines

Vegan wine

Right - enough of the weird unexpected animal products! Now you know what is used to produce non-vegan wine and beer, let’s move on to the good stuff… VEGAN WINE! Vegan wine or vegan-friendly wine is wine that has been processed using 100% plant-based or natural materials. 

Instead of traditional fining agents, vegan wine makers let particles naturally sink to the bottom of the barrel, or use new plant-based fining agents made from pea protein or clay! While non-vegan wines are not required to be marked as such, vegan wines will usually have a vegan label. And of course, you can rest assured that all the wines here at PlantX are 100% vegan! 

Whether you’re looking for a robust red to pair with a wintry stew, a blushing rose to compliment your bright veggie salad or a crisp white for warm summer evenings, we’ve got you covered! In the mood for a little more festive? No problem! Check out our range of luxurious vegan sparkling wine, and take your plant-based party to the next level! 

Is wine vegan? Can vegans drink alcohol? With PlantX, the answer is hell yeah! 

How do I pair alcohol with vegan food? 

So much advice regarding pairing food with alcohol is geared towards meat and dairy-eaters. Meat, fish, cheese and chocolate are four of the most common suggestions for pairing with your alcohol, whatever it might be. This can leave us vegans feeling a little left out, not to mention confused about which plant-based meals to pair with which alcohol. 

So what can you do? First of all, know that vegan wines and beers can also make fantastic pairings with your favorite plant-based meals. You can really follow your common sense with what to pair with what (with a little help from us, of course!). 

For vegan red wines that are usually paired with heavier meat dishes, choose a rich vegan dish like wild mushroom casserole or vegan lasagne. For dry white wines, choose something light or creamy, like a spring veggie risotto. And so on. 

If you’re still not sure, check out this amazing guide by Plant & Vine which will walk you through the principles of wine pairing and offer suggestions to suit every taste! Plus, many of the vegan wines and beers here at PlantX actually come with their own pairing advice! Check out the Frequently Asked Questions tab on each product page and you will usually find some delicious-sounding ideas! 

Is alcohol vegan?

We hope we’ve answered your question about whether vegans can drink alcohol… So long as you check the label, there are plenty of delicious AND 100% cruelty-free options to choose from! Here at PlantX, we’ve gathered together the best vegan wine and beer producers from around the world to create our unique vegan alcohol collection

So whether you’re searching for the perfect merlot to pair with your famous pasta arrabiata, a funky IPA to serve during the big game, or some luxurious fizz for a sophisticated soiree, come in, have a browse, and we’re pretty sure you’ll find what you’re looking for…!