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Veganuary: Our Guide To Vegan Alcohol

Veganuary: Our Guide To Vegan Alcohol

If you’re going vegan for January (#veganuary!!), it’s important that you learn which foods and drinks are vegan and which contain animal products.

Did you know that your favourite alcohol might not be vegan, so you could ruin Veganuary as soon as you sip a glass of wine!

Thankfully, we’re here to help you understand which alcohols are vegan and which aren’t, and the reasoning behind them.

Keep reading for our guide to vegan alcohol, including information about the Veganuary campaign, as well as vegan wine and vegan beer.


Exclusive ThinK Wine Range  

What Is Veganuary?

Veganuary is essentially a challenge that takes place every year throughout January to avoid consuming any animal products.

The aim of this is to raise awareness about the campaign and to raise awareness of the animal cruelty that occurs in the farming industry.

However, animal cruelty isn’t the only thing that the campaign aims to raise awareness of. The animal farming industry is one of the leading causes of pollution and deforestation, polluting rivers, oceans, and the Earth’s atmosphere.

If the world went vegan, our planet’s food-related emissions would drop by a massive 70% in under 30 years according to PNAS. There would also be plenty of spare land that could be utilised to improve biodiversity. 68% of farmland is currently used for livestock - and using just a fifth of this for crops would produce the same amount of food as the livestock would.

Another aim of the Veganuary challenge is to drive corporate change - this involves including more vegan options on menus, and having more vegan options available in stores. Vegan options shouldn’t be more expensive than options that include animal products, so Veganuary aims to make veganism more accessible.

The campaign is run by a non-profit organisation that has a vision of a vegan world - a world that doesn’t have slaughterhouses or animal farms. The organisation aims for a vegan world to protect animals, the environment, and human health.

Last year, over half a million people tried the Veganuary challenge from all over the world - people from over 200 countries and territories took part. However, many people fail the Veganuary challenge - not by consuming meat, but by accidentally consuming animal products that they didn’t know weren’t vegan.


Vegan Wine

If you’ve never tried a vegan diet before, it’s important that you know that not all wine is vegan. Many wines will contain animal product residue - and even the smallest amount can make the bottle non-vegan.

Vegan wine is made the same way as regular wines so there’s no difference in taste or quality - however, vegan-friendly products are used in replacement of animal products. To learn more about how vegan wine tastes, click here.

In fact, you’ve probably enjoyed vegan wine before without realising it, as many wine manufacturers won’t include whether the wine is vegan or not on the label.

Click here to find out why you should choose vegan wine. 


What Makes Wine Non-Vegan?

There are several stages of the winemaking process, but the main stages are fermentation and fining the wine.

After the grapes have been harvested from the vine, they are fermented. Fermented is the stage in which alcohol is produced - the yeast consumes the naturally occurring sugars in the grapes and reacts to create alcohol, heat, and bubbles.

However, after wine ferments, it usually develops a cloudy appearance with sediment floating in the body of the wine. This is completely natural - the sediment consists of proteins, yeast, and other organic residues.

Most people prefer a clearer wine, which is why vintners put the wine through the fining process. The fining process is a way to stabilise the wine and give the wine a clearer appearance, clearing out unwanted sediment from the body of the wine. The fining process also works to eliminate any unwanted aromas, textures, and flavours.

The fining process is the stage in which a wine can become non-vegan. Fining agents are used to fine the wine, and sometimes, these fining agents are made using animal products such as blood, bone marrow, milk proteins, fish bladder gelatin, fish oil, egg whites, and chitin (crustacean shell polymer).

Although these fining agents get removed (evaporated or filtered out) once the wine has been fined, the final product is still unsuitable for those with a vegan diet or completing the Veganuary challenge.


Where Can I Find Vegan Wine?

In 2022, there are more vegan options available than ever. Veganuary has helped raise awareness with brands and consumers to get more vegan alternatives on the shelves, and wine is no exception.

Many supermarkets have a vegan aisle or section for you to find your favourite vegan options, and larger supermarkets even have a vegan or organic wine section.

However, it can be tough knowing which wines are vegan and which contain animal products as vintners aren’t required to include fining agents on the label, as they’re used in small amounts and removed upon fining.

One of the best ways to find a quality wine is by searching online. There are many quality online sellers that provide vegan wine.

Our very own ThinK Wine is suitable for vegans. Whether your favourite tipple is Rosé or Prosecco, we can provide you with delicious vegan and organic wines.

Another way of knowing whether a wine is vegan is by checking for the words ‘unfiltered’ or ‘unfined’ on the label. If a wine hasn’t been filtered, then fining agents won’t have been used - meaning the wine is suitable for vegans and those on a plant-based diet.


Vegan Beer

Beer is one of the most enjoyed alcoholic beverages in the world - and after water and tea, it’s the most consumed beverage around the globe.

The key ingredients of beer are water, hops, yeast, and barley malt, but this doesn’t mean that beer is always vegan.

Similar to wine, some brewers will use non-vegan products in the fining process. Even trace amounts can make beer unsuitable for those with a vegan or plant-based diet.


What Makes Beer Non-Vegan?

Like wine, many brewers will put beer through the fining process, and many fining agents contain animal products.

Ingredients such as gelatin, casein, glycerin, or isinglass consist of animal products and are frequently used in the brewing process.

Even a small amount of these ingredients can make a wine unsuitable for vegans, so it’s always best to check.

If you’re unsure which beers are vegan, you can always check online. If you’re in a bar or a pub, the bar staff should be able to tell you which beer is suitable for vegans.

Here are some popular beers and ciders that are vegan-friendly:

  • Carlsberg
  • Tennents
  • Becks
  • Coors Light
  • Stella
  • Heineken
  • Peroni
  • San Miguel
  • Birra Moretti
  • Hop House
  • Guinness
  • Thatchers Gold
  • Strongbow Cloudy Apple
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