According to Koonal it can be. He’s even explained why a beer he likes is not vegan and tell us where to get vegan beer from.

A few months ago, I was very disappointed to learn that isinglass finings (obtained from fish bladders) are used as a processing aid in the brewing industry to accelerate the clarification of beer – i.e. to make it less cloudy. This means that most real ales (hugely superior in taste to fizzy, chemical-infused lagers) are not vegetarian/vegan.

However, I recently learned that all beers produced by the Samuel Smith’s brewery (with the exception of Old Brewery Bitter) are 100% vegan. Samuel Smith’s operated pubs are inexpensive and charming, and
are located throughout the UK, including several within central London. They can get very busy, but I would certainly recommend a visit as they have a very traditional feel to them, and they don’t sell spirits or soft-drinks produced by any of the large corporate manufacturers.

Details of Sam Smith’s pubs can be found here:

Do you know about any other vegan or non vegan products?

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Categories: Vegan


Sagar Shah · January 25, 2009 at 7:12 pm

Nice to see my brothers words of wisdom coming up here as well!

In addition to beers, many wines are also not vegetarian /vegans In general, beers are branded and the brands at most pubs are recognisable….

Lists of popular branded beers that are suitable / not suitable for vegans and vegetarians are available here…

Wine is generally a lot more difficult that beer, just because of the sheer variety in producers and production methods…

Luckily, many supermarkets have started labelling their own branded wines (for example, Marks and Spencers label if their wines are vegetarian, as do Sainsburys). Many winesellers such as Vinceremos, Virgin and Oddbins hold lists of which wines they hold are suitable for vegans. Buying online is often an effectiev way to get good quality good value wine.

Unfortunately, getting wine in restaurants when eating out can be problematic. The best thing to do, in my opinion, is to call up a restaurant in advance and ask whether their wine is suitable for vegans. The chances are that they don’t know, and most restaurants I have been to have waived corkage because they have agreed its reasonable to want to have wine with a meal, and fine to bring your own if they can’t provide you with wine that is suitable for your diet.

Requesting vegetarian wine will also help raise awareness and encourage restaurants to find out whether their wines are suitable for vegetarians / vegans or not!

The 2nd alternative (if you want vegan wine when eating out) is to only go to vegetarian / vegan restaurants, who are sure to have some vegan wine…

    Heena Modi · January 25, 2009 at 8:40 pm

    Thanks Sagar.
    Is wine Jain even if it is vegan?

Chirag Bajaria · January 27, 2009 at 10:58 pm

Beer’s not jain…and neither’s wine!

a) think Ahimsa…by intoxicating the body deliberately you are harming yourself…so alcoholic beverages do not comply with the Jain ideal.

b) micro-organisms (yeast) are used in the fermentation process of beer. these are imbibed by the consumer therefore killed.

    Heena Modi · January 28, 2009 at 6:04 pm

    I thought so! It’s just we’ve been talking about it in the Jain Vegan group which made me ask. You never know right? We can do so many amazing things nowadays! Anyway I guess the drinks that were being discussed were vegan, rather than, Jain AND vegan.
    Thanks for clearing that up Chirag 🙂

Angela Del Buono · June 8, 2009 at 3:07 pm

If you are interested in finding out which alcohols are vegan friendly. Check out Barnivore, a vegan-friendly alcohol directory.

Brewmasters, winemakers, and distillers may include animal ingredients in their products directly, or they might use them in the processing and filtration.

These ingredients don’t usually show up on the label, so the only way to find out is to ask. Our entries have been checked and double checked by the Barnivore community and are gathered there for you to enjoy, and maybe submit a check of your own.

In some cases we’ll contact companies directly, and sometimes they even get in touch with us, but generally the stuff on the site came from readers like you who got in touch with a company they cared about, asked a few questions, and then forwarded the response to us.

You can get the instructions on how to do that (including a sample question to ask) over on our contact page.

    Heena Modi · June 8, 2009 at 7:28 pm

    Thanks for this Angela
    A good source of info! 🙂

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