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Jolinda Hackett

If I'm vegan, can I drink beer and wine?

By July 8, 2007

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My personal philosophy is that anyone can eat or drink whatever they want, but us veggies choose not to partake of certain foods. So decide what your choices are and stick to them!

Having said that, if you're a dedicated vegan and are choosing to rid your diet of animal foods, have you thought about what goes into the alcohol you drink? Many beers and wines are refined using a product called isinglass, which comes from fish, or may be filtered with bone char. While it may be easy to spot the worm in a bottle of tequila, determining which beers and wines are strictly vegan is another chore! In general, organic wines are usually vegan, and beers made in Germany, where there are strict laws regarding ingredients will be vegan-friendly. Other than that, our friends over at TasteBetter.com have put together this handy guide to vegetarian and vegan wines, beers and liquors. Bottoms up!

Link:The Vegan Beer, Wine and Spirits Guide

Vegan Wine, Beer and Spirits Recipes:

Photo Courtesy of Stock.xchng


June 10, 2008 at 10:47 am
(1) Jack Cass =D says:

They most often use gelatin in wine & beer, but there’s exceptions =D

Here’s some of them:

March 30, 2010 at 8:47 am
(2) angela says:

Thanks for the great article and for the props! People can follow @barnivore on twitter to get all the latest updates.

May 26, 2012 at 10:49 pm
(3) Todd says:

A vegan drinking alcohol is a hypocrite. Yeast must me used to propagate the fermentation process and convert the sugar into alcohol in ANY alcoholic drink. Yeast is in fact is a living micro-organism. The carbon dioxide and alcohol are a waste product after the yeast cells consume the sugar. Why does the life of a cow, fish or bee have more authenticity than that of the millions of yeast cells that are used to produce a bottle of wine?

May 31, 2012 at 7:33 pm
(4) Jimbo Jones says:

Hi Todd.

Ever consider that a plant is also an organism? It is in fact a macro-organism, no mere microorganism. Yet, hard to believe, Vegans will eat these organisms. ;-) I personally find the whole thing silly, life is life – only the ‘vehicle’ is different between plants and animals. Yeast is a fungus – in the same category as mushrooms. Unless vegans don’t eat mushrooms, yeast from beer or wine is really no different – from the exact same genus.

June 1, 2012 at 10:21 am
(5) Dan says:

Todd… you are such a tool… that is all.

June 1, 2012 at 2:19 pm
(6) Dee says:

@Todd Plants are organisms you dunce.

July 11, 2012 at 3:35 pm
(7) Tom says:

Todd, some vegans see microbes as a fundamentally different kind of life from macroscopic animals, and so not worthy of the same protection. Or, some seem to think even killing plants and microbes is bad, but they know when they eat vegetable and microscopic life, they are doing as little harm as they can while still surviving. A few people, such as a very small number of Jains, actually starve themselves to death intentionally, in order to eventually cause no harm at all by not consuming anything at all. That’s the ultimate way to protect all life, and even then, one life at least is destroyed, one’s own.

July 11, 2012 at 8:04 pm
(8) Shanna says:

Todd, thanks for the laugh. This was hilarious. I believe the only way around consuming any living organism would be to, in fact, sacrifice your own life by abstaining from all food and liquid completely…..thus becoming a short-lived “breath-airian”. However, there would be no navigating the multitudes of micro-organisms that would fall prey to your sinus cavities as you breathed your last breaths in this noble attempt to be the world’s purest martyr. I suggest a swift leap from a bridge, while desparately praying not to pummel any poor insects or fish on the way down. God speed.

August 23, 2012 at 6:20 pm
(9) GDang says:

Um, tempeh is fermented with yeast, as is miso, both of which are, I think, considered to be vegan staple foods.

August 24, 2012 at 11:40 am
(10) David says:

Just to clarify. Worms are never placed inside bottles of Tequila. Mezcal bottles are the ones that sometimes have the worm and it depends of the type of Mezcal.

October 26, 2012 at 1:49 pm
(11) Peggy says:

I SO laughed my head off at Todd’s post and everyone’s response. i woke up sick today-thanks for making my day MUCH better, all of you!

November 28, 2012 at 1:25 pm
(12) Algo holik says:

For future reference, they do not put worms in tequila… they do however put worms in mescal.

December 18, 2012 at 3:37 am
(13) Curt says:

Todd was trolling to make vegans look bad. No vegans actually believe that bull. Being vegan is taking against the conscious suffering of live animals in our agricultural systems, and attempting a grass roots movement to sway public demand for these items so animals don’t have to suffer at the hands of producers. If you think this is stupid, try learning about how animals are treated. Watch a movie called “Earthlings” for free on youtube.

December 27, 2012 at 4:50 am
(14) Matt says:

“My personal philosophy is that anyone can eat or drink whatever they want, but us veggies choose not to partake of certain foods. So decide what your choices are and stick to them!”

According to this I’m a vegan because I refuse to eat mushrooms. HAHAHAHA!

Funniest article ever, hypocrite

December 27, 2012 at 4:17 pm
(15) Vegetarian says:

No, Matt. It makes you an internet troll with too much time on his hands and not enough creativity to use it productively.

January 8, 2013 at 12:43 pm
(16) the_kent says:

The yeast that is used to produce beer does not really die..at least not all of them. the life cycle of yeast is: 1) the lag period, 2) the growth phase, 3) the fermentation phase, and 4) the sedimentation phase

Sedimentation Phase
The sedimentation phase is the process through which yeast flocculates and settles to the bottom of the fermenter following fermentation. The yeast begins to undergo a process that will preserve its life as it readies itself for dormancy, by producing a substance called glycogen. Glycogen is necessary for cell maintenance during dormancy.

I am a vegan, and a brewer. I love the science of brewing and the amazing fact that these little guys do so much.

January 30, 2013 at 3:34 pm
(17) dee says:

I know this thread is sooooo old, but really, just to clarify, YEAST IS CLASSIFIED AS FUNGI. Most of us eat mushrooms and mushroom meat, and nutritional yeast is even fungi grown on molasses, both are considered vegan.

come on.

June 3, 2013 at 3:35 am
(18) dick says:

killing spors is murder… get it

June 20, 2013 at 6:26 am
(19) Stu says:

Yeast is a form of living organism, vegans are some of the biggest hypocrites when it comes to preaching about not eating anything living or harming anything living to create foods.
Anyway, who really wants a drunk vegan? They’d just bum out the rest of the room with their patter on how eating meat is bad and how we should be ashamed of ourselves for doing so…nothing new there eh?

Anyway, If eating living things is wrong then why do we not have grinding plates in our mouths, and two stomachs, instead we have teeth capable of eating meat.

Vegans, you’re hypocrites.

July 20, 2013 at 6:58 pm
(20) Connor says:

Stu, vegans are against the eating, use and ownership of SENTIENT beings, beings which have an interest in continuing their existence and not feel pain. We respect their wishes and treat them ends in themselves.

I would like to point out something else when you wrote ”Anyway, If eating living things is wrong then why do we not have grinding plates in our mouths, and two stomachs, instead we have teeth capable of eating meat.” For one thing you’re suffering from the naturalistic fallacy just because something may seem natural does not make it the right choice. By your own logic you could say that because we have sexual organs people should be able to go around and rape people because we have the ability to have sex with them.

September 4, 2013 at 9:55 pm
(21) Anon says:

Stu, Todd etc…

Why do you feel the need to make disparaging comments regarding other people’s beliefs? Your comments are hurtful and insensitive. There is no need to make such remarks simply because you cannot understand the lifestyles which other people follow. Be nice to people.

September 5, 2013 at 12:58 am
(22) David Stowell says:

I am a vegan chef now in the wine business. Most wine producers will tell you if they use sturgeon bladder (isinglas) or egg in the production of their wines, but you will never see an ingredient list on a bottle of wine or a bottle of beer. Why is this? Every other food product sold must, by law, list the ingredients. If one is really concerned, you may contact the producer and ask them about their wine or beer. Barnivore is a good source, too. I recently found that one of the ingredients in Guiness Stout is FISH SCALES. So that’s off my list. GO VEGAN!

September 6, 2013 at 10:01 am
(23) Natalie says:

Todd’s comment has just made me die. hahahahahah

October 26, 2013 at 7:39 pm
(24) Zach says:

“If I’m vegan can I drink beer and wine?”
I don’t know, can you? If you decide to take a vegan path, asking what you ‘can’ do defeats the purpose of taking any path in your life at all. It is, what do you ‘want’ to do? Find out about something (a food, drink, or anything else), and decide for yourself if you would like to ingest or use it, regardless of if it’s vegan or not.

January 16, 2014 at 7:16 am
(25) Sally says:

Curt…..Your comment is very funny to me…The reason anyone with any knowledge is a vegan, is not because of the killing of an animal, its because of what the products of the animal do to our bodies. I really cant believe you even said that one. Maybe you need to read the book THE CHINA STUDY. Then you can comment. REALLY

January 26, 2014 at 7:02 pm
(26) Mel says:

Sally, you sound ignorant. Animal products are not inherently dangerous or harmful to humans in moderation based on decades of nutritional research and research into the evolutionary history of homo sapiens (who have been eating meat for hundreds of thousands of years).

The China Study demonstrates correlation with diets with low to moderate consumption of meat with the lack of certain diseases–if you’re unfamiliar with critical thinking 101, correlation does not equal causation, and “less” does not equal “none.”

Many, if not most, vegans have some concern for the welfare of animals and/or think it’s immoral to kill or mistreat them simply to produce useful but unnecessary products.

February 7, 2014 at 7:08 pm
(27) Jay Cee says:

First of all, I am vegan. I just wanted to comment to the people that for whatever reason feel the need disparage on other people’s beliefs and pass judgement as easily as they pass gas, my question to you is, what are you doing to make a positive difference in this world? Are you just a consumer, without contributing anything beneficial to the rest of the world. I am vegan, not only because extensive research has lead me to believe that it is a healthier lifestyle when done correctly, but more importantly, it is because I value all sentient life. I don’t believe I am above or below other sentient beings.

February 7, 2014 at 7:09 pm
(28) Jay Cee says:

Let me emphasize the word SENTIENT; it means able to perceive and feel things. It is precisely the ability of non-human animals to feel the reason why we choose not to partake in the harming, experimenting on, enslavement, and slaughter of non-human animals. In this sense, the key difference between a cow and a micro-organism such as Fungi like yeast and mushrooms, is that the latter don’t have a complex and developed central nervous system or brains that perceive or process pain as sentient creatures do. Micro-organisms such as bacteria and fungi are alive, no doubt, but the only thing they can do is respond to stimuli. They don’t feel pain simply because they are not developed enough to process a complex emotion such as pain, or the stress related to being hooked up to a machine for the better part of your life being milked, or having to experience having their countless young being taken away. Non-human animals do feel these things.

February 7, 2014 at 7:09 pm
(29) Jay Cee says:

Veganism is a more sustainable, less harmful lifestyle which has significantly less contribution on the expense of fossil fuels and the harm they have on our eco system. I am a vegan because I believe all life is precious and invaluable. Even that of micro-organisms as they play an hugely important role to all of life in our planet. Consuming organisms such as plants, as well as fruits, legumes, nuts, and mushrooms is the very least way to be harmful to life in general while still surviving. It comes down to a matter of belief. I like to think of it as such; what if the positions had been reversed, and we were not the dominant species. What if dinosaurs had not become extinct, and we were their prey? Imagine seeing your species being slaughtered when there was a perfectly good alternative as a nutrition source that would spare your life? I do what I can to do no harm. I am in excellent health of mind and body, but also of spirit, if you believe in that sort of thing. I do. I rest easy at night knowing that I contribute neither to the suffering and death of other sentient living creatures, nor to the destruction of our ecosystem entailed in the animal products industry. It is all a matter of belief, and I would hope we were developed and evolved enough as a species to be able to accept that we may not all agree, and we may have radically different opinions, but we all matter just as much, and passing judgment or saying harmful things does not help anyone, least of all those who say and do those harmful things. It rots you from the inside out. Happy living.

March 1, 2014 at 9:52 am
(30) Doogie says:

Well if vegans love animals so much, why do they eat their food?

March 17, 2014 at 5:08 am
(31) dean says:

oh dear doogie.. what a foolish comment. have a nice day.

April 15, 2014 at 6:00 pm
(32) JD says:

I eat vegan only for the heart health reasons. I raise grass fed pasture raised beef and free range chickens for meat and eggs.

April 21, 2014 at 1:28 pm
(33) evest says:

Hi all,

I’ve always consumed at will and bought whatever I wanted to make myself happy, without really giving much thought about what goes into it. I have done things like donating money to charity, recycling and buying ‘free-range’ and ‘ethically farmed’ and all the other stuff that makes me feel like I’m better person, but never actually properly tried to live my life in a better way.

I started trying to change about 5 years ago by going vegetarian (lacto-ovo) I’ve just begun making the transition to vegan (I’m 33). I’ve done this because the ethics of just being a vegetarian don’t add up, but I think it’s not a bad way to start the journey. I think a vegan lifestyle will put me back in touch with the world around me and help me to think more carefully about the things I choose to do. I hope that at some point in the future that I might be able to help other people do the same, or at least have them think about it.

And if I’ve read this article correctly – with a little care, I can still enjoy a beer or two along the way!

Ps – don’t give these infantile little keyboard trolls the time of day – just ignore them.

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