So, we have reached the end of January 2020. For some it will be the end of the wittily named Veganuary. Veganuary was started in 2014 by a non-profit organisation to encourage people to ‘go vegan’ for the month of January. Veganism of course is the practice of abstaining from using animals (of any sort) in your diet and often in other aspects of life for example clothing. For some people Veganuary may result in a more permanent lifestyle change. Veganism usually means making some big changes to your diet, the obvious ones that spring to mind being cutting out all meat, poultry and fish, eggs and dairy products and honey. However, once you start to delve into Veganism a little further you may find that animal derived products are currently used in perhaps quite unexpected food and drink products.
Would it surprise you for example to learn that many alcoholic drinks are not suitable for Vegans? surely alcoholic drinks are just made by fermenting things like apples, grapes, potatoes, grains etc aren’t they? Well no! Until we became brewers and learned more about the alcohol market it did not even cross our minds that animal products may be used in the production of many commercial alcoholic drinks.
So exactly why are some drinks not Vegan friendly? Many beer and ale and wine manufacturers use isinglass in alcohol production. Isinglass is made from the swim bladder of fish, and it is used to clarify the alcohol ie to make your favourite drink look clear. Some wine producers use gelatine which is derived from animal bone including hooves in the process, while protein from animals / fish milk or eggs are used in others.
We are not Vegan or Vegetarian ourselves, but we are very conscious about what we consume, where it has come from and what it is. We believe that everything should be as naturally produced as possible. That is why Wasted Apple Cider contains nothing but locally grown handpicked apples. The yeast that is used to ferment the apples is what is naturally present on the apples and in the air. Our cider is beautifully clear, but it has not been cleared using anything but time. The use of animal derived products in the clearing process hugely speeds up production, and in huge commercial alcohol businesses, time is the one thing they don’t have! They need to roll the alcohol out as quickly and cheaply as possible. That goes completely against the Wasted Apple Co ethos. The best things take time. And we are not prepared to cut corners. Therefore, it takes many months to make and mature a bottle of Wasted Apple Cider – not days / weeks.